The Saskatchewan Roughriders opened their season in late June, followed by the Regina Thunder in mid-August, now it’s the turn of Regina’s third upper tier football team the University of Regina Rams to start their season with a game against the Alberta Golden Bears at Mosaic Stadium tonight at 7 p.m.
If the Rams had their druthers, they’d presumably prefer a start like the Thunder, who currently sit tied for first with a 3W-0L record in the PFC with the Saskatoon Hilltops, as opposed to the Riders, who have yet to record a victory in 2015.
The Rams schedule is only eight games long, so there’s no way they’ll be able to match the Riders current level of futility of 0W-9L. But they’re not likely to go undefeated either as the Thunder currently are heading into a home and home series with the Hilltops on Sept. 5 in Saskatoon and Regina on Sept. 12.
Ramville will have a new look this fall with the retirement of long-time head coach Frank McCrystal. McCrystal and the Rams enjoyed great success at the junior level, but were only so-so once they shifted to the much tougher Canadian university ranks in the late 1990s. To replace McCrystal, the Ram braintrust selected Mike Gibson. Gibson has CFL and NCAA experience, and will be a veteran hand steering the team.
I don’t have a handle on the Ram roster at present, but looking at the team’s Canada West schedule this year, it looks pretty daunting with home and home series against perennial powers Calgary Dinos and Saskatchewan Huskies, along with a home and home against the Manitoba Bisons who won the conference championship last year with an upset victory over Calgary in the conference final. Aside from this game against Alberta, and six games against Calgary, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Rams also play the UBC Thunderbirds in Vancouver on Sept. 12.
To find out more about the Rams and their prospects for 2015 you can visit the Ram website.