Rams fin­ish strong

Deep sopho­more class shows prom­ise

The Covington News - - SPORTS - SHA­KEEM HOL­LOWAY shol­loway@cov­news.com

From June 13 to June 28 the New­ton Rams played about 30 games in prepa­ra­tion for the sea­son that is still months away, as they went 21-9 over­all.

The Rams fin­ished up their sum­mer sea­son yes­ter­day in the semi­fi­nals of the Mercer camp tour­na­ment.

“We went 7-2 at Mercer and got our top 10 guys some valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence and gave them a chance to show us what they could do as well,” Rams’ head coach Rick Ras­mussen said. “We learned the value of fun­da­men­tals and the lit­tle things that we al­ways preach, and the Mercer coaches echoed those sen­ti­ments when they spoke on Fri­day to the en­tire camp.”

“Over­all, go­ing 21-9 with just one re­turn­ing starter who was in­jured part of the time is very solid.”

There were over 20 var­sity teams at the camp ac­cord­ing to Ras­mussen, and New­ton fin­ished third with Darvin Jones sit­ting out the last five games there due to an achilles heel in­jury that has been bug­ging him since be­fore New­ton started play­ing sum­mer games.

“We are hop­ing he can be 100 per­cent next sea­son so he can play at his best,” Ras­mussen said.

Ras­mussen added that he was pleased with where the team is as of now. Ac­cord­ing to Ras­mussen, the Rams had four dif­fer­ent sopho­mores start in games and two ju­niors, only one of which was on our var­sity last year.

“Some of the guys who re­ally im­pressed us with their im­prove­ment this sum­mer from the be­gin­ning of June to the end were se­nior cen­ter An­to­nio Smith, who wasn’t on the var­sity last year, ju­nior guard Jaquan Simms, ju­nior wing Marvin Boireau and se­nior Dono­van Grubb,” Ras­mussen said.

“We are hop­ing our re­turn­ing se­niors step up their games by next fall, as some of the sopho­mores and ju­niors out- played them this sum­mer.”

Grubb lead the Rams in scor­ing this sum­mer, and Ras­mussen said that Simms played in­creas­ingly bet­ter as the camps pro­gressed. Ras­mussen was pleased with the po­ten­tial he saw in sopho­mores Josh Tukes, Janaud Notae and Jeremiah Hol­lo­man.

Ras­mussen added that his boys de­serve a break be­fore they start play­ing AAU ball in the months of July and Au­gust. With the po­ten­tial of his sopho­more class, Ras­mussen is ex­cited to start the new sea­son in the fall.

“My staff and I are look­ing for­ward with an­tic­i­pa­tion for next sea­son,” Ras­mussen said. “I was very pleased with the great at­ti­tudes of this group of young men, and I know they will rep­re­sent NHS and our pro­gram and their fam­i­lies well next sea­son and be­yond. Our sopho­more class is re­ally, re­ally deep, so we are ex­cited about the next three years.”

The Rams' sea­son be­gins Novem­ber 15 when it hosts But­ler in an ex­hi­bi­tion game.

File photo /The Cov­ing­ton News

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