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J-D wants upgrade into contender status

Rams enter third year under Ormond with higher goals in mind

— Everyone connected to the Jamesville-DeWitt football program is just about tired of ho-hum regular seasons and brief post-season stays.

That’s what happened, again, in 2010. Despite the all-around contributions of Ahkeen Wiliams (more than 1,300 total yards passing and running), the Red Rams could only rise to fourth place in the Class A American division and got ousted in the first round of the Section III playoffs by eventual champion Whitesboro.

Not since 2006 has J-D reached the sectional semifinal round, and its last title came way back in 1984, long before any of the current players were born. So while the school has flourished and claimed state championships in many other sports since then, success on the gridiron has proven elusive.

Head coach Eric Ormond is in the process of trying to change the Rams’ fortunes. Now in his third year at the helm, he said that the offensive and defensive systems are now ingrained, and that the players are ready to move up.

“Hopefully, we start to see the execution of these systems,” said Ormond.

Doing so without Ahkeen Williams might prove tough, and the race to succeed him at quarterback remains unsettled. Seniors Brendan Flanagan and Eric Thompson, along with junior Ryan Wright, all could start under center this Friday when the Rams open against Fowler.

Typically, J-D runs a spread formation without a tight end and with a single running back. Jake LaRussa, Amani Jackson, Austin Tousaw and Josiah Williams all could line up as runners. At the very least, the Rams have a deep rotation, and whoever doesn’t start could go out wide.

Ormond likes his top pair of receivers. With senior Will Sterriker and junior Taumeras Howard (both standout track athletes), J-D has fast, athletic players that could go deep or turn short completions into long ones.

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