After an astonishing 80-29 win over Riverland Community College Jan. 24, Anoka-Ramsey Community College (ARCC) Golden Rams women's basketball team slammed shut the first half of the Minnesota Community College Conference (MCCC) Southern Division conference with their eyes set on the bigger prize.
"The team has a goal to go all the way to the National Championship," says assistant coach, Lumumba Samuels. "And we're getting there one game at a time."
Six league games and three tournaments stand between the ARCC team and that goal, but the numbers are looking good. Midway through conference play, the Rams have a 4-1 record. Overall, they are 13-4. The Rams are also ranked #1 in the MCCC Southern Division, #1 in the MCCC Coaches Poll and 10th in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III.
The current head coach, David DeWitt, came to ARCC in August 2005. Assistant coach Samuels was hired in December 2005. DeWitt and Samuels attended numerous local high school games to recruit talent for ARCC's 2006-07 season, and they are please with the results.
"We feel blessed to have every athlete we recruited," says Samuels. "They [the players] took a shot on a college that had no team at the time. Based on their belief in Anoka-Ramsey's reputation and the notable experience of Coach DeWitt, the players came on board."
The reputation Samuels refers to is the record of past ARCC women's basketball teams which placed them first in the nation in 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2005; second in the nation in 2000; and fourth in 2003.
"The cohesiveness of this team plays a huge role in our success," Samuels adds. "Our captains, Sonja Ellingson [Maple Grove] and Megan Schlauderaff [Park Center], are such true leaders that they inspire all the other players."
For more information on Anoka-Ramsey Community College (ARCC) basketball or other intercollegiate sports, visit www.anokaramsey.edu/studentActivities/intercollegiate_athletics.cfm.
Upcoming Games at a Glance
The public is invited to attend games as the team moves closer to a national championship.
Sat., Jan. 27, 1 p.m., MSCTC-Fergus Falls, Home
Wed., Jan. 31, 6 p.m., Rochester, Rochester
Sat., Feb. 3, 1 p.m., MN West, Home
Wed., Feb. 7, 6 p.m., Mpls., Mpls.
Sat., Feb. 10, 1 p.m., Ridgewater, Home
Sat., Feb. 17, 1 p.m., Riverland, Austin
Fri. -Sun., Feb. 23-25, MCCC Tournament, Willmar
Sat.-Sun., March 3-4, Regional XIII Tournament
Fri.-Sun., March 16-18, NJCAA National Tournament
ABOUT ANOKA-RAMSEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Anoka-Ramsey Community College, with campuses in Cambridge and Coon Rapids, has been a leading provider of higher education and training in East Central Minnesota since 1978 and the north suburban area of Minneapolis/St. Paul since 1965. Annually, the college serves more than 9,700 learners of all ages as they pursue associate degrees that transfer as the first two years of a bachelor's degree, or certificate programs that lead immediately to rewarding careers. ARCC is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.