Credit: Northwest CC Sports Information
With kickoff just two months away, JCGridiron.com has released its preseason “Dirty 30” JUCO football rankings, charting Northwest at No. 18 in the nation.
Released late Wednesday afternoon, July 5 by JCGridiron.com publisher Brad Hoiseth, the annual poll includes both NJCAA programs and teams competing in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA).
Northwest was ranked 15th in last year’s preseason polls and finished 10-2 on the season, advancing to the MACCC Championship game for the fourth consecutive season, while also earning a second straight bid into the NJCAA Division I Football Playoffs. Six Rangers earned NJCAA All-American honors, while a record total of 29 players advanced to four-year programs.
Conference foe East Mississippi tops the preseason rankings after an 8-3 finish last year. City College of San Francisco, Jones College, Ventura College (Calif.) and Hutchinson (Kan.) round out the top five, respectively.
Mississippi Gulf Coast, the Rangers’ season-opening opponent, was the only other MACCC program represented in the rankings, slotted at No. 16 overall. Holmes, Northeast, Pearl River and Copiah-Lincoln were unranked, but listed “on the bubble”. The official NJCAA preseason rankings will be released in mid-August.
This year will mark the eighth season with Northwest coach Benjy Parker at the helm. Since taking over prior to the 2016 season, Parker and the Rangers have compiled an impressive 58-16 overall record and a 36-6 mark in conference play. Northwest has also played in the MACCC title bout every season under Parker, except for the 2018 campaign, which saw the Rangers fall in the MACCC Semifinals.
Northwest will open the season on Thursday, Sept. 7 at Mississippi Gulf Coast, before hosting Hinds and Pearl River in back-to-back home contests. Click here for the Rangers’ full schedule.