Nov. 21, 2012
By Gary Ozzello
As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, Colorado State’s athletic department staff, coaches, and student-athletes have much to be thankful for. CSURAMS.com asked selected coaches and student-athletes what they are most thankful during this holiday season.
Coach Tom Hilbert picked up his 400th career victory at Colorado State in a recent victory over Northern Colorado, and is thankful on several levels.
“I’m thankful that I get to coach volleyball for a living, and even more so that I get to do it here. Fort Collins is such a great place to live and coach, and I’m thankful that I’ve been here for 16 years.”
Sophomore Deedra Foss is a setter for the Rams. She’s a sophomore from McKenna, Wash., and admits she’s thankful for much this holiday season.
“I’m thankful for my family and my friends. I know that they have my back, and they’ve helped me tremendously. I’m also thankful for the opportunity to be playing volleyball here, with such incredible teammates and coaches.”
Freshman Adrianna Culbert from Delton, Mich., is in her first season in Colorado State’s volleyball program.
“My family has always been there for me and has been so supportive throughout my life. I’m also thankful for my team. Being away from home, they’re encouraging to me, and are so nice and loving.”
Ryun Williams took over Colorado State’s women’s basketball program last spring. He intends to return the Rams to national prominence. Williams says he has plenty to be thankful for this holiday season.
“I am extremely thankful for my wonderful and supportive family, and the great staff and players that I get to work alongside every day. I am very thankful and grateful to be working at such a great University with great people.”
Women’s basketball player Hayley Thompson is a 6-foot, 1- inch junior guard from Denver, who formerly played at Mullen High. Hayley’s father, Rick, was a standout pitcher for Colorado State’s baseball team during the late 1970’s. Hayley is a three-year starter for the Rams.
“I’m thankful for my family living close to or in Fort Collins and coming to support me for every home game.”
Junior Sam Martin, from Chaparral High in Parker, Colo., has started for three seasons at Colorado State. Martin is a 6-foot, 2-inch forward for the Rams.
“I’m thankful for my family and friends, and the opportunity to play Division-I basketball at CSU.”
Rams’ football coach Jim McElwain is about to conclude his first season at the helm. McElwain says he has much to be thankful for this holiday season.
“I’m thankful for my family, and thankful for this community and the fans who are so supportive of the direction we are going in. They have welcomed my family and me, and I’m thankful for their support.”
Junior cornerback Shaq Bell has been in the lineup for three seasons for the Rams’ football team. Bell, a junior from Kissimmee, Fla., plays all four positions in the secondary as well as nickel back.
“I’m most thankful for my family: My mom for giving me the motivation to succeed. She’s a single-parent of four kids and does such a great job with that. Both my brother and I are in college. I also thank the Lord for being able to be here and play football. I’m blessed to have the teammates I have, and for good health.”
Bernard Blake is a sophomore cornerback from Bastrop, Tex., who has spent time in the starting lineup in 2012 for the Rams.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to have my education paid for and to keep playing football with a great group of guys and great group of coaches. I’m also thankful just for life itself. There are a couple ups and downs but I’m thankful for the opportunity to have fun and learn, to make me a better person in the long run. That’s something my Mom and my Grandma would appreciate.”
Senior Dorian Green, from Lawrence, Kan., has started 98 consecutive games – every game in which he has ever worn a Colorado State uniform. Green joins his teammates in being thankful during the holilday season.
“I am most thankful for my family and friends.”
Senior Greg Smith has played a key role in the fortunes of Colorado State’s men’s basketball programs. Smith is a senior from Omaha, Neb.
“I am thankful for my health, my friends, my family.”
Pierce Hornung carries on the family name at Colorado State. His father, Stan, played football at CSU in the 1980’s. Pierce is a senior from Arvada, Colo., who is thankful for his opportunities.
“I am thankful for my scholarship, and the opportunity to play basketball at Colorado State, as well as my health and my family and friends.”
Senior Wes Eikmeier is from Fremont, Neb., and last year led the Rams in scoring. Eikmeier has been a mainstay in CSU’s men’s program.
“I am thankful for my family! Without their support, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”