Winston-Salem State University
Department of Athletics Newsletter
Department of Athletics
Tonia Walker, Director of Athletics
Dear Ram Family,
On behalf of the Winston-Salem State University Department of Athletics, it is my privilege to say "Thank You" in advance for all of your dedication and support as we enter into the 2016-17 season.
We are off to a great start! We are coming off of a stellar athletics season having won five (5) CIAA Championships, which include capturing titles in Women's Cross Country, Football, Indoor Track, Volleyball, and Softball. Thus bringing our title count to 20 championships since our return to the CIAA. We celebrated 55 student-athletes who earned their degree during the 2015-16 academic year alongside four (4) teams participating in post-season competition. At the conclusion of the athletic year, WSSU was awarded the CIAA's Loretta Taylor Award, indicative of the best female sports program in the conference. Our accomplishments echo to all that we were able to accomplish with your support and embrace the concept that team work is merely an individual commitment to a group effort. This is what yields success!
We applaud the efforts of both Inez Turner, and Track and Field and Cross Country Coach and Kevin Ritsche, Head Baseball Coach who both earned CIAA Coach of the Year Honors. I was also named CIAA Athletics Director of the Year and was named then Division II Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators. Additionally, in the community, our commitment intensified for serving greater Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, as student-athletes and staff volunteered over 3,400 hours over the course of the year. It was truly an amazing year!
We've worked incredibly hard to this point. The danger in the evidence of our success lays the desire to rest. Because it is when we rest, we miss crucial opportunities to forge ahead to be the best that we can possibly become. Henry Ford put it best when he said, "Coming together is only the beginning. Keeping together is process. Working together is success."
In today's economic climate, everyone is carefully considering every expenditure, and evaluating philanthropic priorities.
We realize that support begins at home, thus our staff has bought into the program, as indicated by a 98% overall staff giving rate and 100% by Athletic Executive Staff.
We are indeed thankful that so many of you have continued contributing to HORN$ and supporting the 275 student-athletes who grace the fields of competition in eleven (11) varsity sports, while earning a degree from a world-class institution. They take pride in these pursuits, and all of us take pride in helping make their dreams become a reality.
It is now time to galvanize all forces, while the momentum is projecting forward and we have a chance to surpass the feats of the past. When we look at the national and regional polls, I am ecstatic to say that your Winston-Salem State University Rams rank amongst the top programs in the country. Continue to support. Continue to believe. Continue to influence others to buy in and know that you are propelling us to higher ground!
Pride is shown in so many ways. Please know that however you choose to show your Ram Pride -- by
, purchasing an
, participating in athletic events, or even just following us on wssurams.com, or on social media -- allows us to become a better athletic department, and, in turn, a better WSSU.
For that and much more, again, we say thank you for your commitment to help us Graduate Champions.
With Ram Pride,
Director of Athletics
This fall is sure to be an exciting time in Ram Country! Outside of the fall sports competing throughout August-November, WSSU will hosts various events and activities.
Meet the Rams - Fall Sports Edition
Saturday, Aug. 20 | 1:30 - 3 p.m.
Inaugural Winston-Salem Classic
Sept. 15 - 17
WS Classic Banquet - Honoring William "Bill" Hayes
Clarence E. "Big House" Gaines Hall of Fame
Friday, Sept. 23 | 7 p.m.
Give to WSSU Athletics
James DuBose, Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs
We are so excited about everything that is taking place in the WSSU Athletic Department! Your support of our student-athletes has simply been amazing. Our HORN$ Club continues to grow each year and your contributions are enhancing our athletic programs daily. If you wish to be a part of an organization that makes a positive impact on student-athletes daily, please consider joining our
We have instituted a program this year, by which, your support will enable youth in our community to have the opportunity to attend a WSSU football or basketball game at no charge.
Assisting Youth Program
will provide general admission tickets to these youth groups. For your contribution, you will receive recognition throughout the year. These tickets may be purchased for on $4.00 each.
To learn more about all of the upcoming events, please visit our website (www.wssurams.com) or by call 336-750-3180. Thank you for all of your support.
Kienus Boulware, Head Coach
The countdown has begun, the grass is green and the sun is as hot as can be. In other words, football season is upon us.
After the CIAA press conference it became a reality that the season here and before you know it, we will be playing our first game.
Coach Heinecke, strength and conditioning coach, has had our guys going strong all summer, adding muscle and conditioning in preparation for our 2016 football season. We have our hands full going into this season starting Saturday, Sept. 3
with UNC Pembroke. We lost a tough game to open the season against UNC Pembroke in 2015 and we will have our work cut out for us in our first outing. Following the Pembroke game we will face Catawba College in Salisbury and finish out the non-conference slate against Virginia Union University at Bowman Gray Stadium for the Winston-Salem Classic.
After having such a young squad last season and clinching a much needed win in the CIAA championship game, we are primed and ready to make another run. Rod Tinsley was able to maintain his spot at quarterback following our annual spring game and has worked very hard to showcase his leadership skills throughout the summer.
We landed three student-athletes on the preseason All-CIAA list led by punter/placekicker Will Johnson and two offensive linemen, Jac'que Polite and Tim Samuels. Though we are still young we have a lot of experience returning to the field. With the addition of Robert Massey (defensive backs), Ryan McManus (quarterbacks) and Steven Aycock (special teams and defensive assistant) to our staff, we are excited and ready to compete. Though we are the preseason favorites to win the CIAA we know that we have a tough schedule and must play our best to have any chance to repeat as champions. We have all the support from administration and Ram fans and hope to provide them with all the excitement we can. Season tickets are still available and we hope to make every home game a happy homecoming.
L'Tona Lamonte, Head Coach
The women's basketball team is excited about a new beginning. I, L'Tona Lamonte, an alumnae of Winston-Salem State, have been charged to do something that has never been done here -- win a conference championship.
At the conclusion of the 2015-16 season, the Rams graduated point guard Awa Kalmstrom and loss another guard, Tiana Edwards, after only nine games into the season with a season-ending injury. With that in mind, it was imperative to enhance the back court with the addition of multiple ball handlers. I am
expecting the team to be well rounded with seven seniors, three juniors and one sophomore. There is a ton of experience returning and getting the players acclimated to new terminology, drills, a winning mindset, and toughness will be first on the teams to do list.
In addition to the returners, the Rams added four freshmen to the roster and created on of the tallest teams in the CIAA. In less than a month, there has been the addition of four guards: Aja Stevens, Zaria Rogers, Taniya Dunn and Jahlia Williams.
Rogers from Riverside High School (Durham, N.C.), was an all-conference player, team MVP and scored over 1,000 points in her high school career. Dunn, who hails from Woodrow Wilson High School (Washington, D.C.), will be necessary on the athletic wing, both offensively and defensively. During her high school career Dunn averaged over 20 points and scored a game-high 42 points as a junior. Stevens formerly of South Mecklenburg High School (Charlotte, N.C.) is known as a pass-first guard, a two-time All-Conference selection and ranked second in the State of North Carolina in assists with seven (7) assists per game. Stevens also brings an academic edge to the team having won multiple awards for being a NC Scholar. Rounding out the incoming Rams is Williams of North Nash High School (Rocky Mount, N.C.). She will add a defensive presence averaging four (4) steals and five (5) rebounds per game. Williams contributed to her team's 20 wins each season.
She understands the determination, mindset, and grit it will take to win here at WSSU. She is also a scholar-athlete and will be in the Honors College.
Practices will be open to all. Please contact Coach Cole at
if you would like to come and watch.
Let's Go Rams!
Cross Country (M&W)
| Track and Field (W)
Inez Turner, Head Coach
The 2015-16 seasons marked one of the most successful periods in the history of the program.
After graduating nine (9) strong student-athletes from the program, we were still able to claim two CIAA Championship Titles (women's cross country and women's indoor track) and added a third place finish for the outdoor track season. In winning the cross country crown, five Rams earned All-CIAA honors by placing among the top ten runners (out of 72 competitors). Domtila Kiplagat won the CIAA race, earning All-Conference and outstanding runner honors for the year. She also placed in the top 20 at the NCAA Atlantic Region Championships and made the All-Region team.
The 2016 indoor win was a great team effort for the Rams. The ladies compiled points in every event and beat two nationally ranked teams to claim the title. This was the result of not only the hard work by our student-athletes, but also the impact of the coaching staff putting the plan for success together and the support of the fans, staff and administrators who came out to support the team. Rachel Bonham (a walk-on) was the field event MVP, after winning the high jump, placing second in the multi, and fifth in the 60-meter hurdles. Bonham's achievement continues a streak of four consecutive MVP honors for the field events. Kiplagat was also voted MVP for track (running events) this makes her second consecutive MVP award.
The Rams are determined to defend their CIAA Titles, with the return of individual champion Kiplagat, outdoor 3000m champion Fawzia Kheir, returning All-Conference performers Phyllis Cheruiyot and Tametris Morrison and seniors Micalyn Zimmerman (11th last year) and Taska Johnson (15th). We also added Mitchell Brown to the men's cross country program, who is a highly decorated middle distance runner.
We look forward to great things in the upcoming track seasons, with the addition of 14 highly recruited freshmen. The newcomers bring quality and depth in the sprints, jumps, hurdles and throws. With the support of the Ram community, the plan developed by the coaching staff and the blessings of God, we are looking forward to reaching new heights in 2016-17.
Eboni Graham, Head Cheerleading Coach
The Powerhouse held its 10th Annual Cheer Explosion youth camp June 13-17. This year's camp we had a record breaking total of 167 campers. This year's camp theme was modeled around remembering the legacy of musical artist of the past.
Summer of Service
Highland Community Reunion
On July 9, 2016, the Powerhouse of Red and White Cheerleaders served the Highland Community Church located in Gastonia, N.C. The Powerhouse was invited to coordinate and engineer lawn games for the first ever Highland Community Reunion. The team also was able to interact with the community children during a workout session lead by the local YMCA by encouraging the children to stay active and stay healthy. During this event the Powerhouse accumulated at total of 12 community service hours.
U-Fit Cheer and Dance Camp
On July 27-28, the Powerhouse choreographed routines and served as camp instructors for U-Fit Cheer and Dance located in Charlotte, NC. U-Fit co-founders, Joevanne Estrada and Regan Hales, are alum and proud supporters of the Powerhouse of Red and White Cheerleading Program. The Powerhouse accumulated a total of 79 hours of community service.
Rams at Home
On Friday, July 29, 2016, Powerhouse volunteered for five hours during the Rams-at-Home incoming freshman orientation. Powerhouse member, Alexis Lassiter guided students and exemplified outstanding customer service for the Office of Admissions.
What's New in the Powerhouse?
Coming up in August
Preseason Camp, August 12
Time to get back in shape and prepare for the season! This year our theme is "Continuing the Tradition of Excellence by Exceeding the Standards." It is time to buckle down and get back to business. Preseason camp will focus not only on building physical strength and conditioning, but also building mental strength and discipline in order to prepare for the upcoming academic year. Camp will be composed of training, service, and tradition.
Community Day, August 20
The Powerhouse has been invited to kick off the year at Phi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Annual Community Day event. This event will provide community neighbors with health screenings, agency resources, food, games, entertainment, school supplies and so much more.
White Team Tryouts, August 29-31
Powerhouse is scheduled to hold fall tryouts for the White Team in C.E. Gaines. This tryout is open to all current WSSU students who complete the tryout packet and are in good academic standing. Applicants will be judged based on skill, physical fitness, character, and academic status. White Team members will perform at women's basketball games, selected volleyball matches, and selected Powerhouse events.