2016 CIS team preview: Regina Rams

Braden Konschuh, Regina Sports Info


2015 regular season record: 0-8

2015 regular season standings: 6th, Canada West

2015 playoff record: DNQ

General Write-Up:  

Under the guidance of first-year head coach Steve Bryce, the University of Regina Rams will jump right into the 2016 season this weekend with a road matchup against provincial rival Saskatchewan.

Though the bulk of Bryce’s head coaching career has been with Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., he’s no stranger to the Regina area and the Rams program. Originally from Regina, Bryce graduated from Michael A. Riffel High School and was an offensive lineman for five years with the CJFL Rams in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

And while Bryce takes over a team that was 0-8 last year, it’s also a team with a good deal of returning talent. The Rams return eight starters on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, with the majority of that group in their third or fourth seasons of CIS eligibility.


Head Coach: Steve Bryce

– Number of seasons as head coach with team (including 2016): 1

– Number of seasons as head coach in CIS (including 2016): 1

– Career regular season record with team: 0-0

– Career regular season record in CIS: 0-0

– Career overall record with team (reg. season & playoffs only): 0-0

– Career overall record in CIS (reg. season & playoffs only): 0-0


Number of returning starters: 8

Key returning players: 

– WR Andrew Bennett didn’t register any statistics in his first two seasons with the Rams, but broke out with 25 catches for 406 yards last year and is expected to again be one of Picton’s favourite targets again in 2016.

– OL Matt Degelman has been a mainstay at right tackle from almost the moment he stepped on campus in 2013, and now has made 24 consecutive starts at that position including the postseason.

– WR Davin Johnston had 24 catches for 307 yards last season, including a breakout game in Week 5 which saw him become just the sixth player in Rams history to collect at least 200 receiving yards in one CIS game.

– RB Atlee Simon has established himself as one of the elite running backs in Canada West, leading the conference in carries (155) and rushing yards (938) last year despite missing a game due to injury.

– SB Mitchell Picton is the team’s top returning receiver, catching a team-high 41 passes last year and finishing the conference schedule with 503 receiving yards.

– QB Noah Picton is only in his third year of eligibility, but is already the U of R’s all-time leader in completion percentage (65.1%) and is also top five in the school’s record book in passing yards, completions, and touchdown passes.

– SB Riley Wilson returns for his final season with the Rams, needing just 138 more receiving yards to join the list of talented players who have hit the 1000 mark over their U of R careers.

– OL Jeremy Zver was slated to start at left tackle last year in what would have been his final season with the Rams, but after missing the season due to injury has a good chance of stepping right back in this year as a starter on the line.

Key recruits or transfers: OL Andrew Becker (Rutland Senior Secondary), K/SB Thomas Huber (Okanagan Sun), WR Khalid Kornegay (Northeast Mississippi CC), OL Thomas Stanton (Riverside CC), OL Jamie Wandell (Langley Rams)
Key losses: OL Keenan Carrier, OL Kyle Paterson, OL Aaron Picton, WR Richard Sindani, SB Mitch Thompson (injured).


Number of returning starters: 8

Key returning players:

– DB Kahlen Branning missed several games due to injury last year, but will return for his fifth and final season with the Rams and is expected to start at cornerback.

– LB Joey Dwyer is one of eight fifth-year players on the Rams and had 22.5 tackles, three pass breakups, and a fumble recovery last year at the dimeback position.

– DB Korey Greene emerged as a starter at halfback last season and finished the year with a team-leading four pass breakups. He’s expected to start at halfback again in 2016 as a fourth-year player.

– LB Zack McEachern was only credited with three starts last year, but was an integral part of the defence and finished third on the team in tackles while also compiling two pass breakups, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a sack.

– DL Bryce McKinnon led the team’s linemen in tackles in 2015, getting credit for 11 solo tackles and 16 assisted tackles during the conference schedule.

– LB Danny Nesbitt had three tackles for loss and a sack last year and is expected to play an even bigger role this year at the Mac position.

– DB Mason Rossler started all eight games for the Rams last year, seven at halfback and one at safety. Rossler had a team-leading total of 49 tackles last year and also led the Rams with three forced fumbles and 3.5 sacks.

– LB Michael Stefanovic was in on a team-leading 60 tackles last year, 31 solo and 29 assisted. Stefanovic also had a team-high 5.5 tackles for loss and a 108-yard fumble return touchdown that’s thought to be the longest in CIS history.

– DL Eric Wicijowski emerged as a full-time starter on the line for the Rams last year in just his second season, finishing with 14 solo tackles, four assisted tackles, three tackles for loss, and a pair of pass knockdowns. Expect him to be a force on the interior of the defensive line this year.

Key recruits or transfers: DB Cord Delinte (Okanagan Sun), DB Ben Sharpe (Langley Rams), DB Braedy Will (Winnipeg Rifles)
Key losses: DL David Jule, DB Jordy Kibamba, DB Travoy Martinez, DL Tyler Perkins


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