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Rams finish 2019 season full of highs and lows

by Amanda Roach

The Texas Wesleyan Rams have wrapped up their 2019 season with a 3-7 record, an improvement over last season’s 2-8.

The Rams won three of their four home games this season, only falling to Arizona Christian University earlier this month 45-35.  By contrast, the Rams were unable to win any away games this season, although three games were lost by a margin of less than 10 points.

“I felt that we took some big steps forward as far bringing in foundational players for the future,” head coach Joe Prud’homme wrote in an email.  “We were 12 plays away from being 7-3 and have set the stage for even more improvement and growth for the future.”

The Rams started off the season playing four games in a row on the road, including the team’s first game against a D1 school, Houston Baptist University. The road games included a controversial 42-38 loss to Ottawa University Arizona on Sept. 21 in which an officiating error let the game clock run out, instead of the Rams getting one more play. Sooner Athletic Conference Commissioner Stan Wagnon apologized for the error.

Cornerback Diamond Williams wrote in an email that having four games in a row on the road was tough on the team but encouraged them to do their best once they got home to Farrington Field.

“Well, playing on the road made us more hungry to get back home so that we could put on a show for our home crowd,” Williams wrote.  “Us playing the D1 school made the team realize that size doesn’t matter.  It’s not who you play, it’s how you prepare for the game.  We all had that mind set.”

The Rams’ first home game was a historic triple-overtime 52-44 win over Southwestern Assemblies of God University on Oct. 5. The next week, the Rams lost a double-overtime game on the road, falling 34-28 to Oklahoma Panhandle State University.

Quarterback Avery Childs wrote in an email that being on the road made the team appreciate the fan support more than ever before.

“While we had a tough slate of games, we can’t let that be a handicap for us,” Childs wrote.  “We learned valuable lessons from the tough schedule, but we are glad it is behind us. Honestly keeping up with academics could have been the most difficult part of the stretch of away games.  It was great to have our fans out there. The continuous growing support from the school and community is a great sign and helps the stadium get loud.”

Offensive coordinator Kyle Cox wrote in an email that the team had to overcome a lot this season, from the rough schedule, to injured players and questionable calls by officials.  He also said that the end of the season is not really the end for the team, as they practice year-long to be better each season.

“They worked their tails off year ’round for the opportunity to get back out on the football field and battle adversity,” Cox wrote.  “There is still a long way to go, but the foundation is set for a great future here at Texas Wesleyan. The home crowd at Farrington was unbelievable this year, and it makes a huge difference when there is a home-field advantage at this level. We definitely had an advantage when playing at home this year, and much of that was due to the fans that packed the stands and cheered our guys on.”

Wide receiver Brandon Rolfe wrote in an email that this season brought the team together better than any season had before.  He wrote that he saw the Rams truly playing as a team instead of as individuals, which made a huge difference in their performance.

“We grew up a lot and finally started to play like a team not just a bunch of individuals in the same uniform,” Rolfe wrote.  “We can improve by working on being consistent and having that killer mentality when it comes to playing.”

Fan support at the four home games was overwhelming, with the stands often packed full of students, family members, and alumni that came to cheer on their team.  Rolfe wrote that this is what the team was most thankful for this season.

“Having fan support means everything,” he wrote.  “I love scoring or making a play and hearing the roar of my family and peers. We have the best fans and they really know how to turn out.”

Overall, the team is thankful for the lessons they learned this season and the people that have supported them throughout the last three years.

“I want to thank the fans, the coaches, the Ram Club, the teachers, and my teammates for a great season,” Williams wrote.  “We didn’t get where we want, but I know I found my brothers for life and I can count on them for anything I want to.”

The Rams will return to the field in 2020 with some new faces on the team, as well as some members that have been with them team since its start in 2017.  Prud’homme wrote that the team is already looking forward to the next season and what challenges and opportunities it will bring.

“I want to thank you, the fans and everybody that stuck with us this year,” Prud’homme wrote.  “We appreciate the support and want to make everybody proud. We have already started on building next year’s team and have high expectations for the coming season. We have five home games next year and two road games that are within two hours at Waxahachie and Tyler, our goal is to play well enough that you don’t want to miss a game. Rams Up!”

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