Football Lions Crack National Poll
NAIA Coaches Poll has SAGU rated #33
Gridders recognized for 3-1 start
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- For the first time in the school’s 15-year history of playing college football, Southwestern Assemblies of God University was listed in the rankings of the weekly Coaches Poll.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, with 300 members, announced their Top 25 teams on Monday afternoon. While the Lions did not crack that group, they were among a short list of teams who received votes in the poll of select football coaches.
To be exact, SAGU garnered one vote, which put them at #33 in the country after four weeks of play.
Following a 46-2 pasting of Haskell University (Kan) on Saturday, their third straight win, the Lions improved their record to 3-1. Their only setback was a 29-21 loss in Kansas to Bethany College (4-0), who are #15 this week.
“It is nice to be recognized for what has been accomplished by these players to this point in the season,” veteran head coach Jesse Godding said, high fiving his players like the photo above. “There is a lot of football yet to be played. So we can't exactly rest on our laurels at this juncture.”
“If we can continue to play well all that stuff takes care of itself,” he added. “Our focus is not on the peripheral right now but rather on the task of preparing for and playing football games.”
“Historically, it is a milestone for the program to be able to receive one vote in the top 25. It has been a lot of work and perseverance on the part of administration and coaches to get to this point in the programs development,” said Godding. SAGU is now in its’ 15th season.
Abraham Lincoln said that one should not worry when not recognized, but rather, to “strive to be worthy of recognition.”
SAGU will have that opportunity this Saturday, October 1, when they play host to the 11th ranked Southern Nazarene University (4-0) at Waxahachie's Lumpkins Stadium. The game is set to have a 6:00pm kickoff.
John Allen, the team’s defensive coordinator and former head coach at SAGU in its’ inaugural two seasons, also chimed in. “This is uncharted territory for SAGU this early in the season. We have had three wins going into a game, but we were 3-5 going into the last game of the season,” he pointed out.
Ironically, that game was against Southern Nazarene, Saturday’s opponent. And the Lions won, 21-13.
SNU, however, has owned the rest of the series, sporting a 9-1 mark for the Crimson Storm. They are located in a suburb of Oklahoma City, Ok.
“More of our destiny is still in front of us this time,” Allen resumed. “As I have told our defense, it is time to write a new book or at least a new chapter in the book of SAGU football. It is time for them to “Make Their Mark!””
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