BERKELEY, Calif. – As the summer winds down and students are preparing to go back to school, the Cal football team has been spending their summer training with their team for months.
After winning only three games last year the Bears are looking to reinvent themselves this season. As it turns out, reinventing themselves won’t be hard with the young team, new head coach and the fairly new stadium behind them.
The stadium renovations were completed in time for the 2012 season last year. It feautured a deeper field, more spacious seating, new restrooms and a larger, up-to-date scoreboard that cost $321 million. “The new stadium says that the school is behind the team and values the program. That is really important for the team to know,” said Kyle McRae, the associate media relations director for the Bears.
The three quarterbacks vying for the starting position - Junior Austin Hinder, Freshman Zach Kline, and Freshman Jared Goff – have been working for the position for six months. None of them have ever taken a snap in a collegiate game, but they are all motivated to lead a winning team this season.
Zach Kline commited to Cal in 2012 after leading his high school team, San Ramon Valley, to a 10-4 record, throwing for 36 touchdowns with only seven interceptions.
Jared Goff threw for 93 touchdowns during his high school career at Marin Caltholic High School and played in Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
Austin Hinder, the oldest of the three, was ranked the No. 10 quarterback in the nation by Prepstar when he played for Steamboat Springs High School. He was redshirted and did not play in 2010, he did not play in 2011 and in 2012 he played spring ball.
All three quarterbacks are being watched by the coaches both on and off the field. “Whether or not he is on time to weight training and practice, if he falls alseep during class, it is all factored in to the decision,” said McRae.
Sonny Dykes, the new head coach of the Bears has told reporters that he will start the quarterback that gives them the best chance of winning, said McRae. “When the decision is made I will sit down with them and prepare them for their interviews with the press. Training them for coping well with the media is so important. The coach believes that education about how to use social media properly and handle the press is another aspect of being a colligate football player.”
The new head coach has been working hard to establish a connection with his team. “Sonny is absolutely fantastic,” said McRae. “He just wants to prepare the team and wants them to believe that it’s really all about the team. He tells them to put in the same amount of effort no matter what.” Dykes has spent the last three years coaching at Lousiana Tech and produced a winning record for two of the three seasons as well as earning a trip to the Poinsetta Bowl in 2011.
In the team’s first locker room meeting last Sunday, Dykes told the players, “You only get one chance to be the 2013 Cal Bears. You won’t have another season to be this team.”