Chowan picked last in GSC pre-season poll

Published 9:47 am Friday, July 28, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. – For Chowan University, there’s nowhere to go other than up.

The Gulf South Conference (GSC) released its pre-season poll on Thursday following its annual media day held at the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama.

First-year GSC member Chowan University, coming off a 7-4 season in 2022 and their first-ever CIAA Northern Division title and CIAA Championship appearance, enter the conference with little familiarity among the league’s eight other members. The Hawks were selected to finish ninth in the GSC in 2023 with Delta State and West Florida heading up the poll.

Delta State, picked to finish first in GSC, went 11-2 in 2022 before exiting in the second round of the NCAA Playoffs in a loss to West Florida. The Statesmen received six of the nine first-place votes.

West Florida, with a pair of first-place votes, was picked to finish second after splitting the regular season title with Delta State in 2022. They posted a 12-2 overall record last season and lost in the NCAA DII semifinals.

If predictions hold, Delta State would capture conference titles in back-to-back season for the first time since the 2010 and 2011 seasons. West Florida meanwhile can become the first program to win three-consecutive GSC crowns since Valdosta State, which accomplished the feat in 2018, 2019 and 2021.

West Georgia (8-2 last year), West Alabama (5-6), and Valdosta State (5-6) round out the top-five of the GSC pre-season poll. Mississippi College (4-7), North Greenville (3-8), and Shorter (3-8) rank above the Hawks.

Chowan kicks off the season on August 31 on the road against Barton before hosting Delta State in the conference opener on September 9.

As announced in January of this year, the Chowan football program will compete in the Gulf South Conference for only two seasons (2023 and 2024). Beginning with the 2025 season, the Chowan football program will move to the Conference Carolinas as a full member. Conference Carolinas added Shorter University as the league’s 15th member and sixth football playing member. Other than Chowan and Shorter, the other football-playing members of Conference Carolinas will be Barton, Erskine, UNC Pembroke, and North Greenville.

The remainder of Chowan’s athletic programs are already affiliated with Conference Carolinas.

Hawks Football 2023 Schedule

Aug. 31 at Barton (6 pm)

Sept. 9 *Delta St. (1 pm)

Sept. 16 at Shorter (12 noon)

Sept. 23 *Benedict (1 pm)

Sept. 30 *Valdosta St. (1 pm)

Oct. 7 *N. Greenville (1 pm)

Oct. 14 at W. Georgia (6 pm)

Oct. 21 at Miss. College (7 pm)

Oct. 28 *W. Alabama (1 pm)

Nov. 11 at W. Florida (2 pm)

* denotes home game