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Get to Know the Scholz Finalists: Sam Golla

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Get to Know the Scholz Finalists: Sam Golla

Sam Golla leads the Cal Bears out onto the field. David Barpal photo.

While the D1A season ended a little earlier than Sam Golla wanted, the Cal captain has received accolades from around the country for his play.

This is tough to do for a lock, and a testament, in part, to Golla's play and leadership, and also to the attention the Rudy Scholz Award panelists give to rewarding the best players in the country.

Golla, for his part, talks about the team and the program.

"Being a finalist for this award is a pure reflection of the historic reputation of Cal Rugby," Golla told Goff Rugby Report. "I have had the opportunity to play with previous nominees before such as Sam Cusano and Nick Mirashem which goes to show the standard Cal Rugby sets across the rugby community. I owe everything to my current teammates. I believe we have some of the best players in the country on our team and we build off of each other's performances weekly. Without them I wouldn’t be able to learn from them, build off of them, and achieve team wide success with them. There is no spotlight on me without them in it.

It's that attitude that has garnered Golla a reputation as someone to look up to. Golla started playing his rugby at Denver East HS and was a standout for the Angels before joining the Bears at Cal. He wouldn't be at Cal, he says, if it weren't for Denver East.

"The head coach there is Bill Bear [and] the culture and reputation at East was phenomenal and inspired me to see how far I could take rugby," Golla explained, adding that he had other influences, too. "Even though East got me playing rugby, my mom was the one who signed me up for the Cal Rugby Camp where I was then scouted to play for the Golden Bears."

Always remember to thank Mom.

Soon the Rudy Scholz Award panel will vote on which of the finalists will receive the award as the best men's college rugby player in the country. To be in the mix is something special for Golla, but he plays not for those awards, but to be on a special team at a special school.

"It humbles me," he said. "I'm surrounded by incredible young men who motivate me to become a better person and player on a daily basis, so I am always pushed to my boundaries."