Decision time for Rams

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NSAC to decide whether or not to compete at national hoops championship

NSAC Rams head coach Colter Simmonds, left, his players and school staff will soon have to decide whether the Rams will take part in the CCAA men's basketball championship, which the Bible Hill campus will host March 15 to 17 at Langille Athletic Centre. Simmonds would like his team to get a crack at some of the best teams in the country. File photo

TRURO - The NSAC Rams soon have a decision to make.

The men's basketball squad will need to decide whether to play in the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association championship at the Bible Hill campus March 15 to 17, or watch from the stands.

"If it was my decision, I would play," said Rams head coach Colter Simmonds. "But I don't really make that decision and it's something that needs to be discussed."

There is a clause that allows host teams to opt out of competing at national championships if they feel they won't be competitive. In such cases, the second place team in the conference would fill the host spot on the schedule.

NSAC staff, in consultation with Simmonds and players, is expected to make a ruling on the matter in the coming weeks.

The Rams have struggled on the Atlantic Colleges Athletic Association circuit this season with just one win in 14 games. Outscored 1,252-797, the Rams are tied for seventh in the eight-team conference with the Saint John Seawolves. The Rams visit the St. Thomas Tommies today at 4 p.m. before taking on the Mount Allison Mounties Sunday at 3 p.m. The same matchups on the women's side take place at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.

"You don't want to go there and get beat by 100 by the No. 1 team," Simmonds said.

But that's not something he thinks would happen should the Rams decide to take on the country's best next month at a tournament that sees the champion from each CCAA conference make it's way to Bible Hill. The Rams have added three forwards since the Christmas break that Simmonds feels will change the dynamic of his team.

Tyrone Berry is a London, Ont, native who played the past two years at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ont. North Preston's Jamel Caine is a former member of the Prince Andrew Panthers who also played in the Dawson College high school program, while Roberto Grant-Beals, also a North Preston resident, is coming off a pair of MVP seasons with the Cole Harbour Cavaliers in 2011 and 2009.

Simmonds coached both Grant-Beals and Caine on the North Preston Bulls minor basketball program and also coached Grant-Beals at Cole Harbour.

All three were quick to make an impact at the NSAC, having consistently been listed among the team's leading scorers since joining the lineup.

"They add depth, toughness, athleticism and give us more confidence," Simmonds said.

Although their contributions haven't added up to wins just yet, Simmonds said he feels victories are just around the corner once the new players get adjusted.

"What we needed was a preseason with the group we have," he said. "Right now is our preseason."

Nontheless, Simmonds said he sees a big difference in his team since the holidays.

"We're coming out each game believing we can win now," he said. "Before we just wanted to play hard and work hard. Now our goal is to try to win."

So Simmonds feels the Rams can surprise some teams at the national event and should get the opportunity to do so.

"I believe we can beat anyone in the country," he said.


Organizations: Mohawk College, Dawson College, Canadian Colleges Athletic Association Daily News Atlantic Colleges Athletic Association

Geographic location: Bible Hill, North Preston, London, Ont Hamilton

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Recent comments

  • Rocko
    February 08, 2012 - 12:39

    The team don't even play as a team so why do the recruits are nice..but the rest of the team not so much...don't do nationals save the embarssment...rams might finish wit 2 or 3 wins by the end of the season though...maybe!

  • KP
    February 08, 2012 - 09:43

    First off, I would like to say congrats to the Rams for hosting! What a great opportunity. I hope you guys will be able to play in the nationals! No matter what the outcome of the games you guys would play it would be such an great honor to have the opportunity! Do not let people bring you down and never quit!

  • Ryan Pedersen
    February 07, 2012 - 20:24

    As a player for the NSAC Rams I thank you all for motivating us to play better. You truly understand what happens beyond the court, the press and the standings. There are situations that happen that we have no control over, it is not our coach or administrations fault. We are always growing and no matter what the outcome is we play our hearts out every night no matter what the score is. Imagine yourself in my shoes, a rookie fresh out of high school. You're told that you are hosting nationals and will be playing in it. That's exciting to hear especially to a rookie that has only competed provincially. However, we struggle but we have continued to grow continuously and I'm glad you have seen the sacrifices we make to do this. So cutting this off thank you for your support for your local athletes, who play the game they love and you believe you have the right to take dreams away. Sincerely, Ryan Pedersen - Rookie NSAC Rams from Bible Hill

  • jumpingjack
    February 04, 2012 - 23:15

    When you allow players that couldn't even crack their high school basketball team's roster you wonder why the team plays so poorly.

  • Please
    February 04, 2012 - 06:48

    Coach- you are kidding right! The Rams basketball team have been the most inept team in the ACAA for at least 10 years. This is incredible given the facilities and the connection with Dalhousie. Even considering entering the Nationals as a host team is disrespectful to every team in your league. 1252-797 Despite the new recruits lets talk seriously when you win a game.

    • Colter Simmonds NSAC COACH
      February 07, 2012 - 14:34

      Thank you for your support and im sure you understand how hard our guys work and how much we have grown as people, players and coaches. Your a ture Champ my friend. Your comments sure do show it, I know you feel really good about youself. Com'on reply and tell the Truro community who you are. Any way THANK YOU!!!! for the added motivation to keep working........... Champ!!!!!!!! Colter Simmonds Head Coach 1-14 NSAC RAMS. I Love My Team!!!!!!!! we naver quit