DRAGONS START NO. 5 IN NJCAA RANKINGS

Kimari Gainous and the Blue Dragons are No. 5 in the NJCAA Preseason Rankings, which were released on Monday
Information Box

NJCAA Preseason Football Rankings

Team Points
1. East Mississippi (6)
2. Iowa Western
3. Garden City (1)
4. Jones
5. Hutchinson
6. Kilgore
6. Snow
8. Lackawanna
9. Northwest Mississippi
10. Butler
11. Blinn
12. Mississippi Gulf Coast
13. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M
14. Iowa Central
15. Monroe College
16. Highland (KS)
17. Copiah-Lincoln
18. Navarro
19. Georgia Military
20. Trinity Valley
136
129
125
110
92
91
91
87
79
73
67
66
62
52
31
27
21
20
17
15
Others Receiving Votes: Nassau, 14; Northeast Mississippi, 12; ASA Brooklyn, 8; Coffeyville, 7; East Central, 7; Tyler, 7; North Dakota SCS, 5; Holmes, 3; DuPage, 1; Hinds, 1; Independence, 1.

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

The Hutchinson Community College football team received its highest NJCAA preseason ranking of the Rion Rhoades era on Monday.

The Blue Dragons start the new season as the No. 5 team in the NJCAA Preseason Football Rankings. Hutchinson opens the 2019 season on Thursday night at Ellsworth Community College.

The previous preseason high for a Blue Dragon team under Rhoades – who is 89-48 in his first 12 seasons at Hutchinson – was No. 6. That happened in 2011, 2013 and 2015. This is the fifth Top 10 preseason ranking under Rhoades. Hutch was ranked No. 10 to start the 2012 season.

Overall under Rhoades, the No. 5 ranking is the ninth preseason ranking in his first 12 seasons with the Blue Dragons. This is the first preseason ranking since starting No. 16 in 2016.

Last season, the Blue Dragons were in the receiving votes list to open the season and climbed as high as No. 4 late in the season.

Hutchinson enters the new season coming off a 9-3 campaign that finished with a 35-6 victory over Navarro College in the 2018 Salt City Bowl. The Dragons closed last season at No. 8 in the final NJCAA rankings. Eight starters (3 offense, 4 defense, 1 special teams) and 26 total players (13 offense, 12 defense, 1 special teams) return from that team.

The Blue Dragons are the preseason pick to win the Jayhawk Conference this season. They are also ranked No. 8 on the Gridironrr.com preseason rankings and No. 19 in the JC Gridwire Dirty 30 (that list includes California schools).

Hutchinson will have a tremendously tough schedule this season. The Blue Dragons have three opponents ranked in the Top 10, five in the Top 20 and seven foes either ranked or receiving votes.

Defending national champion East Mississippi is the preseason No. 1 pick in the 2019 rankings.

Iowa Western (Hutch is at IWCC on September 7) is No. 2. Garden City (Hutch is at GCCC on November 2), followed by Jones and the Blue Dragons.

Butler, which comes to Gowans Stadium on September 28, is No. 10. Iowa Central (Hutch goes there on November 9) is No. 14. Highland (the Dragons are at Highland on October 5) is No. 16. Coffeyville and Independence are both receiving votes. Hutch plays host to Independence on August 31 to open the home season and plays host to Coffeyville on October 12.