Dec. 25, 2008
The Cal football team returned to Berkeley on Thursday afternoon for its final practice in Memorial Stadium in preparation for Saturday's Emerald Bowl against Miami. Players were in high spirits, and even head coach Jeff Tedford sported a Santa hat during the workout.
At the end of the workout, Tedford announced that Nate Longshore would start for the Bears vs. Miami.
"Nate will be our starting quarterback," Tedford said. `He's looked really sharp in practice over the past two weeks. He's put a lot of zip on the ball. He's had command of the offense and he's been real accurate throwing the ball. He's really had two of the better weeks I've seen him have."
Prior to practice, Robert Mullins, Sam DeMartinis, Chet Teofilo, Chris Guarnero and Kendrick Payne visited the children's ward of the California Pacific Medical Center in downtown San Francisco to bring some holiday cheer to young children and their families. Along with four other players from the Miami Hurricanes, Cal players brought gift bags filled with autographed posters and pom-poms.
"It was such a great feeling to bring joy to these kids today," said Payne. "It is tough enough for these children and their families to be in a hospital on Christmas. I just hope we made their day a little brighter."
The team returned to their hotel after practice to enjoy a Christmas dinner in their hotel ballroom. The Bears have a busy day on Friday, as they will participate in an Emerald Bowl rally at Yerba Buena Gardens at 11 a.m. and the Emerald Bowl kickoff luncheon at the Westin St. Francis before going through their final walk-through at AT&T Park.