Freedom New Mexico
RICHARDSON, Texas — Eastern New Mexico University’s football team received two first-place votes and was pegged for fourth place in the seven-team Lone Star Conference North Division this fall in a preseason poll released on Tuesday by the LSC.
The ENMU volleyball squad, meantime, was chosen for last place in the 15-team LSC circuit.
ENMU is moving into the North Division this season in football. Coach Mark Ribaudo said the Greyhounds are looking forward to the competition.
“I think we’re going to be in every game up there and I think we’ve got a chance to win every game,” Ribaudo said. “(The poll is) a nice sign for us, considering some of the team’s haven’t seen us.”
ENMU went 2-1 in crossover games against the North last season, beating preseason favorite Texas A&M-Commerce and Southwestern Oklahoma and losing at home in a shootout against Southeastern Oklahoma, projected No. 2 in the division.
“It would be hard for (North coaches) to really gauge (ENMU),” Ribaudo said. “We played two of the top teams last year, and we won one and were in the other one.”
Commerce rebounded from its 76-56 thrashing at Greyhound Stadium to win the North with a 5-0 record. The Lions received 12 of 19 first-place votes and had 123 points to 110 for Southeastern, which had three first-place tallies.
Central Oklahoma had two first-place votes and 95 points to 76 for the Hounds. Rounding out the field were Northeastern State (63 points), Southwestern Oklahoma (40) and East Central (25).
Five of the seven teams in the South garnered at least two first-place votes. West Texas A&M had nine first-place votes and 105 points to edge Abilene Christian (103). Following in the poll were Midwestern State (91), Tarleton State (87), Texas A&M-Kingsville (84), Angelo State (42) and newcomer Incarnate Word (20).
In volleyball, four-time defending champion West Texas A&M collected 27 first-place votes and 584 points to outdistance Abilene Christian, which had 567 points and the remaining 13 first-place votes. Angelo State was third with 487 points.
ENMU, with longtime coach Mike Maguire returning to the helm after a two-year hiatus, had 74 points.
The Zias were 25 points behind Southwestern Oklahoma, which was 14th in the poll.
LSC preseason polls
Team (1st-pl. votes)