One thing is apparent with the JSU football, soccer and volleyball teams: they have a massive chip on their shoulders.
In football, the Gamecocks face an uphill battle in the eyes of the other OVC teams as they were voted to finish fourth.
At the OVC’s media day in July, new head coach Bill Clark expected to be ranked lower than fourth due to the new staff and not knowing the players. He was pleased that the Gamecocks are still held in such high regard by the other OVC schools. “It says what our program has been. It’s been a program that’s won conference championships and been right up there.”
The team started off in the right direction with an opening win under coach Bill Clark who took over the reins of the program in December.
Football is not the only program under the direction of a new coach, the soccer team is also. Neil Macdonald is the new man in charge and he takes over a team that is picked to place seventh in the OVC.
The Gamecocks have responded well to the preseason poll. The Macdonald Era began with a 1-0 victory over McNeese State and a 1-1 draw against Louisiana Lafayette.
“I was pleased with the way we played on our first outing. We had some great phases of play in possession, and defended really well as a team throughout the weekend. We still have a lot to work on but have a solid platform to build from,” said Macdonald.
The only team returning its head coach is volleyball. Coach Joseph Goodson is preparing for his third season at JSU.
The Gamecocks were picked fourth in the east division and seventh overall in the OVC. Coach Goodson does not put stock into the preseason polls.
“Last year, they picked us 11th,” he said. The Gamecocks finished tied for sixth with Eastern Illinois.
“I have an idea in my mind where I think we’ll finish. I also have an idea where we could finish if we play well.”