BERKELEY - Once again sold out at 170 campers, the 2012 Cal Rugby Summer Camp opened on Tuesday with a four-day immersion in the sport that has seen the Golden Bears earn 126 All-America honors and make 561 appearances with the U.S. National Team from a program that has won 26 national collegiate titles and contributed to two Olympic gold medals.
Boys from around the nation and the globe between the ages of 15 and 18 were welcomed to Witter Rugby Field and Strawberry Canyon by head coach Jack Clark, fellow former National Team coach Tom Billups and manager Jerry Figone. These seasoned professionals have selected a broad range of current and former Rugby Bears representing a range of positions as counselors for the camp session.
Also joining the rugby coaches and counselors are Dr. Phil Wagner, Director of Applied Research at SPARTA Performance Science; Nick McNeil, an Academic Advisor at the University; and Pete Smith of the Northern California Referee Society. The campers' well being is administered to by athletic training staff from Intercollegiate Athletics.
Among the attendees are almost 70 rising seniors who are considering their imminent college futures as the November application window approaches.
"There is no doubt the camp has been instrumental in building our roster," said coach Clark. "Spending time on the field and off with young athletes is the best way to get to know them and learn what they want from their collegiate athletic experience."
In addition to daily training sessions and a tour of the training zone at the Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance, campers are led through their days with seminars and clinics covering a wide range of on- and off-field topics. Evening video analysis allows players valuable feedback on their progress, and each evening ends with the campers checked in at an on-campus dormitory.
"It is a fun week having the high school students with us on campus," Clark added. "They bring a great energy."