BERKELEY – Head coach Sonny Dykes announced during a team meeting following the first practice of 2014 training camp that former walk-ons senior fullback Lucus Gingold and senior wide receiver Bryce McGovern have been awarded with athletic scholarships. The announcement was greeted with loud cheers from their teammates.
“It’s really rewarding for a coach to get to put deserving student-athletes on scholarship,” Dykes said. “One of the best things that we get to do is reward people for their hard work.”
McGovern leads all active Cal players with 35 games played all off the bench both as a reserve wide receiver and on special teams, where he has emerged as one of Cal’s key players. McGovern is expected to resume his special teams role in 2014 and is also shares the No. 3 spot at the inside receiver ‘H’ position on the preseason depth chart.
“Bryce certainly has been a contributor around here for a long time,” Dykes said. “He’s played in a lot of games and is very deserving. He was probably our best special teams player last year. He is a hard worker and what this program is all about.”
“It’s just an unbelievable feeling finally being able to help my parents out with a scholarship because they have supported me so much,” McGovern said. “The response from the team was an awesome feeling as well, just to see how happy there for Lucas and I gave me goosebumps. All my teammates helped me achieve this goal of mine, and I can’t thank them all enough for that.”
Gingold is listed as Cal’s returning starter at the fullback position on the 2014 preseason depth chart after seeing most of the squad’s action at the position last year, playing in all 12 games and making four official starts. The primary function of the position is to block but Gingold also contributed three catches for 36 yards as a junior.
“Lucus has been a really productive player for us,” Dykes said. “He is one of our team leaders. Everybody respects his work ethic and toughness and the way he comes to work every day. Lucus is a blue-collar guy and again epitomizes what we want our program to be all about.”
“It feels great to be put on scholarship at Cal, somewhere I never thought I would be able to play at growing up,” Gingold said. “It’s something I’ve been working for a long time, and it takes away a lot of financial stress that comes with being a walk-on. It just shows that if you work hard and do the right thing, good things will happen. The reaction from the team was great. I’ve been a part of celebrating other walk-ons being awarded scholarships so it was definitely a good feeling to get that reaction for myself and Bryce.”
Cal held its first 2014 training camp practice on Monday at Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium as the Golden Bears began official preparation for the upcoming season that begins at Northwestern on Aug. 30 (2:30 p.m. CT/12:30 p.m. PT, ABC/ESPN2).
The Bears host Sacramento State in the first of six home games at Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium on Sept. 6 (Noon PT, Pac-12 Networks).
Cal will also play Pac-12 opponents Colorado (Sept. 27), Washington (Oct. 11), UCLA (Oct. 18) and Stanford (Nov. 22) in Berkeley before concluding the 2014 regular season by hosting a non-conference game against BYU on Nov. 29.
Cal’s home contest against Oregon at Levi’s® Stadium (Oct. 24) will be the first-ever collegiate football game at the venue. FOX Sports 1 will televise the contest with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. PT.
Cal has Pac-12 road games at Arizona (Sept. 20), Washington State (Oct. 4), Oregon State (Nov. 1) and USC (Nov. 13), with the final road game of the regular season against the Trojans an ESPN Thursday night contest (6 p.m. PT).Cal football tickets are available at CalBears.com or by calling (800) GO BEARS (462-3277).