A moment Aggie fans have been eagerly awaiting since new head coach Ron Gould was introduced in December is finally here as the UC Davis football team begins spring practice Tuesday at Aggie Stadium.
Eighty UCD players have endured early-morning winter conditioning in preparation for the practices, which will run from approximately 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and mid-mornings until noon on Saturdays, through April. The 15 practices will culminate with the Spring Preview scrimmage on April 27 at Aggie Stadium.
Gould, replacing the retired Bob Biggs, came to the program after a long tenure at Cal, which included duties as associate head coach. Since then, Gould has been busy assembling his staff and putting together the pieces with an eye toward leading the Aggies to a strong finish in the Big Sky Conference. With a new head coach, this year’s spring drills take on special importance.
“There will be a tremendous amount of education,” Gould said. “We’re implementing a totally new offense, a totally new defense (and) terminology is different. There’s going to be a lot of learning and a lot of teaching that’ll happen in the 15 practices of spring ball.
“One of things that you’ll see is the players will get better and better each practice and get more comfortable with what we’re doing offensively, as well as defensively.”
Gould added that the goals for his first spring practices as a head coach are simple: “The number one thing is for us to grow as a team, grow as individuals and grow as a family. That’s very, very important and that’s what I want to accomplish this spring.”
Rain had the Aggies playing late into the night on Saturday at No. 18 Hawaii and, when it was all over, the Rainbow Wahine completed a weekend sweep with 2-1 and 6-2 victories.
In Saturday’s first game, the two teams picked up where they had left off in a 10-inning Friday grudge match (won by Hawaii, 5-4), with the squads each scoring one early run. UCD tied things at 1-1 when Kelly Schulze led off the top of the second with a single, and pinch runner Gretchen Dierkman eventually scored on Christa Castello’s single.
Meanwhile, Aggie starting pitcher Leah Munden held her own against the powerful Wahine, throwing all six innings and fanning four against only one walk. However, a single run in the fifth won it for Hawaii.
The Rainbow Wahine then jumped out to a 4-0 lead in Game 2. UCD’s Amy Nunez (2-for-3) and Chandler Wagner got on base and scored to cut the lead in half in the top of the second inning, but it was all the Aggies would score.
Taylor to coach Titans
Several media outlets are reporting that former Aggie hoops standout Dedrique Taylor will take over as head coach at UCD’s Big West rival Cal State Fullerton.
Taylor is expected to be announced as soon as his contract is finalized, replacing Titans’ interim coach Andy Newman.
The Aggies’ leading scorer in 1996-97 — his second and final season at UCD — at 11.1 points per game, Taylor has been an assistant coach at Arizona State since 2006. His coaching career also began in the Aggie program in 2000 and he went on to assist at Loyola Marymount and Nevada before joining the Sun Devil staff.
NDE golf tournament
The North Davis Elementary School PTA is looking for players and sponsors for its fourth annual fundraising golf tournament, which is now named the John Henderson Memorial Tournament.
John was a 7-year-old second-grader at North Davis who died in December 2011 after he fell off a chair lift at Sugar Bowl.
The tournament is set for Sunday, April 21, at the Yocha Dehe Golf Course at the Cache Creek Casino Resort. Proceeds will benefit the elementary school and its arts program.
The cost of $150 per player covers golf — play begins at 9 a.m. — a buffet lunch at 3 p.m. and a goodie bag.
Organizers will hand out prizes for longest drive, closest to the pin, first- and second-place team, scratch score, mulligan score, Need Lessons (highest score) as well as a 2013 Honda Accord — courtesy of University Honda — for a hole-in-one on No. 7. An accompanying raffle includes prizes such as a 2013-14 season ski pass courtesy of Sugar Bowl.
Sponsorships are available from the $2,500 level all the way down.
For more information, visit www.djusd.k12.ca.us/NorthDavis.