MIAMI — All but two of the eight members of the Southwest Junior College Football Conference get a jump on the season with regularly scheduled games Saturday, Aug. 26.
The earliest start to the regular season was Thursday as the No. 7 ranked Navarro College Bulldogs traveled to Milledgeville, Georgia, to face No. 8 rated Georgia Military Institute.
The game is billed as “A Taste of Milledgeville/Fan Fest.”
Last season the Bulldogs finished second in the conference with a 6-3 overall record
While No. 14 ranked Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and Cisco Junior College does not open the season until Sept. 2, NEO’s opponent on that date, New Mexico Military Institute does have a non-conference game this weekend.
The Broncos are scheduled to face the Air Force Prep at 6 p.m. in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the Air Force Academy.
Last year NMMI crushed the Falcons 62-27 at Colt Field in Roswell, New Mexico. The Broncos finished 3-4 in their first year in the SWJCFC and 5-4 overall.
Defending conference champion and No. 4 ranked Trinity Valley Community College will host Pima, Arizona at 5 p.m. Saturday in the “Battle of the Valley” game at Athens, Texas.
The Cardinals won the SWJCFC crown with a 7-1 record while finishing 11-1 overall. Their only loss was a 30-29 nail-biter to the Golden Norsemen at Red Robertson Field.
Although two SWJCFC opponents in Eastern Texas open the regular season against each other, the game won’t technically count as a conference matchup. The one that counts will be the regular season finale at Tyler.
While the Tyler Apaches and the Kilgore Rangers are only 31 miles apart, both programs eagerly await this clash.
Played at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore, the game pits No. 16 ranked Tyler against No. 25 rated Kilgore.
Last year the two foes only met once, in the regular season finale. A severe thunderstorm forced cancellation of the season opener.
The Rangers cruised to a 50-29 route over the Apaches and turned around the very next week to win a 58-51 shootout in the SWJCFC semifinals.
Kilgore, who lost for the second straight year in the championship game, finished 6-5 last season while the Apaches compiled a 5-4 mark.
The Rangers have an all-time record of 491-289-14, and are the winningest junior college football program in the state of Texas.
Blinn entertains Texas A&T of Houston at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26 in a non-conference game. Last year Blinn finished 5-4 overall.