Desoto County Sports

Northwest football ranked third to open 2023 season

Credit: Northwest CC Sports Information

For the eighth time in the last nine seasons, the Northwest football team will open the year ranked in the NJCAA preseason poll.

Northwest is slotted at No. 3 in the NJCAA preseason rankings, the organization announced on Monday afternoon. The Rangers have started every season ranked in the NJCAA polls since 2015, except for the 2020 season affected by COVID-19.

Northwest started the 2022 season ranked No. 4 in the polls, remaining in the same slot until the last few weeks of the regular season, when the Rangers slowly inched up to the No. 3 spot. Eventually, Northwest made it to No. 2 in the nation, before seeing its season come to an end in the NJCAA Division I Football Playoffs to eventual champion Iowa Western.

Northwest is the only MACCC program ranked in the top five, followed by Jones College at No. 6 and reigning MACCC champion East Mississippi at No. 8. Though unranked, Mississippi Gulf Coast and Hinds are receiving votes entering the season.

Last year’s national champion, Iowa Western, will start the season ranked at the top, followed by Hutchinson (Kan.) at No. 2, Snow College (Utah) at No. 4 and Kilgore College (Texas) rounding out the top five.

This is the second preseason poll to feature the Rangers, following a No. 18 slot in the poll, released in early July. 

Northwest will hit the road to open the season on Thursday, Sept. 7, traveling to Mississippi Gulf Coast. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Ranger TV, with pregame coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tyler Springs returns for his second season of play-by-play, with Russell Copeland stepping into the role of color commentary.

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob is also heard on 95.3 The Rebel twice a week with sports updates and high school football play-by-play broadcasts in the fall. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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