April 15, 1997
Cal (12-3) Readies for Indiana
THIS WEEK: Sat. & Sun, April 19 & 20 Regional Play Offs Witter Field 11am & 1pm.
BEARS TO TEST DEPTH...: Cal's bid for a seventh consecutive national title begins with a match against Indiana University at 1.00pm Saturday. The Bears, who finished the regular season 12-3, have not lost to an American team this year, but will need two strong showings this weekend to preserve that record and advance to the national championship "final four." Cal coach Jack Clark respects the Indiana program: "From the tape that we've reviewed, they are a competent rugby team. You need to play well to beat them." The squad from Bloomington includes back row forward Dan Younger who Clark describes as one of the best in college rugby. "It is a match where we will test the depth of our squad," Coach Clark says. "It is important to win Saturday, but likewise it is important to be as fresh as possible for Sunday's match."
...AND ENDURANCE: If the Bears dispatch Indiana as they plan, there won't be time to revel in the victory. Arizona faces Air Force in an 11am game on Saturday and Cal will meet the winners of that match on Sunday at 1.00pm. The consolation match will be played at 11am Sunday. Cal has already beaten Arizona twice this season and so holds a psychological edge over the Wildcats. However, they have not faced the perennially strong Air Force program this season. No matter who Cal faces, the Bears know that their opponents will field their strongest team, motivated by the desire to defeat the defending national champions. Cal hopes to use nearly 30 players in its championship drive, so that a rested team will take the field in each match this weekend. If Cal prevails, they will face another two game weekend when they host the "final four" on May 3 &4.
Admission to each day of this weekend's tournament will be $5.00 for the general public, $3.00 for students and seniors. Admission is free for Gold and AP cardholders.
HEAD COACH JACK CLARK: Now in his 14th season as Cal's head coach, Jack Clark has a 243-52-4 record, leading the Bears to ten national titles and seeking a seventh consecutive championship in 1997. Clark is a former standout football player at Cal who went on to play rugby for the national team and was a world team selection in 1980. He also serves as head coach for the USA national team, the Eagles.