BATH – If you look at the Rams’ 2013 football record, 4-5 may not seem impressive to the naked eye.

A closer look reveals that Bath began its year with injury problems, before ending the season in quite a strong fashion – winning its last four games – including a 47-0 win over Mynderse in its Class C Conner and Ferris Bowl contest.

It’s that kind of momentum that head coach Wayne Carroll wants to enter the 2014 season with.

"Last year, we couldn’t get healthy right from Week 1," Carroll said. "We got beat up physically early and didn’t recover until Week 5. Our fifth game, we pulled it together and finally started winning."

That means Carroll is bringing the 2014 Rams along slowly, helping to keep them up and playing right from the get-go.

This year’s Rams squad has the potential to improve offensively, with several key members returning.

Quarterback Michael Rice is back for his junior campaign. As a sophomore signal-caller, Rice threw for 552 yards and ran for another 509 yards. Rice tossed eight touchdown passes, while tallying another seven scores on the ground.

Adding to the ground game will be running back Bruce Rinker. The senior gained 783 yards and ran for 11 touchdowns as a junior.

The passing game is anchored by seniors Austin Vasseur and Jagger Robbins. Vasseur amassed 464 yards of offense, which included seven touchdowns.

"Rinker, Vasseur, Robbins and Rice are the playmakers," Carroll said. "They are the heart of the offense."

Carroll and the Rams will look to senior linemen Noah Herington (6-3, 285), Dalton Robinson (6-2, 255) and Casey Deming (5-10, 250) to anchor the line and free up the runners.

Defensively, Carroll is hoping to enter this season with a new mantra – hitting.

"I’ve been preaching you have to work on hitting and our intensity," Carroll said. "We want to be the hammer this year – not the nail. Last year, we were the bug – not the windshield.

"We’ve to to hit. We play in a hitting league."

According to Carroll, the Rams’ schedule isn’t any easier than 2013.

"We have the toughest schedule in Section V south of Route 86," Carroll said. "The wins will come hard.

"Livonia, Hornell, Batavia, Wayland-Cohocton and Dansville are all up this year."

Bath opens up Friday night at home with a 7:30 p.m. contest against Waterloo.