So you've been away all summer and you haven't stayed up to speed on your Ram athletics at all have you? You didn't hear anything about the new running back from UCLA and you can't remember – did that one volleyball player graduate last year or is she still around? And now your fellow classmates want to talk sports and you don't know your point guards from your centers.
Relax. The Collegian's got your back.
The Ram football team has reason to be excited for the upcoming season, boasting a starting lineup featuring numerous returning starters in key positions. Senior quarterback Justin Holland has fully recovered from the season-ending ankle injury he suffered at a San Diego State away game last year. All-Mountain West Conference second team receiver David Anderson will lead a group of veteran playmakers, including last year's freshman standout Kory Sperry. The defense will be led by senior safety Ben Stratton who accounted for 60 tackles last season. Along with Stratton returns the linebacker core of Luke Adkins and Courtney Jones, and both cornerbacks Brandon Cathy and Robert Herbert.
MENS BASKETBALL (11-17):
Matt Nelson is gone and his team-leading 15.8 points per game left with him. As a freshman standout last season, expectations are high for forward Jason Smith. Senior guard, Micheal Morris, along with little brother, Sean Morris, are also expected to have breakout seasons. This year the team will have the opportunity to get some national exposure in a three-game lineup midway through the season. They will be paired up against Kansas State, Pepperdine and Western Michigan.
WOMENS BASKETBALL (15-13):
This year will introduce new head coach Jen Warden who finished a three-year stint as head coach of the Boise State Broncos. Warden was part of a coaching staff at the University of Colorado in 1993, 1994 and 1995 when they won three consecutive Big Eight Championships.
As one of the most successful varsity sports last year, the women's volleyball team is looking to continue their dominance of the MWC, going for their sixth straight title. The Rams were recently ranked 22nd in a national preseason poll, however slipped in the MWC projection falling behind first ranked BYU and Utah. Senior Tess Rogers was named preseason co-player of the year on the all-conference team along with fellow senior Dre Downs. The team has also added exciting freshman prospects including Kelsey Hoff, Jamie Strauss and Ashley Fornstrom.
The softball season ended abruptly last year for the Rams when they were upset in the MWC tournament by San Diego State and then knocked off by UNLV in the semis. This season under head coach Mary Yori the team looks to add on to the success they enjoyed last season and hopefully find themselves deep in the playoffs. The most significant loss will be 2005 Eaton All-American Third Team honoree Stephanie Roberts who had a great senior season for the Rams playing second base. The strengths of this year team will lie in a strong pitching staff headed by junior Jessica Strickland who went 12-9 last year with a 2.04 ERA. Strickland also led the team in home runs, doubles, hits, and batting average.