The Lone Star Conference came out of a six-year stretch in which it lost members to other conferences (Central Oklahoma and Northeastern State to the MIAA; East Central, Southeastern Oklahoma and Southwestern Oklahoma to the new Great American Conference) and other divisions (Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word to the FCS) with three new football members starting this season.
Oklahoma Panhandle accepted associate membership in football after years as an independent, Texas-Permian Basin is launching a football program this year, and Western New Mexico joins the league from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. These changes bring the league to 10 teams and eliminate the much-reviled two week ‘playoff’ format.
Texas A&M-Commerce might be happy to see the LSC playoffs disappear. After winning the last two LSC regular season titles, the Lions lost in the LSC championship game in each of the past two seasons — to Midwestern State last season and to Angelo State in 2014 (the latter seemingly costing TAMU-C a D2 football playoff berth).
Perhaps this newfound scheduling stability will help the LSC in the long run — especially in terms of playoff inclusion. Since Texas A&M-Kingsville’s back-to-back national semifinals runs in 2002 and 2003, only one team has reached D2 football’s final four – West Texas A&M in 2012.
With that backdrop, here’s our 2016 LSC football preview, including preseason D2 football rankings by BennettRanks, a list of returning all-conference performers, and a team-by-team preview of the upcoming season.
|BR||TEAM||OVERALL RECORD||LSC RECORD||COACHES POLL|
|27||West Texas A&M||6-4||3-3||4th|
|31||Eastern New Mexico||6-6||3-3||5th|
|103||Western New Mexico||4-7||3-6 (RMAC)||9th|
RETURNING 2015 ALL-LSC PERFORMERS
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
RB: Richard Cooper, Sr., Texas A&M-Commerce
FB: Kamal Cass, Jr., Eastern New Mexico
WR: Anthony Autry, Sr., Texas A&M-Kingsville
WR: Donovan Thompson, Jr., Angelo State
WR: Lance Evans, Sr., Texas A&M-Commerce
OT: John Rowell, Jr., Midwestern State
C: Tyler Hamilton, Sr., Angelo State
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
OLB: Elliot Peters, Sr., Eastern New Mexico
CB: Fred Lawrence, Jr., Angelo State
S: Hunter Streuling, Jr., West Texas A&M
FIRST TEAM SPECIALISTS
P: Felipe Parra, Sr., West Texas A&M
RS: Buck Wilson, Jr., Texas A&M-Commerce
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
FB: Danny Ramirez, Sr., Texas A&M-Kingsville
WR: Darby Smith, Sr., Texas A&M-Commerce
WR: Statron Jones, Sr., Midwestern State
TE: Torrey Thomas, Soph., Texas A&M-Kingsville
OG: Jason Osei, Sr., Texas A&M-Commerce
OG: Quade Huckaba, Sr., Angelo State
OT: Bo Villarreal, Sr., Texas A&M-Kingsville
OT: Denzell Dotson, Sr., Midwestern State
C: Austin Carson, Sr., West Texas A&M
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DE: Sione Tupouata, Sr., Texas A&M-Kingsville
ILB: Lawrence Hall, Sr., Eastern New Mexico
CB: De'Aundre Sanders, Sr., Eastern New Mexico
CB: RaShawn DuPree, Sr., West Texas A&M
S: Davontae Merriweather, Sr., West Texas A&M
SECOND TEAM SPECIALISTS
DS: Cameron Rogers, Sr., Texas A&M-Commerce[divider]
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