Shepherd picked to win MEC by league coaches
After reaching the NCAA DIvision II national championship game in Kansas City last season, Shepherd has received nine of the Mountain East Conference coach’s 11 votes to win the 2016 league championship.
Charleston, which lost only to Shepherd in its 2015 season and went to the playoffs itself, received the other two first-place votes in the pre-season guessing by the coaches. The Rams received two second-place votes.
The order of finish as seen by the coaches had Shepherd, Charleston and Concord coming home first, second and third. Glenville, Fairmont and Notre Dame of Ohio were then then selected as the next three finishers.
Selected to finish seventh through 11th were West Liberty, West Virginia State, West Virginia Wesleyan, Urbana and Virginia-Wise.
There will be four first-year coaches in the Mountain East Conference this season.
Concord, Notre Dame, West Virginia Wesleyan and Virginia-Wise will all have first-year head coaches in 2016.
Concord’s Garin Justice left after a 5-5 record in 2015 and went to Florida Atlantic University as an assistant coach.
Shepherd opens its 10-game regular season schedule on Saturday, Sept. 3, at 12-noon at home against West Virginia Wesleyan in Ram Stadium. The Rams have to travel to Charleston for a Thursday night, Sept. 8, game that will be aired on television by the Mountain East Conference.
The Rams have four other home games — on Sept. 17 at 12-noon against Virginia-Wise, on Oct. 8 at 12-noon against Glenville, on Oct. 22 at 12-noon against Concord and on Nov. 5 at 12 noon against Fairmont.
Shepherd’s only open date occurs on Saturday, Oct. 1.