Rams hit the field

Article: Autumn McDowell - Sports Editor

Article: Autumn McDowell – Sports Editor

Fans look for a new quarterback to lead the team

Everyone’s favourite University of Regina team is back.

After a long and unsettling off-season, the Regina Rams have returned to the gridiron once again, however, local celebrity Marc Mueller will not be joining them.

The Rams lost their star quarterback to graduation this year, along with 19 other players. With the loss of so many veterans, many Rams fans were questioning the immediate fate of their home team. That is, until former University of Hawaii quarterback Cayman Shutter answered the call.

“Cayman is a very special athlete. He has sound experience at a very competitive level,” said Rams head coach Frank McCrystal. “He is mature and very bright academically as well as on the football field.”

Although Mueller won’t be able to compete alongside Shutter on the field, the Rams newest starting pocket will have the benefit of learning from the Rams veteran, as Mueller has made the move to coaching staff as the teams quarterback coach.

“Marc is an excellent football mind and should make the transition from American football to three down football easier for Cayman,” said McCrystal, who is heading into his 15th season with the team.

Even though fans may be able to breathe a little easier at the fate of their quarterback position, there are still 19 other spots that need to be filled; however, McCrystal isn’t worried.

“Losing players to graduation and or professional opportunities is always challenging,” he said. “However, it is a part of varsity athletics. Really, it provides opportunity for a new group of athletes to have a rewarding experience.”

True rookie Noah Picton made the most of his new opportunity in the Rams first pre season game on Aug. 23rd.

The freshman came into the game and with just 10 minutes left and a devastating 17-point deficit. Taking a page out of Mueller’s book, the youngster showed veteran poise in the pocket, completing all 12 of his passes en route to orchestrating a 30-25 comeback victory over the visiting Manitoba Bisons.

Thee Noah Picton, ladies and gentlemaen. /Arthur Ward

Thee Noah Picton, ladies and gentlemaen. /Arthur Ward

Besides Noah Picton, McCrystal is excited about numerous other players who have the chance to make a name for themselves and play a major role on the team.

“Aaron Picton [Noah’s cousin] on the O-line will be very good and is ranked in the top 10 for the 2014 CFL draft,” he said. “[Wide receiver] Addison Richards will be very good for us and Connor Ketchen at the linebacker position should really do well this year.”

During their first regular season game on Aug. 31, the Rams took on the visiting University of Saskatchewan Huskies, but despite a valiant effort, the visiting team lost 40-33.

Heading into the game, many people were interested to see who would be awarded the start at quarterback. Would it be the comeback hero Picton or the highly touted Shutter?

Ultimately, it was Shutter who lead the team in the loss, finishing the game with 284 yards with a 20-40 completion record.

As predicted by head coach McCrystal, wide receiver Richards played well for the Rams, tying with fifth year Kolton Solomon for most receiving yards with 105.

While the team may have a 0-1 start to the season, the Rams future may not be as grim as it once seemed.

The Rams next home game will be this Friday, when the Calgary Dinos (1-0) are in town. Kick off is slated for 7:00p.m.


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