Donning the Blue & Gold - a Q&A With the Bears
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  06/20/2012

June 20, 2012

BERKELEY - Through all the years of youth leagues, travel ball, high school games, members of the California softball team have worn their fair share of uniforms. However, when they put on the Golden Bear uniform for the first time, it's an entirely different experience. Earning the privilege to don the Blue & Gold of the University of California is a very special experience, and talked to the Bears to find out what the Cal uniform means to them.

Valerie Arioto -
It is an honor to wear the California uniform because it represents the greatness and success that came before me - both athletically and academically. When I first put my uniform on, it was a great feeling to get the opportunity to be a part of this legacy and to be a part of Cal's traditions.

Cheyenne Cordes -
Wearing the California uniform is an honor. There are many softball players out there that wish they were in the same position as my teammates and I. Every time that I put my uniform on, I am reminded of how lucky I am to be a Golden Bear!

Ashley Decker -
It is a great feeling, especially knowing I am playing for one of the top teams in the nation. The first time I put on my uniform, I felt proud of my accomplishments throughout my softball career.

Frani Echavarria -
Wearing the California uniform is a reminder that any dream is attainable if you work hard. The first time I dressed out in my uniform, I couldn't stop smiling and I remember crying at that moment because I felt like I made it. My childhood dream of going to a Pac-10 school on a scholarship had finally come true.

Arianna Erceg -
Being able to wear the California uniform is a huge honor because it is giving me the chance to represent and play for such a great school. The first time I put on my uniform was one of the most exciting moments of my life. It was moment that I had basically waited for my whole life.

Danielle Henderson -
The first day I put on the California uniform was surreal, I felt like the day couldn't have possibly come so fast. When I put that uniform on it mean I was a part of a new family, and tons of fun to come with it. Every day after that when I put the uniform on, it was a privilege to be a part of such a great school such as Cal. To wear a Cal uniform is a great honor and I'm proud to be a part of such an amazing team.

Jolene Henderson -
To wear California and play is such an amazing feeling. The feeling of playing with a family called Cal and going out to play what I love is unexplainable! Every time I put the uniform on, I get the same feeling I did the first time I put it on - blessed. I'm blessed to play the game I love and so excited to be with such amazing teammates.

LaRisa Jones -
Every time I wear our uniform, I feel a sense of pride in representing our school and the previous players that made our program the success it is today.

Victoria Jones -
It is an honor to wear the California uniform. Being a part of this prestigious family is so fun. The first time I put my uniform on, I had to take a step back to take an extra look. At that point, I knew that I was a part of a great tradition here at Cal.

Breana Kostreba -
It is an honor to represent my school. I have always dreamed of playing for Cal, and I felt I had accomplished this goal when I put the uniform on for the first time.

Mary Lee -
It is an honor to wear the California uniform. It is a very unique experience to represent such an incredible institution, program, and team. The first time I put on my Cal uniform, it gave me a special feeling of representing and being a part of something so much larger than myself.

Nikki Owens -
It means that you're part of something bigger than yourself. The first time I put the uniform, I was honestly so proud to be a member of this team. My family and I had looked forward to that moment since the day I committed. I had to send my mom a self-portrait of me in it.

Elia Reid -
It means a lot for me to be able to represent this university. I take a lot of pride when wearing my uniform.

Jamia Reid -
To be able to wear the California uniform is an honor and it means a look to be able to represent this university. Even though I've worn the uniform for four years, I still get chills when we play really big games and the national anthem starts to play. It is an overall great experience.

Alex Robben -
Wearing a Cal uniform means a lot because it makes me realize how much I have accomplished to get to where I am today.

Taylor Vincent -
It makes me feel proud to represent my university every time I put on my jersey. The first time I put on my California uniform, it just hit me that after years of watching the bears play, I was a part of something big.

Britt Vonk -
It means so much to me! The day I signed I got more and more excited each day to put that uniform on. The first day I put it on they didn't have my No. 18 ready yet but it still felt great!

Jordan Wallace -
Well since I am a California girl born and raised it means a lot to me to be blessed enough to wear this uniform representing my state as the hallmark institution of the UC system. When I put my uniform on for the first time, I felt honored to be a part of the Golden Bear family. I finally felt like all my hard work had paid off and that I really felt like I belonged at Cal.

Jace Williams -
California is rich in tradition so wearing the uniform is an honor. Feeling a part of something special and far bigger than you is a blessing that not many people get to experience so I feel extremely fortunate to be afforded the opportunity. The first time I wore my uniform was a very humbling experience. I had been given a second chance and I was ready to make everyone proud.

Lindsey Ziegenhirt -
Wearing the Cal uniform is like putting on an alter ego. Whatever happened that day disappears and you become focused on one goal, which is to play and to win. I love the stares and thumbs up that I get when I walk by people in my uniform!