Chris Fisher has his work cut out for him, but the coaches think he may get it done.
The first-year head coach has the Grizzlies picked third in the East division of the preseason coach’s rankings for the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference.
It’s Butler’s highest preseason selection since the 2017-18 season. Butler ultimately did not meet expectations as they finished under .500 for the season.
Butler is picked third behind Coffeyville, who’s favored to win the division and Cowley College.
After Butler is Independence at No. 4 and Neosho County at fifth place. Cloud County and Allen round out the rest of the East division.
On the West side of the coaching rankings, Barton is a stunning pick by the coaches to win the West division. The Cougars are not in the preseason NJCAA Top 25 but are picked to win the division.
Behind Barton is nationally ranked Hutchinson. Steve Eck and the Blue Dragons are the only West division team in the Top 25. Coffeyville is No. 17 for the East.
After Hutch is Seward County and Garden City for the top four. Pratt is fifth; Colby is sixth. Northwest Kansas Tech just beats out Dodge City for last in the West.
The Grizzlies will kick off their 2019-20 season with a home game on Nov. 1 against Kansas Wesleyan JV at the Power Plant.
Their first real game Nov. 5 at Iowa Western. They were 21-9 last year, including 11-4 at home.
The Grizzlies will participate in the Hesston Classic on Nov. 8-9 in Hesston. Then, attend the State Fair Classic in Sedalia, Missouri Nov. 15-16.
Their first real home game (non-JV opponent) will be on Nov. 19 against Iowa Western.
They begin their KJCCC schedule on Tuesday, Nov. 26 against Seward County in Liberal, Kan.
Their first home KJCCC game will be on Dec. 7 against rival Hutchinson.
2. Cowley College
5. Neosho County
6. Cloud County
3. Seward County
4. Garden City
7. Northwest Kansas Tech
8. Dodge City