ALAMEDA, Calif. - The California baseball program made its annual trip to the Alameda County Community Food Bank on Monday afternoon to volunteer their time to help with the Thanksgiving holiday rush. Members of the team, head coach David Esquer and members of the support staff spent over three hours sorting and bagging fresh produce that will be distributed to less fortunate families this holiday season.
Over the course of the day, members of the Golden Bears program sorted and bagged nearly 14,000 pounds of fresh produce, including 11,781 pounds of apples. That amount of food translates into nearly 11,000 meals that will be provided to Alameda County residents in the coming weeks.
"Most of all, this is about giving back to our community," senior right-hander Ryan Mason said on Monday afternoon. "This is a chance and opportunity every single year for us to give something back to the community that supports us and it is really nice to see the whole team out here every single year giving their time and really making a difference."
California (#14 AP/#13 USA Today) leaves the confines of Haas Pavilion for the first time this season when the Golden Bears travel to the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational at the Orleans Arena. Cal will first face off with San Diego State tonight at 9 p.m. before meeting either West Virginia or Richmond on Friday. Both contests will be televised by FOX Sports 1.
BERKELEY - There is a growing consensus in college volleyball that Cal senior Lillian Schonewise has become the best player in the country at hitting the slide - an attack in which the middle blocker runs behind the setter and jumps off one foot before swinging.
Considering Schonewise grew up in the same house as the person who essentially is responsible for introducing the play to the college game, you can understand why.
Schonewise's mom, Karen, was a two-time All-American at Nebraska during the mid-1980s. After her sophomore season, she played with the U.S. Junior National Team at the World University Games and noticed a team from Korea running a version of what is now known as the slide play in the United States.
When she returned to Nebraska, she told head coach Terry Pettit about it and they began to incorporate the attack into the Cornhuskers' offense. Karen flourished with this new weapon in her arsenal, helping Nebraska reach the national title match in 1986 and being named the Honda Award winner (National Player of the Year) in 1987.
"It was very unique at the time because nobody in the country was running it," Karen Schonewise said. "It hadn't been introduced to the collegiate game. When we first started running it, Coach Pettit said at the time it was like coming into a match with machine guns when everyone else had a bow and arrow. It was just so unique and nobody had seen it before."
Amanda Augustus added to her talented recruiting class on Wednesday when California's head coach announced the addition of blue-chip recruit Maria Smith to the Golden Bear roster. Smith, who is graduating one semester early from Texas Connections Academy, will join Cal in January of 2016.
Men's Water Polo
For the second straight year, a Cal men's water polo player earned Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Newcomer of the Year honors as freshman Johnny Hooper took home one of the conference's biggest awards in a release issued by the conference.
Stephen Anderson can hold his own in a conversation with the team's medical staff when he has an injury.
Very interested in a career in the medical field, Anderson, a senior tight end for the Golden Bears, often chats with the Cal medical staff about injuries and what happens to football players' bodies over the course of a football season.
Not only is Anderson interested in a career in the medical field, he decided to take action last year shortly after the 2014 season ended by volunteering at Highland Hospital in Oakland where he put together walkers and oxygen tanks, while shadowing the doctors.
He learned much more from the experience than simply how to get the patients healthy again.
"I learned that you have to be careful with your words and your encouragement of patients because they are coming from tragic injuries," Anderson said. "You need to be able to encourage them in each of their different stages to start walking and stretch their muscles. I learned more about just the attitude you're supposed to have towards patients such as words and motivation more than what to do in certain types of situations with each injury. You really have to get them up and get them going."
National Football League
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers is looking forward to seeing Brett Favre again, but the Green Bay Packers quarterback better keep his helmet in a secure location with his predecessor back in the building.
In advance of Favre's return to Lambeau Field to have his retired No. 4 unveiled on the north end zone facade during Thursday's game against the Chicago Bears, Rodgers recalled Tuesday how Favre, who might have been an even better prankster than he was a quarterback, got Rodgers good during his time as Favre's understudy, from 2005 through 2007.
Before one midweek practice, Favre placed a helmet on a table inside the Packers' locker room with a couple of markers, as players often do with memorabilia they need signed for charity events or their own collections. Except this helmet wasn't a replica -- it was the backup QB's helmet for practices and games.
"Everybody signed it, and I had to go down to practice with [it]," Rodgers recounted with a chuckle after practice Tuesday. "Everybody had signed it, including myself, on my own helmet."
After the initial embarrassment, it dawned on Rodgers that he had some valuable signatures on that helmet.
"I realized, 'That's got Favre's and some other guys' autographs -- don't wipe it off,'" Rodgers said.
Alas, that realization came too late, as equipment manager Gordon "Red" Batty successfully removed most of the ink before Rodgers could stop him.
"You just had to watch yourself sometimes around him because [he was] always trying to incite some pranks," Rodgers said. "So you had to be careful."