The Northeast Mississippi Community College football program has received some great news as it returns to campus to resume preparations for the approaching 2017 campaign.
The Tigers have garnered a No. 18 national ranking in the College Football America Yearbook junior college preseason top 30 poll, which does include members of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA).
“We’re very humbled by the fact that what we did a year ago is carrying over into this year,” said Northeast head coach Greg Davis. “We want to always create an environment of winning. It shows how far this program has come.”
The Tigers are gaining early notoriety following a stellar 2016 season that featured a 6-3 overall record. Northeast utilized a talented roster on both sides of the ball and eventually had 20 players move on to four-year institutions.
A four-game winning streak in the middle of the year was a major highlight for the Tigers. It started during week four when Northeast tied a school record for most points scored in a single game with 55 at Southwest Mississippi Community College.
The Tigers then reeled off three straight Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division victories, including a crucial 30-12 home triumph over rival Itawamba Community College.
Northeast catapulted up the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) rankings during that hot stretch and eventually peaked at No. 7 after its road triumph over Mississippi Delta Community College.
The Tigers wrapped up the campaign by landing at No. 10 in the final NJCAA poll. It was the first time in school history that Northeast finished a season inside the top 10 nationwide.
An almost entirely new-look team has reported to campus with practices set to open with just one week remaining before the start of the new semester. Northeast returns eight out of 22 starters with several spots up for grabs in fall camp.
The College Football America 2017 Yearbook is published by RoadTripSports.com and includes more than 930 football teams from the United States and Canada over the course of more than 300 pages.
It features every team in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, Division III, NAIA, NJCAA and CCCAA plus Canada’s U Sports.
The Tigers are one of 10 NJCAA programs to appear in the College Football America Yearbook junior college preseason top 30. Four of those 10 hail from the MACJC, including No. 1 East Mississippi Community College, No. 8 Northwest Mississippi Community College, No. 17 Holmes Community College and No. 18 Northeast.
The NJCAA will release its official preseason rankings prior to the first week of competition on the gridiron around the country, which is slated for most conferences from August 24-27.
The Tigers will take the field for their opener on Thursday, August 31 at Pearl River Community College. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Dobie Holden Stadium in Poplarville.