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Golden Nuggets: The Awards Keep Coming for Cal Student Athletes

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The improvement of Cal Football was not enough to save the program from a huge drop in attendance.

NCAA Football: Arizona at California Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Awards!!!

Congrats to the NINE Bears who were named to the #Pac12FB All-Academic Team!

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  • The big news that just came out was that NINE Cal Football players were awarded Pac-12 All-Academic honors, with five players making the Pac-12 All-Academic teams... led by Patrick Laird and Luke Rubenzer on the first team. Matt Anderson, Jake Curhan, and Tony Mekari made the second team. (Yes, I’m confused at how Anderson is second-team, despite being the Scholar Athlete of the year, as well.)

Jordan Kunaszyk, Demetris Robertson, Gabe Siemieniec and Russ Ude were named honorable mentions.

The award is given to those with at least a 3.0 GPA and also played in at least 50% of the team’s games... unless they had an injury (which is how Robertson made the list).

See the Cal Athletics recap for more details, including the specific GPAs and majors of the nine players.

  • Just announced on social media, Cal Volleyball’s Academic honors.
  • In Field Hockey, Megan Rodgers made the NFHCA All-Region Squad in the West region after a great rookie campaign.
  • Eight Women’s Soccer players made the Honorable Mention list in the All-Academic squad. They are Maggie Bell, Guro Bergsvand, Mia Corbin, Kelly Fitzgerald, Kayla Fong, Anja Koehler, Haley Lukas, and Heather Walleigh.
  • She hasn’t been awarded yet... but now Kristine Anigwe is on the Naismith Award watch list! Right now the list has 50 players. It will be cut to 30 in the middle of the season. She was also on the watchlist last year. She already is on the John R. Wooden Award and the Katrina McClain award watchlists.

If I missed anything... or something came out just after publication... post them in the comments!

Football

So now take into account the fact that three of Cal’s losses this season were by 3 points or less, that the offense operated nearly all season without star wide receiver and deep threat Demetris Robertson, that the team suffered numerous season-ending injuries and that Wilcox was hired too late to have significant influence on recruitment.

I see something promising brewing in the horizon. Cal no longer has to settle for being the breeding ground for plebeian football. Predicting Cal to be national champions next year would be getting miles ahead of myself, but an improvement from what we’re used to in Berkeley ─ book it.

Cal football suffered a drastic year-to-year attendance drop this season after home games at California Memorial Stadium brought in an average of 36,548 fans per game — a 22 percent drop from last year’s average of 46,628.

Total ticket revenue was down about $193,000 from Cal Athletics’ preseason projections, according to Cal Athletics spokesperson Herb Benenson. Benenson said in an email that it is “too early” to project how ticket revenue from the season will affect the athletic department’s overall numbers for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

“Of course, we would like to see more support for our team at Memorial Stadium,” Benenson said in his email. “Our fans are very important to the program and its success.”

The drop in Cal football’s attendance comes as Cal Athletics faces huge interest payments from debt incurred from the 2012 renovation of Memorial Stadium and construction of its athletics complex. In total, Cal Athletics holds more than $400 million in debt, the most of any athletic department in the country.

Misc.

June of 2017 also saw Frei obtain his U.S. citizenship. He moved from Switzerland to the U.S. in the late 90s, playing for De La Salle High School in California and the University of California, Berkeley, before being drafted 13th overall in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by Toronto FC.

Frei has yet to receive a USMNT cap, but it’s a moment he’s whole heartedly looking forward to.

“I would love to,” Frei said of representing the U.S. “That would be a huge, huge honor. It’s something that I can’t really control. The only thing I can control is how I practice, how I play. Hopefully I get time on the field with the Sounders, and hopefully I can do my best and show my best in those moments. Obviously those are the things I’m focusing on. Like I said, it’d be a huge honor and hopefully that day will come.”

I do like to post articles regarding former Bears, especially not-American Football players, so do e-mail me tips about them. Thanks to Shawn for this one.

See you at School Haas Rock!