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Lions football ranked in preseason top 25

Commerce – Texas A&M University-Commerce head football coach Scotty Conley on Tuesday saw a glimpse of what he has been working towards when he was hired in December 2003. The fifth-year head coach saw in the American Football Coaches Association preseason Division II Coaches Poll announced on Wednesday that the Lions were ranked No. 18.

It is an encouraging position to be considered in the top 25. We have been trying to get our program to this level everyday since I was hired. The coaches and the players have worked hard to get to the point where we are recognized on a national level, said Conley.

The Lions are joined in the top 25 by Lone Star Conference members at No. 8 Abilene Christian and No. 10 West Texas A&M. Southeastern Oklahoma State, Tarleton State and Midwestern State also received votes in the poll. A&M-Commerce will face ACU in its third game of the season on September 23. The Wildcats were picked to win the LSC South, whereas the Lions were picked to win the LSC North by the coaches and Sports Information Directors of the LSC, as well as interested media representatives.

The AFCA Division II Coaches' Poll follows the same format as the Football Bowl Subdivision and Division III polls. A Division II Board of Coaches, made up of 26 AFCA-member head coaches from NCAA Division II schools around the country, will vote each Sunday for the top 25 teams in the division. All Division II football-playing conferences are represented on the voting board, as well as independent schools.

The complete poll is as follows:

American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches' Preseason Poll
1. Valdosta St. (Ga.) (17)
2. Grand Valley St. (Mich.) (6)
3. Northwest Missouri St. (1)
4. North Alabama
5. California (Pa.)
6. Carson-Newman (Tenn.) (2)
7. Nebraska-Omaha
8. Abilene Christian (Texas)
9. Chadron St. (Neb.)
10. West Texas A&M
11. Central Washington
12. Delta St. (Miss.)
13. Shepherd (W.Va.)
14. Tuskegee (Ala.)
15. Ashland (Ohio)
16. West Chester (Pa.)
17. Pittsburg St. (Kan.)
18. Texas A&M-Commerce
19. Catawba (N.C.)
20. Newberry (S.C.)
21. Indiana (Pa.)
22. Minnesota-Duluth
23. Mesa St. (Colo.)
24. Southern Connecticut St.
25T. Bloomsburg (Pa.)
25T. Virginia Union

Others Receiving Votes: Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.), 82; Winona St. (Minn.), 81; Albany St. (Ga.), 79; Washburn (Kan.), 64; Tarleton St. (Texas), 49; Shaw (N.C.), 31; Southeastern Oklahoma St., 29; Missouri Western St., 23; Bentley (Mass.), 20; Slippery Rock (Pa.), 19; Central Missouri, 18; Tusculum (Tenn.), 14; Western Oregon, 14; Northwood (Mich.), 12; C.W. Post (N.Y.), 11; West Liberty St. (W.Va.), 10; Edinboro (Pa.), 9; Midwestern St. (Texas), 9; Henderson St. (Ark.), 7; Hillsdale (Mich.), 7; Harding (Ark.), 6; Nebraska-Kearney, 6; Missouri S&T, 4; Tiffin (Ohio), 3; Colorado School of Mines, 2; Fort Valley St. (Ga.), 2; Kentucky St., 2; St. Cloud State (Minn.), 2.

Season tickets for the 2008 season are now available by contacting the Texas A&M University-Commerce athletic department at (903) 886-5558.