U of R Rams looking strong

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TUCK IN IT DUDE! /Arthur Ward

TUCK IN IT DUDE! /Arthur Ward

Coming off a win over the U of A, Rams ready to roll

The University of Regina Rams begin their season this week, opening up at home versus the UBC Thunderbirds. The team is coming off a grueling training camp led by Head Coach Frank McCrystal to prepare for a long season. I was able to talk to slot back Riley Wilson about training camp, the preseason game, and the upcoming season for the Rams.

Training camp marks the beginning of every team’s year and sets the tone for the entire season, so it was important that the Rams players and coaches got themselves off to a good start and right into the swing of things. Wilson talked about the focus of the camp.

“In camp, we were focusing on bettering our year’s record from the previous 2-6 last season by working hard every week.”

As Wilson mentioned, the Rams had a disappointing season last year and plan to improve on that record by maintaining a razor- sharp focus every time they step on the field, whether at practice or in a game.

Shifting from a team focus to a personal focus, I asked Wilson about his own priorities during training camp and over the summer.

“I’ve been working hard all summer in our off-season training programs to get stronger and faster. As well as making sure I read my playbook so that I know my assignments.”

Watching how Wilson moves on the field, even after an injury, it is evident that the work has paid off. I saw crisp route running and some great movement after the catch.

The preparation culminated with a beautiful touchdown grab in the back of the Mosaic Stadium endzone from quarterback Cayman Shutter, which Wilson described to me.

“Yeah, I just ran a seam, Shutter threw it right to my numbers, caught her and tip-toed in the endzone. It was nice,” Wilson noted with a smile on his face.

Our conversation moved on to the soon-to-be-retired Head Coach of the Rams, Frank McCrystal. If you have watched our Sports Roundtable on the Carillon Facebook page, you will know that McCrystal is entering his 31st and final season with the Rams. Wilson noted McCrystal’s great passion for the game and his impact on the team.

“He’s a very motivating coach and considering this is his last season we want to win it for him as much as we want to win it for our teammates.”

McCrystal’s influence is also felt off the field.

Wilson noted: “He also helps out off the field with our class selection and does a good job of helping the rookies get set up.”

The Rams have had their struggles in the recent past, but they looked sharp in their pre-season game last Friday versus the University of Alberta Golden Bears. Right now, confidence is sky high for the team, and that is something that Wilson feels strongly about.

“I think we have a very strong team this year with a lot of potential. I can’t see why we couldn’t make it to the Hardy Cup and beyond.”

The Rams open their season on Friday at Mosaic Stadium versus the UBC Thunderbirds at 7 PM. Be sure to come out and support the boys!

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