McNeese State puts 8 on All-Southland preseason team
McNeese State’s Cowboys have been picked to win the Southland Conference football title this year by league coaches in their annual poll.
Also, tailback Andre Anderson, offensive guard Miguel Gauthreaux, defensive end Desmund Lighten, safety Malcolm Bronson and place kicker Josh Lewis have been named to the all-SLC first team in a pre-season selection by the league coaches.
Announcement of the facts were released Wednesday during the annual SLC football media day at L’Auberge du Lac resort in Lake Charles.
All league coaches and two players from each team were in attendance at the event. Representing McNeese were head coach Matt Viator along with Gauthreaux and Lighten.
The Cowboys, league champions for three of the past five years and runnerup the other two campaigns, drew in 44 points and three first place votes from the coaches. Defending champion Stephen F. Austin was second with 43 points and three first place votes. Central Arkansas was picked third with one first place vote and 37 points and Sam Houston State got a first place vote and 36 points. Northwestern State was picked to finish fifth with 24 points followed by Nicholls with 16 points, Southeastern Louisiana with 15 points and Lamar with nine.
In a poll by the league’s sports information directors, SFA was picked first by a single point over the Cowboys.
Anderson, Gauthreaux, Lighten, Bronson and Lewis were all first team all-conference selections a year ago.
Cowboys named to the second team were offensive guard Jonathan Landry, defensive tackle Pat Williams and safety Darrell Jenkins.
Said McNeese head coach Matt Viator, “SFA is the obvious choice for me since they are the defending champions. Our players and coaches have to understand that it (the pre-season poll) doesn’t mean anything. High expectations are good but it’s a pre-season poll. You do want to set the bar high.”
The Cowboys will welcome in players next Wednesday with the first practice sessioin set for Thursday morning. McNeese opens the season Sept. 3 on the road against Kansas.