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Saints Rank 9th in Pre-season Poll

 After five successful years at the helm for the Seward
County Saints, there aren't many firsts that pop up on Head Coach Bryan
Zollinger radar as far as accomplishments anymore.  However, Thursday,
as the NJCAA released its Preseason Top 25 Poll, Zollinger did notch a
first.  Despite three Jayhawk West Championships and two Region VI
titles, the Saints had never been ranked in the preseason poll under
Zollinger, until Thursday when Seward checked in at #9 in the opening
                Seward draws the nod at #9 after finishing third at the
NJCAA National Tournament a season ago during a 31-7 season that also
saw them win the Jayhawk West and Region VI Championship en route to
their push in Hutchinson.  The Saints return just three players from
last year's squad, but two starters in point guard Kaheem Ransom and big
man Edson Avila, as well as Briston White who played a key role off the
bench for Seward.  They also add three sophomore transfers that include
Division I players in Jabari Peters and Leslee Smith.  The Saints roster
currently sits at 17, but will be trimmed to at least 14 before their
opener on November 2nd against Fort Carson in the Greenhouse.   
                It is the first time since 2005 that the Saints have
opened a season in the top 25, a stretch which has seen Jayhawk West
rivals such as Hutchinson open the year ranked six different times in
the top 25 despite failing to win a Region Championship in that span.
Defending National Champions South Plains opens the year as #1 and
rightfully so after an undefeated 36-0 campaign in 2011-2012.  The team
that ended the Saints dream run before finishing runners-up, Northwest
Florida State was picked 2nd and were followed by Howard, Chipola, and
Indian Hills at #3, #4, and #5.  Two other Region VI teams were
recognized in the poll, including Hutchinson who comes in at #13 after a
25 win season and Coffeyville who is ranked #19 following a 28-4 year
last season.  

1st Votes Prev.
1 South Plains College 36-0 0 0 0
2 Northwest Florida State College 32-2 0 0 0
3 Howard College 23-8 0 0 0
4 Chipola College 23-7 0 0 0
5 Indian Hills Community College-Ottumwa 33-4 0 0 0
6 Vincennes University 28-3 0 0 0
7 College of Southern Idaho 31-5 0 0 0
8 East Mississippi Community College 23-6 0 0 0
9 Seward County Community College 31-7 0 0 0
10 Navarro College 25-11 0 0 0
11 Casper College 25-9 0 0 0
12 Monroe College 33-4 0 0 0
13 Hutchinson Community College 25-7 0 0 0
14 Trinity Valley Community College 21-10 0 0 0
15 Palm Beach State College 26-5 0 0 0
16 Spartanburg Methodist College 29-7 0 0 0
17 Shelton State Community College 28-4 0 0 0
18 Gordon State College 26-9 0 0 0
19 Coffeyville Community College 28-4 0 0 0
20 Iowa Western Community College 24-9 0 0 0
21 Otero Junior College 30-6 0 0 0
22 Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College 23-5 0 0 0
23 Odessa College 23-8 0 0 0
24 North Idaho College 24-8 0 0 0
25 Highland Community College - Illinois 26-8 0 0 0


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