BERKELEY – The new era of Cal football apparently answers to a different kind of calendar.
When asked Monday after the first day of practice of the 2013 season if the Aug. 31 season-opener against Northwestern feels like it’s right around the corner, new head coach Sonny Dykes said: “It feels like it’s a hundred years away.”
For Cal’s players, that’s about how long it felt like it took for Monday to arrive. After finishing the first spring practice under Dykes before the end of March, the Bears had to wait over four months to get back on the field. Cal held a spirited, energetic first practice Monday as training camp got underway at Memorial Stadium.
“There was tremendous improvement from Day One of the spring to Day One here,” linebacker Nick Forbes said. “We’ve been working extremely hard in the offseason. That hard work is the reason we come out here. It was a lot of fun. There were a lot of guys getting after it.”
While he was hired in December and directed the team through spring practice, Monday could unofficially be called the beginning of the Sonny Dykes era. Spring practice didn’t include the incoming freshmen as well as several injured players who didn’t participate. Monday marked the beginning of earnest preparations for the 2013 season.
“It’s a different feeling,” Dykes said. “Welcoming back some of the guys who didn’t participate in spring practice is good. It was the first chance to watch a lot of guys that you haven’t had a chance to see. They’re obviously guys we’re going to be relying on this year. It’s fun to see them come out here and compete and work.”
Junior Austin Hinder, who is competing with freshmen Zach Kline and Jared Goff for the starting quarterback position, said Monday’s first practice demonstrated some of the cultural changes Dykes and his coaching staff have put in place.
“It was a good first day,” Hinder said. “It’s so exciting. The new coaching staff has done a great job. They’ve really redefined the culture that we want here. They’ve done a great job of coming in and explaining to us what they want to happen, and we need to abide by those rules.”
The Bears will practice every day until Aug. 24, when they will then shift into a regular season practice mode. The first five practices will be in helmets only. They will have their first padded practice on Saturday.
“We have a long way to go and there are a lot of things we have to get worked out, but I thought today was a really good starting point,” Dykes said.
The 2013 season, and the Sonny Dykes era, begins on Saturday, Aug. 31, when Cal faces No. 22 Northwestern in the season opener at Memorial Stadium at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN 2. The Golden Bears have partnered with Accelar Transportation and the new Cal Bears Experience to bring all fans $19 game tickets in the south end zone, while supplies last. Fans can buy tickets at CalBears.com.
The Cal Bears Experience is a transportation, tailgate and ticket package created for a hassle-free gameday experience. For details, visit CalBearsExperience.com.
In addition to all of the content that can be found on CalBears.com about the 2013 season, fans will have the opportunity to get an all-access inside look at Cal football during the first season of the Sonny Dykes era through The Drive, a new series that will air in 14 episodes on the Pac-12 Networks this fall.
The show will debut with an hour-long special on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. PT that will focus on summer training camp and the first two games of the 2013 season. For the subsequent 13 weeks, the program will be 30 minutes and air twice each Wednesday across all seven networks (7 and 9:30 p.m.). Check the Pac-12 Networks TV Schedule for additional repeats of the show, or visit pac-12.com/switch for information on how to get the Pac-12 Networks.
Cal will host seven games at Memorial Stadium in 2013 beginning with three in a row against non-conference opponents Northwestern (Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m. PT, ESPN2), Portland State (Sept. 7, 2 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks) and Ohio State (Sept. 14, 4 p.m., FOX). Cal will also play Pac-12 home games against Washington State on Homecoming Weekend (Oct. 5), Oregon State (Oct. 19), Arizona (Nov. 2) and USC (Nov. 9).
Fans can visit CalBears.com and various award-winning Cal Athletics social media sites for comprehensive coverage of Cal football with a wide array of engaging content.
For 2013 ticket information, visit CalBears.com or call (800) GO-BEARS.
2013 CAL FOOTBALL TRAINING CAMP PRACTICE SCHEDULE
DAY, DATE (GATE 1 OPENS) ... NOTES Monday, August 5 (5 p.m.) ... Helmets Tuesday, August 6 (5 p.m.) ... Helmets Wednesday, August 7 (5 p.m.) ... Helmets Thursday, August 8 (5 p.m.) ... Helmets Friday, August 9 (5 p.m.) ... Helmets Saturday, August 10 (4 p.m.) ... Pads Sunday, August 11 (4 p.m.) ... Pads Monday, August 12 (9:30 a.m.) ... Freshmen Developmental Practice Monday, August 12 (4:30 p.m.) ... Pads Tuesday, August 13 (4:30 p.m.) ... Pads Wednesday, August 14 (9:30 a.m.) ... Freshmen Developmental Practice Wednesday, August 14 (4:30 p.m.) ... Pads Thursday, August 15 (9:30 a.m.) ... Freshmen Developmental Practice Thursday, August 15 (4:30 p.m.) ... Pads Friday, August 16 (9:30 a.m.) ... Freshman Developmental Practice Friday, August 16 (4:30 p.m.) ... Pads Saturday, August 17 (4 p.m.) ... Pads Sunday, August 18 (4 p.m.) ... Pads Monday, August 19 (4 p.m.) ... Pads Tuesday, August 20 (4 p.m.) ... Pads Wednesday, August 21 (4 p.m.) ... Pads Thursday, August 22 (4 p.m.) ... Pads Friday, August 23 (4 p.m.) ... Pads Saturday, August 24 (11 a.m.) ... Pregame Simulation/Helmets All times Pacific; Schedule and visiting policies subject to change
FAN PRACTICE INFORMATION Fans attending Cal football practices during the team’s 2013 training camp should enter Memorial Stadium through Gate 1 at the north end of the facility, with available seating in sections EE, F, FF and G. Fans are asked to refrain from taking photos or video during practice.
LOCATION/PARKING/TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS California Memorial Stadium Location – California Memorial Stadium is located on Piedmont Avenue in Berkeley between Bancroft Way and Hearst Avenue. It is adjacent to the Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance at 2227 Piedmont Avenue. Parking in the vicinity of Memorial Stadium is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be sure to read all signs at each parking location for further important information. There are also public transportation options. See below for some suggestions.
Public Transportation – Public transportation is highly recommended when visiting Berkeley. There are multiple public transportation options that lead to Memorial Stadium. BART has a station in downtown Berkeley about a half-mile west of the venue. Visit bart.gov, actransit.org or 511.org for more information.
Recreational Sports Facility Garage – Located on the north side of Bancroft Way between Dana Street and Ellsworth Street.
Street Parking – Paid and limited street parking may be available on streets near Memorial Stadium, with most options to the east, south and west along Bancroft Way, Channing Way, Piedmont Avenue, Prospect Street, Stadium Rim Way and Warring Street.
Underhill Garage – Located on the corner of Channing Way and College Avenue.
Witter Lot – Located near the corner of Centennial Drive and Stadium Rim Way.
More Information – For more info on directions and parking options, visit berkeley.edu/map.