VALDOSTA, Ga. - Valdosta State was tabbed the preseason favorite to win the Gulf South Conference in a vote of the league coaches, as announced by the GSC Office on Wednesday.
The Blazers received three of the four first place votes and one second place vote to garner 15 total points, edging West Alabama, which had two first place votes and two second place to finish with 14 points. Delta State tallied two second place votes and a pair of thirds to register 10 points while North Alabama had six votes to finish fourth in the league preseason rankings. West Georgia rounded out the field with five points. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team in the poll.
Valdosta State also placed eight players on the Preseason All-GSC team, including four each on offense and defense. Three offensive lineman garnered the honor as guard Edmund Kugbila was joined by tackles Mesh Wokomaty and Ryan Schraeder. Wide receiver Gerald Ford rounded out the offensive side of the ball.
On defense, VSU garnered two of the five defensive line positions as end Tyler Josey and tackle Lawrence Virgil each received the recognition. They were joined by linebacker Chris Pope and cornerback Matt Pierce.
West Alabama led the way with 10 total Preseason members while West Georgia had six and Delta State and North Alabama four each.
Valdosta State opens its 2012 preseason camp next Monday, August 6 and its season on Saturday, September 1 when it travels to Saginaw Valley State. The Blazers return 18 starters and 47 letterwinners off of a team that went 6-4 last season.