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Rams kick off season at UPike

Contributed by admin on Aug 27, 2015 - 09:46 PM
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BLUEFIELD, Va. – Coach Ordell Walker and the Bluefield Rams are headed to the Bluegrass State to open the 2015 football season. The Rams will leave campus at noon Thursday en route to Pikeville, Ky. to take on the UPike Bears in a Mid-South Conference contest that is the opener for both teams.

The Rams are coming off a 3-8 season, claiming the first wins since the program was revived in 2012. Walker believes the play last season, coupled with a good number of returners and new players is a good mix for the team.

"Our guys really learned then can compete, compete in the Mid-South and won a couple of games against Mid-South competition was really important to us and our confidence and should definitely carry over as we enter 2015.There is an expectation that we need to be in games and we should win some games," Walker said.

Nine starters return for BC on the offensive side of the ball, seven on defense.

"We have key guys all over on offense, definitely. Rodrell Smith and Quincy Mock as receivers are going to be important. Then we have the three-headed monster in the backfield with Marion HarrisAdrian Pope and Sam Bennett that's going to be huge," Walker pointed out. Having four starters returning on the offensive line with Quante Hines, and Jed Halla, a preseason All-American at guard, those guys are key up front."

One position where a newcomer will play is quarterback. Terrell Hackney, a transfer from Liberty University is penciled in as the signal caller.

"He brings some experience. He's older, has one year left and brings some experience to the quarterback position. He's athletic, but really his strength is throwing the ball," Walker said. "I think it adds a little more versatility to our offense. Right now he is slated to start, but we'll play more than one quarterback because we have talent and depth at that position."

On defense the Rams are strong and have some players returning from missing 2014 due to injury.

"We're excited to get some guys back. I think that has really helped us. I feel like we should be able to compete a lot better defensively," Walker commented. "Having Ernest Moore back at linebacker, he started two years ago and sat out last year. Tracey Parker red-shirted last season. He's a very good football player that helped us on the front. And having Frank Brooks back, he was medically red-shirted last year, was all-conference two years ago, having him back as a safety is huge for our defense."

Special teams may be one of the strongest aspects of the 2015 Rams team.

"Daniel Griffin is one of the best punters in the country. He really changes the field position. He was first team all-conference punter last year, so we are excited to have him back for his senior year," Walker said. "Rodrell SmithQuincy Mock and Frank Brooks are all very good returners. And at the kicking position I think Drake Presley is probably going to start. He is a very talented freshman."

While optimism abounds, there are also some concerns as Bluefield enters the season.

"I'm worried about our health and depth," Walker confessed. "We have a lot of experience on each side of the ball, but not a lot of experience after the first 11. It's going to be important that we stay healthy."

The Rams and Bears kick off tonight at 7:00. Follow the video link by going to, clicking on the football schedule tab and clicking on the appropriate video or audio link. In Bluefield fans can tune into WHIS AM 1440 where Larry Mlynczak will provide the play-by-play.