NC soccer, football draw NJCAA preseason ranking

Navarro soccer and football programs received rankings Wednesday when the NJCAA released preseason polls.

Coach Alicia Wilson’s Bulldog soccer club, ranked fifth last week by the United Soccer Coaches of America, drew the No. 6 ranking in the NJCAA’s Division I listing.

First-year coach Jim Gush’s Bulldog football program landed at No. 18 in its polling — one of four SWJCFC teams in the Top 20.  Navarro football was ranked No. 2 in the league’s annual poll by conference coaches during a media day event at the end of July.

Navarro soccer spent most of the 2017 season rated among the Top 5 in the NJCAA and USSCA polls during its 16-2 campaign.  NC’s 2018 schedule includes early non-conference matches with No. 12 Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa here August 25, and a neutral-site meeting with No. 13 Butler CC, Ks. The Bulldogs also have scheduled matches with Division III’s No. 1 ranked Brookhaven and No. 9 Richland.

Navarro football faces four of the NJCAA’s Top 15 ranked clubs, beginning Thursday, August 23, when the Bulldogs entertain No, 15 ranked Georgia Military College in the season opener.  NC faces perhaps its three chief contenders for league honors on the road this season:  No. 11 Blinn at Cub Stadium in Brenham; No. 8 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M at Robertson Field in Miami, Ok; and No. 7 TVCC to end the regular season in Athens.

NJCAA Hall of Fame Coach Ronda Shirley’s Navarro volleyball program did not receive preseason ranking.  The Bulldogs reached the Region XIV Tournament semifinals during a 27-12 debut season in 2017.

Bulldog volleyball expects to mount another deep playoff run and will play another challenging schedule to reach that end.  NC plays 13 matches against preseason Top-20 ranked squads — 10 of those against clubs rated among the Top 12.

Among the ranked D-I opponents lined up on Navarro’s card this year:  No. 3 Iowa Western, No. 5 NMMI, No. 6 Tyler, No. 9 Seward County, Ks., No. 10 Hill, No. 11 Panola, No. 12 Laramie County, Wy; No. 19 TVCC and No. 20 Blinn.

To gain access to the NJCAA website and see the entire set of  Top 20 Preseason Polls, click here.