CBU an unexpected blessing for Ramer

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Photo by Joshua Zubia
Bernadette Witz, center midfielder for the Lancers, dribbles the ball down the pitch, past the competition in the game against Chaminade University. The Lancers triumphed with a 4-0 win. In the same day, the CBU men’s soccer team captured a 3-1 win over Chaminade.

There is one name that is written in almost every article about the California Baptist University men’s water polo team. It is the same name that is ranked first in almost every re- cord possible for goalies in the program’s history. It is the same name that has appeared first on the ros- ter for almost every game the past four years: Austen Ramer.

Ramer is a senior English major. This fall is his final semester here at CBU and although he is graduating a proud Lancer, CBU was not Ramer’s initial choice of schools.

Ramer explained that when he was graduating from high school, CBU was not even on his radar for prospective colleges.

“I thought I was going to UC Berkeley … I never thought I would go here,” Ramer said.

Ramer was actually so adamant against CBU his senior year of high school that he would encourage people not to go to CBU. However, things changed when his plan to attend Berkeley did not follow through.

“It fell out and I was left with nothing,” Ramer said.

Ramer’s father would not settle to see his son not playing water polo at the collegiate level. One day his father told him to get in the car, when Ramer asked why, his father said “just come with me.” After a while Ramer noticed they were driving to- wards Riverside where his father had set up an appointment with Rick Rowland.

“It was either go to Fresno State, with no water polo and no scholarship, or come here and play with free school,” Ramer said.

Once he got to CBU, things did not get any easier, as he still struggled with the idea of coming to this school, a Christian school.

“The first couple years I really regretted it,” he said. “Coming out of high school I resented the idea of God, coming into this year, I hated school.”

Ramer was bitter and an- gry at God for not following his plan. Within this last year, he came to peace with God’s plan for him.

Ramer said that CBU may not have been where he wanted to be, but it turned out to be where he needed to be.

With his new understand- ing of God’s role and plan for his life, Ramer’s outlook on playing changed to a new appreciation.

“We’ve had some pret- ty good teams here,” Ramer said. “It’s kind of fun to play the underdog role. You’ve got to win to get respect and I’m very competitive, even if I’m playing against eight-year- olds, I want to beat them.”

Ramer is the starting goalie for the Lancers, which could have been predicted from his first meeting with water polo.

But that was mostly because he could not swim very fast in the first practice, so when the coach told him to try goalie, where he would only swim in one spot, he eagerly took the position. Wrapping up his career as the program leader in saves, steals, assists, multi-steal games and games with more than 10 saves, he leaves CBU with a lot of recognition and different outlook.

“This past year, I’ve had a relationship with God; I have been striving for a better understanding,” Ramer said. “I’ve changed a lot of things about myself. (Being at CBU is a blessing, I can’t complain about that.”

 

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