SIUE Head Coach David Ray said he is excited for the season to begin and the Cougars to have an opportunity to compete on a conference level.
"To be part of a conference and have the first rankings come out, that's exciting," said Ray. "This is something I'm going to show the team, and this is a motivator."
The SoCon coaches selected defending tournament champion Chattanooga to repeat as league champions. Chattanooga and No. 2 pick The Citadel both earned four first-place votes. The rest of the poll in order by expected finish was Campbell, Appalachian State, Gardner-Webb, VMI, SIUE, and Davidson.
Ray said the Cougars will look to position themselves to be respectable in the Conference. SIUE has only a handful of experience against SoCon competition with dual matches Chattanooga, Campbell, and Gardner-Webb.
The Cougars are pointing to Dec. 1 as its first action in the SoCon. SIUE battles Gardner-Webb at the Indiana Duals in Bloomington, Ind. Ray said his team has to believe it is capable of being successful.
Ray said a conference season is just what the Cougars need. "It gives you a purpose during the season. The duals have more meaning. It really elevates the intensity in every aspect, including in the practice room, the coach's office, traveling, and the locker room."
The seventh-place selection also doesn't bother the fifth-year head coach. He'll continue to motivate his team by pointing toward the future.
"It's a good place to start because I see us going in one direction and that's up," Ray said.
2012-13 SoCon Wrestling Preseason Coaches Poll
|School (First-place votes)||Points|
|1. Chattanooga (4)||46|
|2. The Citadel (4)||44|
|4. Appalachian State||33|
2012-13 SoCon Wrestling Preseason All-Conference Team
125 Nick Soto, Chattanooga@
133 Brett Boston, Appalachian State
(tie) Joey Rizzolino, Campbell
141 Dean Pavlou, Chattanooga^
149 Jordan Dix, The Citadel
157 Nick Rex, Campbell
165 Justin Guthrie, Gardner-Webb
174 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj, The Citadel*
184 James Cook, Campbell
197 Niko Brown, Chattanooga
HWT Odie Delaney, The Citadel #
@ 2012 SoCon champion at 133
^ - 2010, 2012 SoCon champion at 149
* - 2012 SoCon champion at 174, 2010 SoCon champion at 157
# - 2010, 2012 SoCon champion