By Bontã Hill
As players and coaches gathered for fall camp, there was no cloud hanging over the football program’s disappointing 2008 season.
Last season saw the Rams go 7-4, which is considered mediocre at City College of San Francisco. Last year’s record was the worst in 20 years, but it has been buried deep into the San Francisco Bay. Head coach George Rush likes what he sees so far.
“First of all, you leave the past in the past. There is nothing you can do about it,” Rush said. “In saying that, I feel really good about this team. I like their attitude — the way they practice and bond with each other.”
One player the Rams are excited about is gray-shirt quarterback Darius Bell, who starred across the street at Riordan high school. Bell took a lot of notes from watching last season and seems ready for the challenge.
“I learned a lot because you get to sit back and absorb and watch instead of getting thrust into action,” Bell said. “Also, being on the scout team last year and playing against All-Americans Josh Tatum and Jarrell Harrison everyday has made the transition easy.”
Captain and guard Ryan Clanton will lead the offensive line, which will come in with a lot more experience this season. Clanton noted there was an emphasis on speed this offseason. With a deep receiving core led by Daniel Cannon and Darius Bright, and running backs John Jackson and Monte Davis, the offense should be a lot more balanced this season.
The defense is going to be led by returning safety, captain Elliott Dorsey, who noted there is added pressure in replacing a secondary that sent five players to division-1 schools. Sophomore Frank Gaines is also back to lead a loaded defensive line. Both players mentioned the Rams are not ranked in the top five, which has made this season’s team even hungrier.
“Last year there was a lot of selfishness and finger pointing,” Gaines said. “We got that all together now, and we’re a much more of a family.”
“The guys that are back here now — we just want to bring back that great tradition, and I guarantee it will come back,” Dorsey said.
The Rams first chance to restore that tradition is Sept. 5, when they take on Cabrillo College in Aptos.
September/ October Football Schedule*
September 5 Cabrillo College 7:00 p.m.
September 12 Fresno City College 1:00 p..m.
September 19 Sierra Collge 1:00 p.m.
September 25 Laney College 7:00 p.m.
October 3 West Hills College 1:00 p.m.
October 17 Butte Collge 1:00 p.m.
October 24 Diablo Valley College 1:00 p.m.
October 31 San Mateo College 1:00 p.m.
* Bold denotes a home game.