Rams finish 2012 in encouraging style
Nov. 28, 2012
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Measures of success comes in many different forms.
Certainly in athletics, the major metric is wins and losses. But progress can be measured in other ways, too.
Colorado State's football team won four games in coach Jim McElwain's inaugural season, winning three of the team's final five games including three home Mountain West contests in succession.
McElwain will be the first to admit while he was pleased with the progress and effort of his team, he won't ever be satisfied with winning four games.
"I didn't expect to have only this many wins," he admitted following CSU's 24-20 victory over New Mexico in the season finale. "That's unacceptable. That part was hard. But I also saw some guys in that room getting better, just getting a little bit better. I think we got better."
McElwain said he saw progress throughout the season, especially down the stretch. He also said seniors on this year's squad helped lay the foundation for future success.
"I'm proud of what they've done," he said, "and will be proud to see them walk across that stage when they graduate."
McElwains' influence was felt not only on the field with consistent improvement, but throughout the program.
Senior linebacker James Skelton said McElwain's influence permeated the entire program.
"The biggest emphasis is that he lets us know, `you guys are not just representing yourselves,'" said senior wide receiver Marquise Law. "A lot of guys do things and they're only thinking of themselves at the time. He lets us know that, `this is for everybody; this is for your family back home, for your grandparents, this is for the team--your brothers. It's for everybody who believes in you and looks up to you, and that makes you think about your decisions a lot more than you would if you were just thinking like you were in the past, like `this only affects me.'"
Skelton said it isn't simply McElwain's knowledge of the game - which is vast - but how much he cares about those in his program.
"One day when Momo (Thomas) got hurt, I think it was really early in the season, maybe fall camp," Skelton explained. "He had hurt his ankle or something, and were all walking out to practice, and we walked by the training room and we see Coach Mac helping him get his cleat on. You just don't see that from many coaches. I've never seen that."
"Raise the level of preparation. Coach Mac is huge on academics," Blake said. "Just becoming more of a family and helping each other out. So just guys helping out guys and getting to know each other better."
"Coach Mac is going to be there for us off the field, after we graduate," Lovett said. "We know that he doesn't only care about football, I mean of course he's the head coach so he's going to care about football, but, that he shows us that what's more important is our grades, our families, how we're doing off the field, how's life."
When spring practice arrives, Lovett and Blake will be among those expected to carry forward the goals established in2012.
Included among the spring practices will be a workout at Infinity Park in Denver on April 12. The spring game is scheduled for April 20.
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