YUMA, Ariz. – Football season keeps creeping ever closer, and expectations keep building for the Arizona Western football team as fall draws near with each preseason poll. The Mats claimed the top spot in the first Dirty 30 rankings at JCGridiron.com.
The Dirty 30 rankings are compiled by Brad Hoiseth, and they compare schools from both the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA). Hoiseth, in the writeup about the rankings, explains that he takes a wide variety of factors into account when building his top 30. East Mississippi, San Francisco, Trinity Valley (TX) and Ventura (CA) round out the top five.
AWC was ranked fourth in Street & Smith’s Junior College Top 25 earlier in the summer.
This year, the Mats have six home games as part of a 10-game schedule. AWC opens the season on the road at Eastern Arizona, and the Mats have their home opener against Planet Athlete on September 16. Tickets are only $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and military members. Children 12 and under as well as AWC students and staff (with current school ID) get in for FREE!
The Mats wrapped up 2016 11-1 overall after making it to the NJCAA National Championship Game. Patrick Macon was named the NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year, and AWC had five NJCAA All-Americans. Twenty-six players signed with four-year schools from that team.
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma. AWC leads the state in enrollment growth over the past 10 years and handed out more than 2,400 certificates and degrees in 2015-16.