Rams Start 2009 Fall Camp
By Greg Urbanoski
August 21, 2009
The University of Regina Rams have started their 2009 season with their fall camp.
The Rams began their camp with a team retreat as they begin to find their identity both on and off the field. There are a number of changes to the Rams line-up for the upcoming year and Head Coach Frank McCrystal said the camp, which hits the practice field on Friday, should feature stiff competition.
“The retreat is Thursday and Friday we have meetings and we’re on the field late Friday afternoon,” said McCrystal.
“One really exciting thing between our spring camp and now is we have running back Cale Inglis who played for Acadia for three years, played junior football with the Edmonton Wildcats before that and is entering the Masters program here in business. He brings experience and you see he led the conference in rushing.
“Not only do you get experience but when you have someone entering a Masters program, you’re dealing with a mature student – athlete. That really allows those guys who are good in school and organized to excel on the field because their day is organized and we’re looking forward to dealing with him.”
McCrystal said there are 24 new players on the Rams and while Inglis is a big addition, McCrystal said Chris Mercer, offensive tackle formerly of the Hilltops; Andrew Busby, a receiver from the Hilltops is important; and Matt Yausie, a defensive back, are also important additions.
“Those are guys who we are confident can come in here and play,” said McCrystal. “Those are guys who have the physical maturity and football experience to contribute right away and at that stage and age they need to.
“We’re not as nice in the fall. In Spring Camp we are encouraging and selecting guys and in the fall camp you are competing for starting positions. You are preparing to get on the field and play and it gets very intense.”
McCrystal said the Rams try to instill an attitude of playing to the end of the game. He said he is encouraged by the efforts of the players in the off-season workout program and the physical gains they have made. He said the Rams will be a strong and fast team.
The Rams hope to be better on special teams this year, especially on the return game. McCrystal said the Rams are also looking to create more turnovers this year.
“We’ve been a very successful football team,” said McCrystal. “Sometimes the expectations are if you don’t win a Canadian championship you aren’t successful but that’s not right. We’ve been in the league 10 years and only one team in this league has won a Vanier Cup. I sincerely believe if you talk to other guys from other leagues who come into here they will say this is the toughest league in the country.
“We do end up beating up the hell out of each other and that’s what causes us sometimes to not get all the way. We’ve been a successful football program here and we expect more of the same. We’re very close, a play here and there and we hope to get over the hump.”
The Rams are preparing for University of Manitoba Bison while installing their offensive and defensive systems. The Bison will be visiting the Rams at Mosaic Stadium Sept. 4 for the Rams season opener.
“We play Manitoba, U of S and Calgary and then we go out to UBC,” said McCrystal. “The league is tough and physical and if you can get out of the blocks and get a win or two under your belt, it gives you an advantage in an eight game schedule. There isn’t an easy schedule in this league.”
The Rams camp will run Aug. 22-25 with morning practices on the field from 10:25 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and afternoon practises from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.