University of Regina Rams head coach Steve Bryce has accomplished a lot since taking over the program prior to the 2016 season, but since taking the clipboard from Mike Gibson there is one thing that has eluded him–a playoff victory.
In both of his years, Bryce has lost a Canada West semi-final to the UBC Thunderbirds–once in Regina and once in Vancouver. The quest to not only get that first playoff win, but a Canada West conference title and a possible appearance in the Vanier Cup starts for the Rams on Saturday as they begin training camp.
“It’s on your mind and you think about it. “Bryce said during an appearance on 620 CKRM’s Sportscage. “To take that next step, we have to play outstanding football when it counts. Last year was a disappointing end giving up 19 in the first quarter and then having a comeback that just fell short. You can’t make mistakes in big games and it is time to correct those mistakes and win a playoff game. It’s early, but I like the look of the guys we have brought in and the chemistry that is being formed. I’m excited and the coaches are excited to see what the guys can do.”
Bryce knows the 2018 season will be a tough one as the team is in what he feels the most competitive conference. While many believe the Rams, UBC and Calgary will fight for the top three spots, Bryce says Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta can not be discounted because of the fact all teams return their same quarterback as last season which should provide for some entertaining contests.
The team will be led by 5th year quarterback Noah Picton, 5th year running back and Calgary Stampeders draft pick Atlee Simon, and linebacker Danny Nesbitt who will exhaust their eligibility at the end of the season.
Some of the new bodies hoping to make an impact are DB Brandon Brooks from the University of Nevada, DL Kyle Forde from St. Francis Xavier and kicker Aldo Galvan from Mexico. In the recent IFAF U19 World Championship, Galvan hit a 48-yard field goal in a win over the United States in the semifinals helping his country to a silver medal at the event which was won by Canada. That Canadian team had Rams recruits Jaxon Ford (DB) and Josh White (LB) on the team.
The Rams will take on Manitoba in an exhibition game at Leibel Field on Wednesday, August 22 with the season-opener at home against Calgary on Friday, August 31. 620 CKRM will have all regular season and playoff games for you this season.