Blazers picked as a favorite to win MSC West Division - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Blazers picked as a favorite to win MSC West Division

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Belhaven football team was selected as a co-favorite to win the 2013 Mid-South Conference West Division title in the preseason coaches' polls announced by the league office on Friday.

The Blazers, along with Bethel University (TN), received 20 votes earning a tie for first in the polls. The Wildcats are the defending West Division champions after going 6-0 in league play and 9-4 overall in 2012.

A solid foundation for the future was built by the Belhaven football team with a successful 2012 campaign. The Blazers showed a tremendous amount of resiliency after a rough 0-3 start to the season, finishing the campaign with a 6-5 record. Truth be told, if a few plays here or there go differently the team could be looking at more victories. Belhaven also re-wrote the school record books on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball thanks to some outstanding team and individual performances last season.

The Blazers were a win away from their first MSC West Division title a season ago, but came up just a bit short to Bethel 21-17 in the regular season finale, concluding the conference slate of games with a 4-2 record.

"We did a lot of good things statistically, but our record wasn't where we wanted it to be," said Head Coach Joe Thrasher. "At the end of the day playing in a conference championship is one thing, but winning a conference championship is our goal. To taste some success last year was good and too completely revamp and offense from what Belhaven has been known for and to change a demeanor of the defense was phenomenal for us. To start 0-3 and then win 6 of 8 to close the season was also big for us. I'm excited about the direction of Belhaven football, excited about the young men coming back, and I think our seniors from this past season helped lay a foundation of where we want to be and where ultimately as players and staff we want to be this fall."

Over in the East Division, defending champ Georgetown College (KY) racked up 35 votes just edging out University of the Cumberlands (KY) by three votes. Both programs are coming off 10 win seasons and each appeared in the NAIA Championship Series in 2012.

Belhaven kicks off the 2013 campaign on Saturday August 31st against Texas College at H.T. Newell Field beginning at 7:00 PM.

(COURTESY: Belhaven Athletics)

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