You are here
Cal finally broke through for its first ever CRC title last year and is poised to make big moves once again this year. Led by All-American and Eagle captain, and 2013 Rugbymag CRC MVP, Seamus Kelly, the Golden Bears are one of the favorites to take home the title.
Kelly has been a household name at Cal for the last four years and holds Cal’s records with 18 CRC matches played and 16 tries scored. He has the 35 career 7s tries which is also a Golden Bears record.
The rest of the Bears roster consists of an equal distribution of sophomores, juniors and seniors. Jake Anderson and Brad Harrington will be making their third trips to the CRC while Paul Bosco returns for his second CRC in three years.
Three sophomores, Andrew Battaglia, Patrick Barientes and Anthony Salaber will be on the squad for the second time while 15s flanker Alec Gletzer makes his first CRC appearance for the Bears. The high motorman with long curly hair will sure to turn heads on the 7s stage.
It should be noted that the injury bug has hit Cal hard this year and a number of players are unable to attend due to injury. Seniors Josh Tucker and Jared Braun have played their final games for Cal and are sure to be missed by the Golden Bears.
Despite the injuries, Cal is currently ranked number one in 7s. With a combination of size and speed that causes tremendous problems for defenses, Cal will be tough to beat.
Cal will face a familiar group opponent in Temple. Last year the Golden Bears smacked the Owls to the tune of a 55-0 score line in group play.
"That didn’t go the way we wanted it to," Temple captain Peter Mulville told Rugbymag. "Cal is obviously a great team. We will have to do a better job keeping them in front of us this year."
It should be a little bit of a different game this year as Temple is putting in a much more experienced side.
"Almost everybody with the exception of a couple of guys played last year," Mulville said.
Fallbrook product Jared Moore leads the backs that should get a boost from first year player Brad Volm. The tenacious scrumhalf Brad Sawhill will look disrupt teams at the breakdown.
Temple knows they are up against it with Cal but hope to make it out of the group stage and into the Cup playoffs. They participated in the Keystone 7s series and the Subaru 7s in preparation for next week’s main event.
Maryland returns to the CRC after a hiatus last year. The entire spring semester has been dedicated to 7s with preparation focused on conditioning. With solid dedication, Maryland believes it can advance to the Cup playoffs.
"We are optimistic about the draw. Cal is a fantastic program and we look forward to the competition with them. We believe we have enough to make it to the knockout stages," club President Brian Cusack said.
Four-year players Mitas Cima and John Davis spearhead Maryland. Combined with transfers Guy Lopresti and Josh Marotske and freshman Erik Tack, Maryland is hoping to make some noise at the CRC.
Rounding out Group A is Drexel. Fully aware that many rate them lightly, the Drexel players have been working enormously hard, with extra workouts and plenty of determination. If they are going to score tries, they will do it by executing well and keeping the ball moving, as they are not a big team. But Robert Platcher and Joe Midwig are good players and should be watched. The Philly school took the Collegiate Plate at the Subaru 7s.