Winston-Salem State University Rams Days Away from National Championship
The undefeated Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Rams say they are ready to make history. The football team is about to play No. 1 seed Blazers of Valdosta State University in the NCAA Division II National Championship. The Blazers won the championship in 2004 and 2007. The Rams are 14-0 and this is the first time they’ve made it all the way.
Wednesday, more than 200 screaming fans on WSSU’s campus thrilled to send off the team and confident for a big win. Sherri Wilson is a testing coordinator at the university. She's also a 2008 alumna. "We have a jewel in Winston-Salem, NC and it makes you proud to be a RAM and I know their going to take this championship." If the Rams win Saturday, they'll become just the fifth Division II team to complete a 15-0 season. Chelsey Tyson helps members of the WSSU Band and is traveling with them on the bus to Florence, Alabama for the championship game. "I'm very excited, I'm a senior and this is the way to go out with a bang!" WSSU Chancellor Donald Reeves showered praise on the football players and upon WSSU Rams Head Coach Connell Maynor. "I have a lot of confidence in you guys, I just want to say how proud I am of all the young men here. Connell you have done a masterful job with these young men not only on the field but off the field as well. We know you're going to represent Winston-Salem State very well when we head off to Alabama in a few days." Coach Maynor says the team has one more practice before the championship game. He calls it a 'mental' practice. When asked what he wants his players to focus on, "I want them to do the same thing they've been doing all year. The defense don't give up big plays. force them to drive the ball down the field offensively. Try to stay balanced and don't turn the ball over. If we do that, then we have a great chance to win this football game." This is Coach Maynor's third season leading the Rams team. He also says it is a great honor to play in the NCAA Division II National Championship and sends a message to other HBCU teams. "Nobody thought it could be done. We're living proof it can be done and we're giving other HBCU's inspiration also." Union Baptist Church at 1200 North Trade Street in Winston-Salem, will host a viewing party of Saturday's championship game. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and organizers say the public will enjoy good food, drinks and a friendly atmosphere. Game kickoff is Saturday, December 15 at 1 p.m. in Florence, Alabama.