BERKELEY – The California football team kicked off 2014 training camp with its first practice Monday afternoon at Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium. Second-year head coach Sonny Dykes said he was pleased with what he saw on the field from his players considering it was the first day of practice.
“There was a lot of effort and improvement. I saw both of those things today,” Dykes said. “Defensively, I thought we ran around pretty well. There were a lot of interchangeable parts, a lot of bodies flying around. There are some inexperienced guys, but I like the way they competed and hustled. I saw some little things that are going to make us a better football team.”
The Golden Bears had their first glimpses of true freshmen wide receiver Erik Brown and running back Tre Watson, among many other newcomers wearing the blue and gold for the first time.
“My goal for the first day was to get a feel for everything,” Watson said. “I wanted to learn the offense and the defense so I can get a feel for where guys are going to line up, learning how to hit the holes and knowing what I’m looking at when I’m going through. I wanted to get the gist of everything, get the speed and the plays down.”
Defensively, first-year defensive coordinator Art Kaufman said he was pleased with how much his defenders retained the scheme that was instilled during spring ball. He also liked the energy the defense showed and how much the Bears were flying to the ball.
Kaufman has the luxury of having returning veterans such as Brennan Scarlett, Stefan McClure, Avery Sebastian and Nathan Broussard back after the quartet missed either the entire 2013 season or a significant portion of it due to injury.
Following the first practice Dykes announced during a team meeting 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.
The Golden Bears open their 2014 season at Northwestern on Aug. 30 (2:30 p.m. CT/12:30 p.m. PT, ABC/ESPN2) before hosting 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).