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Collegiate teams expected to win

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Congratulations to both of our Lincoln Parish collegiate football teams for being picked for having strong chances to win conference championships as both attended league Media Days in recent weeks.

Conference-USA is wrapping up its Media Days today with Louisiana Tech University tabbed to finish second in the C-USA East with Southern Mississippi predicted to win the division.

The Southwestern Athletic Conference football Media Day was held two weeks ago in Birmingham, Alabama, with the Grambling State University Tigers tabbed to finish second in the SWAC West after reaching the league championship game last year before falling to Alcorn State.

“What do preseason polls really mean?” said GSU coach Broderick Fobbs said. “We have potential, but what does that really mean? The only thing that matters is what happens on the field when the games are actually played.

Having to replace key players on both sides of the ball and coming off two straight nine-win season, Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz feels much like Fobbs — he’ll let the Bulldogs’ play on the field determine how their season will go.

“This is a whole new season,” Holtz said. “We don’t get to start with the nine wins the last two years and see if we can build on it. We’ve got to start with none again. We’ve got to start all over again.”

Both teams were well-represented on preseason All-Conference teams.

GSU junior running back Martez Carter is one of three offensive players to make the SWAC first team, joining junior wide receiver Chad Williams and junior offensive lineman Justin Miller.

Senior safety Guy Stallworth and junior kicker Marc Orozco also earned first-team honors for GSU.

GSU senior linebacker Arkez Cooper earned second-team All-SWAC honors.

Tech placed a league-best seven football student-athletes on the 2016 Preseason C-USA team, with junior kicker Jonathan Barnes earning a share of Special Teams Player of the Year honors.
Senior offensive linemen Darrell Brown and David Mahaffey, senior receiver Trent Taylor, sophomore defensive lineman Jaylon Ferguson, senior defensive back Xavier Woods and senior long snapper Darrell Travis were the other Bulldogs named to the preseason All-CUSA squad.

The start of football is drawing near and the Ruston Daily Leader congratulates Tech and GSU for their preseason honors. We look forward to seeing both kick off their seasons in September.

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