So Hard To Be A Ram: No. 1 With A (Red) Bullet
WSSU football thrives despite odds stacked against it.
Things have been very eventful the last week-and-a-half over at Winston-Salem State. First WSSU revealed its new fiery logo on Aug. 19 at its annual “Meet The Rams” event. Two days later, we dropped the first episode of our web series, “So Hard To Be A Ram.” And the next day I got the first look at the 2017 football helmet, prominently featuring the new logo.
— Steven J. Gaither (@stevenjgaither) August 22, 2017
If that wasn’t enough, along with the usual anticipation of a new football season, WSSU was named the top football program in the state of North Carolina, regardless of NCAA Division, by Hero Sports. That decision was a controversial one, not only from FBS teams like the ACC schools and Appalachian State, but even more so from FCS HBCUs North Carolina Central and North Carolina A&T.
Many fans and alumni from both institutions took issue with the D2 HBCU making the list over their teams, with multiple conference titles between them during the five year period of which WSSU was crowned king by Hero Sports (and NOT HBCU Gameday).
Regardless of the many opinions, the Rams came out on top in that publications logic. Tonia Walker, WSSU’s Director of Athletics talked about how the program’s quest for Division I helped propel the program to the heights that it currently inhabits.
WSSU head coach Kienus Boulware reveals that the program’s success has been achieved despite not having the full number of scholarships (36) allotted to Division II programs and how he’s able to land D1 level talent at a D2 school.
Now, who has had the best team each year? Having covered and watched all three teams in person over the last five years, my scorecard looks like this.
2012: Clearly WSSU (14-1)
2013: Probably WSSU (10-2)
2014: Either WSSU (9-2) or A&T (9-3)
2015: A&T (10-3)
2016: NCCU (9-3)
I’d like to thank Lisa Boone-Wood for sponsoring this episode of So Hard To Be A Ram. A 2006 WSSU alumna, Ms. Boone-Wood has transitioned from the newsroom to help folks find their dream homes as a realtor in the Triad area. If you are in the market for a new place click here to check out her website and let her know you heard about her through HBCU Gameday.
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Eagles and Bears square up in O'Kelly Riddick Stadium.