EMCC ranked preseason No. 6 in the nation

From school reports


SCOOBA – The two-time reigning MACJC North Division football champions of East Mississippi Community College have earned a No. 6 preseason ranking by JCGridiron.com in its annual Dirty 30 national junior college rankings.

Including all junior college football programs affiliated with the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as from the highly acclaimed California Community College Athletic Association, the JCGridiron.com Dirty 30 preseason rankings annually reflect team performances on the field from the previous year, the overall strength of the teams’ conferences and predicted impact players in key positions for the various teams under consideration. This year marks the ninth consecutive season that widely respected junior college football expert Brad Hoiseth has published the JCGridiron.com Dirty 30 preseason junior college football rankings.

Perennial MACJC powerhouse Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College hails as this year’s preseason No. 1 team, according to the JCGridiron.com Dirty 30. The Bulldogs are followed by Riverside (Calif.) CC at No. 2, Mt. San Antonio (Calif.) CC, reigning NJCAA national champion Iowa Western CC, and Snow College (Utah) rounding out the preseason Top 5.

Guided by sixth-year head coach Buddy Stephens, the EMCC Lions bring back 10 offensive lettermen as well as 10 defensive returnees from last year’s 8-2 squad that had stretched the program’s two-year winning streak to 20 consecutive games before dropping back-to-back, one-point decisions at the end of the 2012 campaign. With a 44-10 composite record under Stephens’ leadership, East Mississippi claimed the school’s first-ever national championship in 2011 along with earning MACJC/NJCAA Region 23 titles in 2011 and 2009. The Lions, who are collectively 27-3 in division play dating back to 2008, have also captured four MACJC North Division regular-season crowns during that span.

East Mississippi Community College kicks off its upcoming 2013 football schedule on Thursday, Aug. 29 against the Wildcats of Pearl River Community College in Poplarville. The Lions’ five-game home slate begins with consecutive Thursday dates versus MACJC South Division opponents East Central Community College and Southwest Mississippi Community College on Sept. 5 and 12, respectively, at EMCC’s 5,000-seat Sullivan-Windham Field.