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UWA tied for top spot in GSC preseason poll

BIRMINGHAM – For the first time in 19 years there is a tie at the top of the Gulf South Conference Preseason Football Poll. West Alabama and Valdosta State each garnered 23 total points from league coaches to mark just the second tie at the top of the preseason poll in the history of the poll.

“Obviously being a preseason pick to win the Gulf South Conference is an honor,” UWA head coach Will Hall said. “It tells you what the coaches around the league think of our program and proves how far we have come.”

Both the Tigers and the Blazers collected three first place and two second place votes from GSC head coaches. North Alabama was tabbed by the coaches to finish third, with just two points separating the next three spots behind UWA and VSU. The Lions garnered 14 total points, while Delta State and West Georgia collected 12 each. Newcomer Florida Tech earned six points.

“We expect to win the conference very year now, but we know it will be tough,” Hall said. “The GSC is the Southeastern Conference of NCAA Division II. If you can navigate this conference and win it, it puts you in a good position to make a deep playoff run.”

Center Skeeter Sellers, tackle Taylor Burnett, wide receiver Chad Toocheck and tight end Ty Morgan were named as preseason All-GSC offensive selections. Cornerback Malcolm Butler and defensive tackle Willie Packer were named to the defensive preseason team. Long snapper Matt Humphries is a preseason All-GSC choice on special teams.

Four junior college transfers, all from the defensive side of the football, were named as 2013 Top Newcomers from West Alabama. Those include defensive linemen Juantez Harstfield and Martaze Jackson, linebacker Tevin Thomas and defensive back Desmond Brown.

Ranked 18th in the Sporting News Preseason Poll and 19th by Lindy’s, West Alabama opens the season Sept. 7 at home against Clark Atlanta. The game will be televised by Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS) and Mediacom as part of GSC-TV LIVE programming and will kick off at 11 a.m. at Tiger Stadium.

Season tickets for seven UWA home games are available by calling (205) 652-3784 or online at http://bit.ly/15HHjX0.