author: nathan mccarville | sports writer
Nathan McCarville / Can this team live up to their 2018 potential?
Football team on upward swing
As April begins, the Rams spring camp starts (and ends before this article is set to go out) with multiple new recruits joining the team for the coming season. A total of 117 players in the spring football camp for the weekend, Coach Pierce led the special teams in lecture and on the field, Coach Neald taking on coaching the offensive line for the weekend, with Sheldon Merson Gray coaching the team as well.
The Rams recently announced their 2019 football schedule with the Manitoba Bisons being the first team the Rams face off against on Aug. 21 for the usual pre-season game held in Regina before the season .
The first regular–season game will be played on Aug. 31 in Vancouver against the UBC Thunderbirds, with the next game held at home against the Alberta Golden Bears for the first home game of the season on Sep. 6. The homecoming game will be followed closely by another home game against the Saskatchewan Huskies on Sep. 13, ready to put up a fight on the field.
After two weeks spent at home, the Rams will spend two weeks away, beginning on Sep. 20 where the Rams will face off against the elite Calgary Dinos. Given an easier run heading east instead of west in the second week, the Rams will be visiting the University of Manitoba to play against the Manitoba Bisons for the second time in the season, but the first regular season game on Sep. 28.
Oct. 4 brings a second game against the UBC Thunderbirds though this time held on Regina’s Mosaic Field, providing an exciting match, followed by a much–deserved bye-week for the boys on the field. Oct. 19 brings yet another game where the Rams will be facing off against the Alberta Golden Bears in Edmonton, followed by the final game of the Regular season for the Rams on Oct. 25, held in Regina on Leibel field, the Rams will play against the Manitoba Bisons one final time within the bounds of the regular season.
With the conclusion of the regular season, the Rams will get the chance to compete in the Nov. 2 Hardy Cup, depending on their standings, or go on to compete for the cup itself in the Canada West Final Hardy Cup game on Nov. 9.
The Rams also recently held their yearly Rams Homecoming Social before their spring camp, where they hosted two prominent alumni to the Rams football team. Brett Jones, a Rams alumnus who played between the years 2009-2012 as a centre, went on to play for the Calgary Stampede after his time with the Rams was done, at which point the Amateur Scouting Bureau had ranked him as the eighth best football player within the bounds of the players eligible for the 2013 CFL draft. Jones went on to play for the New York Giants from 2015-2017, and then for the Minnesota Vikings in 2018 until the present, being recently resigned to play for the Vikings in the 2019 season. The Homecoming Social was also attended by Marc Mueller who played for the Rams as the quarterback from 2007-2012. Mueller is the current running back coach to the Calgary Stampede, a position he gained in 2014 and still holds to this day. Mueller was also drafted to play for the Edmonton Eskimos in the 2011 season, though was released for the purpose of playing for the Rams for his final season of eligibility.
As many have already heard, a pair of the Rams are off to the CFL, assumed to currently be practicing alongside their new teams. Noah Picton, a notable and notoriously good quarterback the Rams were lucky to have over the past five seasons, Picton was instrumental to the Rams’ high–performing games. Breaking numerous Canada West and U SPORTS records throughout his time on the field with the Rams, Picton leaves the team as one of the most accomplished players the Rams football program has had the luck to have, breaking records for passing yards over his university careers, trading his jersey for the number–one jersey on his new team.
Picton was signed and will be playing for the Toronto Argonauts in the 2019 season as a quarterback. The standout quarterback played alongside another notable player, Atlee Simon ,who broke numerous records in the field of rushing yards. Simon goes on to play for the Calgary Stampeders.
And that wraps up the current coverage of the Rams. Stay tuned for what happens throughout the 2019 season and whether a Hardy Cup lays ahead for the Rams.