Heading into the playoffs the Rams find themselves in a familiar position, playing with something to prove, “We’re in the same spot as last year, we’re still slept on” explained Senior Korbin Williams. Williams, who made first team All Conference, will be a crucial part of the Rams postseason success. The Rams finished with an impressive 7-2 record including wins over four playoff teams. After suffering losses to out of state Camas and the second seed Clackamas Cavaliers, the Rams fell to the tenth seed in the OSAA rankings. However, the Rams aren’t getting caught up on their questionable rank, instead they are focusing on preparing for the postseason: “Playoff mindset is completely different”, said Senior Kitan Oladapo,”It’s a different level of intensity”. Oladapo is a key part of the Rams highly talented defense, they include Mount Hood Defensive Player of the Year Malakai Salu and four star athlete Elijah Winston. Seniors, Winston and Cristian Lahti hold down the defensive line, constantly pressuring the opponent’s quarterback. Oladapo will have help from senior safety Austin Hill, who had 2 forced fumbles during the regular season. Oladapo, Hill, Salu, Lahti and Winston each earning All Conference awards during the regular season.
On the offensive side, Sophomore quarterback Cade Knighton has plenty of weapons around him. Their fast paced, high scoring offense can keep up with the top teams in state. The Rams are riding a five game win streak into a first round matchup against the South Salem Saxons. Assuming the higher seeds win, the Rams would have to face seventh-seed Sheldon and second-seed Clackamas, before reaching Providence Park for the semifinals. But the Rams aren’t worried, “We’re climbing now”, continued Williams, “The hope is still to win a state championship”. Starting receiver, Vincenzo Logan, knows what’s at stake for his fellow seniors, “It’s our last chance, it’s all or nothing”. The Rams are eager to get the playoffs started and prove everyone wrong.
Photos by Ken Waz