Plenty of veteran experience for University of Regina Rams despite inexperience at QB


The Canada West Football season is just around the corner, and the University of Regina Rams Head Coach Mike McConkey is looking forward to a full schedule in 2022.

A trip to Medicine Hat will kick off the year for the Rams as they will meet the University of Alberta Golden Bears for an exhibition game on Thursday night. McConkey says the Medicine Hat area has been a strong recruiting area for the Rams over the last five to six years and the team is hoping to continue that trend.

The Rams will have to begin the season with a big loss at quarterback. Josh Donnelly will be sidelined indefinitely following another incident involving concussions.

McConkey said Donnelly suffered a concussion that shortened his season last year with another occurring in the East-West All-Star Game this past winter, and the QB has been unable to recover from the injury at this time which has left several questions about the playing future for Donnelly.

“There then comes the question of how many are too many? ” The Rams Head Coach said. “He’s (Donnelly) getting different opinions, start looking at to see if it’s a neck issue, so we’re still ongoing with that and we’ll see how that plays out and see whether he comes back this season or next season, we’ll see how the chips on that one.”

McConkey says the latest injuries could be career threatening for Donnelly.

“I know if he comes back, he’ll pick up right from where he left off as top tier quarterback, and if that is  it, I know he’ll have a bright future, coaching, he’s already helping out our quarterback group.” The Rams Head Coach added “You can tell just tell that some of guys just have it and he can be a high level coach wherever he goes and hopefully here with me, but we will see where that goes.”

With Donnelly no longer in the Rams lineup, a quarterbacking battle has emerged. One of the  candidates for the University of Regina is Noah Pelletier. A first year player from Balfour Collegiate who redshirted last season and now has five years of eligibility remaining. McConkey believes Pelletier contains the “it” factor needed at the quarterbacking position.

The other competitor in the QB battle for the Rams is third year player, Bryden O’Flaherty from Calgary, who has had some game experience for the Rams over the last couple of seasons.

A decision on who will be made the starting quarterback for the University of Regina Rams will come following Thursday’s preseason game.

With a less than experienced quarterback this season, McConkey says the Rams will be relying a veteran receiving core led by Riley Boersma, D’Sean Mimbs,  Bennet Stusek and Emmett Steadman.

“We’re going to lean on those guys throughout the season, they need to make some big plays and if it’s a 50-50 ball, we call it 70-30 we got to make sure it’s ours, so I know those guys are going to do a great job.”

At the running back position, the Rams received a pleasant surprise in the offseason with the return of Kyle Borsa. McConkey had already removed the Regina running back from the roster, figuring that he would be moving on to the professional ranks this season.

“It’s surprising to have him back, obviously I feel bad for him, I thought he should’ve made him, he definitely could’ve made it, he definetly has the ability to play in the CFL, it just didn’t work out there and I don’t know if he will get another chance or what not, but the good news is that he’s back and most importantly finishing his school. ”

Along the offensive line, the Rams should not have a problem with depth, as McConkey believes the team is capable of having seven or eight different lineman start for the University of Regina this season.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Rams are encouraged by their front seven, McConkey believes defensive lineman Anthony Bennett is capable of becoming an All-Canadian for the team noting that he’s a special, standout player.

McConkey says the Rams will be relying heavily on the defensive unit to set up the offence with good field position during the season.

The Rams open up their season on the road on Friday, September 2 in Winnipeg against the Manitoba Bisons.

You can catch all of the Rams action this season on 620 CKRM with Daniella Ponticelli.


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