Coach Wagner maintains high hopes for the Ram’s season

Heat and pressure have no effect on team after last season’s success

By Erika Walker
On August 28, 2015

Photo by Summer Almaguer: Talon Smith, senior, catches the first kick-off of
the scrimmage. Last season Smith led the team
with 756 receiving yards.

After the most successful football season since 1997 in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs last year, the Rams are ready to take the 2015 season by storm.

Head Football Coach Will Wagner said he is not feeling any pressure for this season based off of last year’s successes.

“We as a staff and our players all put enough pressure on ourselves as it is, whether it is that we are 5-6 like last season or 9-3, it doesn’t matter,” Wagner said. “We want to win, and we want to be the best in our conference and then in the nation.” Linebacker Dominique McCoy said he couldn’t agree more.

“The target is on us now, so some might feel that we have a little added pressure, but I also feel as though it is nothing that we can’t excel in and take it just as far,” McCoy said.

Preparation for the season began Aug. 17 with the start of practices, and although he team has to deal with beating the West Texas heat, Wagner said everyone is bonding and practices are running as smooth as possible.

“I feel like we are all connecting very well,” Ronald Winston, running back, said. “Because of camp over the summer, everybody pretty much knows everybody at this point and we all have each other’s back.”

Among the new faces, Wagner said he is proud of the team he has this season, and there are a few players the Ram Fam should keep an eye out for.

“Mark Munson is a receiver who has been doing a really great job as well as Reggie Harris who is an offensive lineman,” Wagner said. “Those guys do some really great things on offense that stand out.”

Wagner said Grant Aschenbeck and Legista Beckford are two players that redshirted last year and have really stepped up their game as well as Davis Cortez who transferred in this season.

The Rams kick off their season Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. on LeGrand Stadium at 1st Community Credit Union Field against Oklahoma Panhandle State.

“We encourage everyone to pack the stadium,” Wagner said. “We’re going to put a great product on the field, and we just want everyone there to support us. The more people we have, the louder it will be and the more difficult it will be for our opponents to be successful.”

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