Howard College tops first regular-season NCJAA baseball poll
The defending Alpine Bank Junior College World Series champions are out of the top spot and another Texas team has taken their place in the first NJCAA Division I baseball poll of the 2009 season.
Grayson County (Texas) College, which won the 2008 national title 10 months ago at Suplizio Field, is not ranked in the top 20.
The Vikings (10-12-1) have virtually a new team with only four returning players from last year.
Howard (Texas) College, which hasn’t made the JUCO World Series since it won the national title in 1991, is atop the national poll, released Wednesday. The Hawks (20-0) were ranked sixth in the preseason poll.
Yavapai (Ariz.) College (22-4) is ranked second and looking for its first World Series appearance since 2006. Young Harris (Ga.) College (24-4), Wallace State-Hanceville (Ala.)
Community College (19-3) and Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.) College (21-3) round out the top five. All three have made the World Series at least once in the past three years.
Connors State (Okla.) College (25-5) is sixth, followed by Miami-Dade (Fla.) College (22-6), Central Arizona College (18-4), Johnson County (Kan.) Community College (18-3) and Broward (Fla.) College (21-7) in the top 10. All five have made at least one appearance in the World Series.
The next five in the poll are Bossier Parish (La.) Community College, 2006 national champions Walters State (Tenn.) Community College, Pensacola (Fla.) Junior College, Pitt (N.C.) Community College and Panola (Texas) College. Bossier Parish and Pitt are looking for their first World Series appearances in school history.
Olney Central (Ill.) College, Central Florida Community College, Chesapeake (Md.) College, the University of South Carolina Sumter and Western Nevada College round out the top 20.
Olney Central, Chesapeake and USC Sumter have never qualified for the JUCO World Series.