VALLEJO, Calif. – A Golden Bears squad comprised almost entirely of freshmen and sophomores put together a solid performance for a convincing win over the California Maritime Academy Wednesday night on Bodnar Field.
A sizable crowd enjoyed the still and chilly air under the lights at Cal Maritime’s varsity venue as California (5-0) continued its early-season mission to distribute minutes around the roster in its victory over the Keelhaulers (3-2).
“I was happy to see a young side represent us tonight,” said head coach Jack Clark. “It’s important for their development and as these guys become upperclassmen together I’d like them to have had the spirit and cohesion of playing together as underclassmen.”
Sophomore Harry Adolphus opened the scoring with a 25-meter penalty kick and added two tries and two conversions before he was replaced by freshman Jamie Howells, who connected on 7-of-12 conversions following tries by a parade of frosh-sophs including James Kondrat, Christian Hess, Anthony Salaber, Henry Harmon, Louis Le Merle, Charles Guiraud, Karl Thornton and Billy Maggs.
“It’s important to take advantage of these chances to play together and play well,” said Maggs, a center from Del Mar, Calif. “In the backs we’re going to keep working hard at getting back and being ready to receive the ball, while being economical in the ruck areas, not over- or under-committing.”
Freshman Connor Sweet, a back-rower from Xavier High School in New York City, echoed the sentiment that tonight’s team was “getting used to each other’s voices and how we play together. It was great to play not just with my new teammates but also two of my high school teammates in James Kondrat and Charles Guiraud.”
“I thought we matched Cal’s intensity to stay with them for some of the first half before they got away from us,” said Maritime coach Steve Hiatt, a former Cal All-American whose team advanced to the Sweet 16 at the 2013 NSCRO championships. “Although the game has evolved since my playing days, one thing you still see in every Cal team is all the players buying into the system. They’re intense and they play together.”
The Bears will now begin to prepare for their home opener and beginning of the PAC Rugby Conference season when Oregon State comes to Witter Rugby Field for a 1 p.m. start on Saturday, Feb. 1. A reserve-grade contest will follow the Starting XV.
The Scoring Timeline vs. Cal Maritime
02:00 Harry Adolphus 3
06:00 Billy Maggs 5
19:00 Harry Adolphus 5, 2
22:00 Cal Maritime (Brian Martinez)
28:00 Harry Adolphus 5
31:00 Matthew Chipman 5
37:00 Christian Hess 5
Halftime: California 44, Cal Maritime 5
55:00 Henry Harmon 5
65:00 Lucas Dunne 5
75:00 Karl Thornton 5
Final Score: California 101, Cal Maritime 5
The Team vs. Cal Maritime
15. A. Salaber, 14. Chipman (Guiraud @ 40:00), 13. Todd (Drake @ 40:00), 12. Maggs, 11. Hess, 10. Adolphus, 9. Webb, 1. Harmon (Baylor @ 45:00), 2. Haynes (Frey @ 45:00), 3. Vrame (Ogburn @ 40:00), 4. Kondrat (Kozinski @ 45:00), 5. Calnero, 6. Sweet (Le Merle @ 40:00), 7. Spradling, 8. Tandy (Sweet @ 40:00)