Langley Rams ready to start another winning season next week

The football team brought the Cullen Cup home last year

The Langley Rams had an amazing season in 2018, and team owner Dana Matheson is hoping that returning veterans and new recruits can bring that same magic to the field in 2019.

“Last year, we were conference champions, we won the Cullen Cup,” said Matheson.

It took the Saskatoon Hilltops, four-time Canadian Junior League football champions, to finally defeat the Rams in their quest for supremacy.

“It was some pretty crazy conditions,” Matheson said. After playing most of their games in B.C. in the summer and fall, the Rams headed to Saskatchewan in November and played in frigid conditions.

But the young players still had an amazing year and earned a bye for their conference for 2019 – which means a possibility that Langley could play host to a national championship game.

They’ve been getting ready for months.

“The team is looking extremely strong,” Matheson said.

Recruitment from across the country has given the team the deepest roster it’s ever had, he said.

“Our offense, I think, will be capable of putting up some really big numbers,” said Matheson.

The area where the team lost the most players after their 2018 season was on the defense side. But new recruits including UBC players have come on board.

Howie Zaron remains head coach and general manager, and he and his staff have been snatching up more talent.

“The players love playing for him,” said Matheson.

Although the season didn’t start until Aug. 3, and the first training camp was held on July 7, many members of the Rams have been in training since February – just a couple of months after they faced Saskatoon.

There have been non-padded informal practices, group training, and since the training camp, official training has been four nights a week.

Matheson said there are a number of players, new and veteran, who fans will want to keep an eye on this year.

• Duncan Little is a fifth year player, quarterback, and team leader

• Running back Andrew Pocrnic is an all star and former Kamloops Bronco

• Jesse Walker, a wide receiver, was one of the last cuts from the BC Lions and played four years at the University of Manitoba

• Kyle Clarot did amazing work for the Rams last year, and the All-Canadian cornerback is returning this season

• Jarryd Taylor will bring his wide receiver skills honed over two years at Montreal’s Concordia University

• UBC alum Cole Barron will provide power as a middle linebacker

• Khalik Johnson was a 2017 All-Canadian wide receiver and played for Carelton University, and returns for another Rams season

• Another university player is Isaah James, of U of Saskatchewan, who will be on the defensive line.

• Liam Stewart led the team in receptions during last year’s playoffs and is back for the Rams again.

• On the offensive line, All-Star tackle Nikos Lazarakis and All-Star Left Tackle Ross Baykey are returning

The Rams start their season on Saturday, Aug. 3 at 4 p.m. in McLeod Athletic Park’s stadium. They’ll be facing off against one of their main B.C. rivals, the Vancouver Island Raiders.

They’re kicking off the season by offering $10 gift cards to Sammy J Pepper’s restaurants in Willowbrook for the first 250 fans through the door and 15 per cent off most food items for Rams season ticket holders.

With tickets $15, Matheson said the goal is to create a great sporting event that’s affordable for families.

“It’s such a high level of football,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER: MAiD – Grateful for the choice

One local letter writer encourages people to voice their thoughts on medically assisted dying

Family hopes Britain can get pregnant Langley woman out of coronavirus epicentre in China

Lauren Williams, who is about 35 weeks pregnant, has been stuck in Wuhan

Former Langley teacher suspended for putting kid in headlock, lies about it to get next job

He has now been fired from Delta and his license temporarily suspended

TRAFFIC: Roadwork, stalled semi causing major delays on Highway 1 in Langley

Westbound commuters should try the Fraser Highway or 56th Ave

Feds preparing plane to fly Canadians out of Wuhan, once China gives OK

160 Canadians have asked for help to leave province at centre of coronavirus outbreak

PHOTOS: Truck outside Victoria gets partially stuck in sinkhole

Municipal crews have since repaired water main and patched up hole

Police search north of Williams Lake prompts warning to residents to stay inside

Officers also warn drivers near Lynes Creek Road not to pick up pedestrians

60% of Canadian workers would take a pay cut for better mental health support: survey

Survey found 77% of workers would leave for better wellness initiatives

Runaway rail car reported on same B.C. train line as fatal 2019 derailment

CP Rail confirmed the incident happened on Jan. 14.

Fraser Valley homeless advocate killed by RCMP leaves behind complicated legacy

Barry Shantz was shot by Lytton police officers after six-hour standoff on Jan. 13

Body found in vehicle at bottom of Mission ravine

Deceased male appears to be the lone occupant of the vehicle, discovered on Dewdney Trunk Road

Southern resident orca L41 considered missing and feared dead

The orca was last spotted in August 2019 when photographed in western Strait of Juan de Fuca

‘I am so sorry’: Stolen Baby Bear statue reunited with Mama, Papa Bear in B.C. town

Culprit left it near the Henry Road roundabout in Chemainus with a note attached

Most Read