By: Austin Stirling and Josiah Caswell
The Saints open their men’s basketball season at home on Nov. 1 against Pro Holmes Sports Academy. This game will be the first of 30 regular-season games for the Saints, with 15 being home matchups. Santa Fe will be looking to start the season off with a win and continue the momentum from its historic season in 2021-2022.
A Glance at Last Year’s Men’s Basketball Season
Last season was a memorable one for the Saints. The 2021-2022 team finished with a record of 24-6, a Central Conference Championship and an FCSAA/NJCAA Region VIII State Tournament appearance.
It averaged just under 80 points per game (79.9) and shot an efficient 44.8 percent from the field. It climbed to as high as No. 18 on the NJCAA polls and was competitive throughout the entire season.
This was one of the best seasons in school history and provided excitement throughout the year. Santa Fe’s magical season came to an end on March 2, as it was finally beaten by the No. 4 seeded Florida Southwestern in the FCSAA/NJCAA Region VIII State Tournament by a score of 67-59.
More still to come on the game from Niceville. pic.twitter.com/QKSEhb5PGB
— Santa Fe Saints Men’s Basketball (@SFsaintsMBB) March 3, 2022
The Upcoming Santa Fe Season
The Saints come into this season as one of the major underdogs of the NJCAA Region 8 division. They find themselves ranked No. 8 in the preseason coaches poll. Santa Fe received five first-place votes and 39 points overall.
Northwest Florida State sits at the top, while only Gulf Coast State and Daytona State sit behind Santa Fe within the top ten. The Saints are returning with a new roster, with many young players, playing a major role in the ranking.
Your Saints checking in at #8 in the loaded Region 8 Coaches preseason poll. pic.twitter.com/nPdh9WbeSt
— Santa Fe Saints Men’s Basketball (@SFsaintsMBB) October 19, 2022
Already on the Court
Nov. 1 will not be the first time on the court for the Saints this year. The team has participated in a fair bit of preseason action already, having participated in two jamborees. It took on Enterprise, Chipola and Gulf Coast during the Tallahassee Jamboree and GA Highlands, South GA Tech and SW Mississippi in the Orlando All-American Jamboree.
Additionally, the team is holding a scrimmage with Florida Southern just a few days ahead of the season-opener Saturday.
Coach Chris Mowry will be entering his 20th season with the team but with a whole new roster. PHS Academy was the home-opener for Santa Fe last year as well, where the Saints cruised to an easy 104-64 victory to start the season off strong.
.@SFsaintsMBB Cruises to a 104-64 Victory in Season Opener over PHS Academy
— Santa Fe Saints (@santafesaints) November 2, 2021