Hounds picked for cellar in football

CNJ staff

DALLAS — Based on preseason projections, Eastern New Mexico University’s fall sports teams could be in for long seasons.

In polls released by the Lone Star Conference and based on voting by coaches, sports information directors and media, ENMU was picked for last place in the seven-team LSC South Division football race, the volleyball team was tabbed for 13th out of 14 teams, the men’s soccer team came in fourth in the five-team Southwest Soccer Conference poll, and the women’s soccer squad was pegged for 10th in the 11-team LSC.

In cross country, Eastern’s men were chosen seventh out of nine teams while the women were 10th out of 12.

Football — The Greyhounds (5-6, 0-6 South in 2007) garnered 22 points in the poll, finishing well behind sixth-place Angelo State (43).

Abilene Christian and defending South champion West Texas A&M were separated by two points in the poll, with the Wildcats collecting 113 points and eight first-place ballots to 111 and 10, respectively, for WT.

Texas A&M-Commerce was the North favorite over Southeastern Oklahoma.

Volleyball — Defending champion West Texas A&M received all but two of 37 first-place votes. Central Oklahoma was second and Midwestern State third, with each of those teams getting one first-place ballot.

ENMU struggled to a 4-25 record (0-12 LSC) in 2007 during Kim Falkenhagen’s first season as coach. The Zias had 93 points while East Central was last with 69.

Men’s soccer — With former graduate assistant Harold Munoz taking over for Carlos Elizondo, the Greyhounds managed to edge out Missouri Southern in the SSC poll. ENMU went 8-9-1 overall and 2-5-1 in the SSC last season.

Defending co-champions Midwestern State and West Texas A&M were 1-2 in the poll. The Mustangs received nine first-place votes and had 53 points to two first-place ballots and 46 points for the Buffs.

Women’s soccer — The Zias went 9-9 last season (3-7 LSC) under Travis McCorkle, who left to take the head coaching position at Angelo State and was replaced by Ray Nause.

Defending champion Central Oklahoma earned 21 of 27 first-place votes and 290 points. The Zias received 73 points, four behind ninth-place East Central and 11 ahead of last-place Southwestern Oklahoma.

Cross country — Abilene Christian was a unanimous choice in both men’s and women’s polls, its men compiling 26 first-place votes and 312 points while the women had 18 and 162, respectively. ACU has won 17 LSC men’s titles in a row and seven consecutive women’s crowns.

The Hounds, who were fifth in the 2007 LSC meet, collected 74 points in the preseason poll, two behind sixth-place Angelo State, while the women had 107 points and were six behind Texas A&M-Kingsville.