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Three Developments From The West Coast 7s

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Three Developments From The West Coast 7s

David Barpal photo.

Three big pieces of news came out of the opening West Coast 7s collegiate tournament this past weekend.

Cal Injuries

No one wants to see any player injured, but it’s especially difficult to see players who we expect to feature heavily in a team’s plans. This fall the Cal backline has been hit hard, as Christian Dyer, who certainly was in the Rudy Scholz Award conversation in pre-season, is out injured and missed the tournament. And then wing Sam Cusano was sidelined early.

This is the first sevens tournament of the season, sure, and there’s a long way to go and time for players to heal, but those injuries didn’t help.

Not an excuse, most coaches would say, and Cal Head Coach Jack Clark’s comments after the tournament made is plain he expects his players to embrace the challenge.

"The upperclassmen side wasn't all that good," coach Clark said. "We're missing the guys that are out and we just didn't get many outstanding upperclassmen performances. Of course, the one upperclassmen who played really well was Cam Cusano before we lost him to injury."

Cal fielded two teams and went 5-3 overall.

UCLA is Pretty Good

Despite some upheaval this summer, UCLA has come out with a pretty talented sevens team, and with Eric Naposki, Patrick French, and Pat Regan back, and with Peter Sio in there working with the team, they have a ton of potential.

And they proved that by winning the tournament, beating Cal in the final 29-20.

And … Cal Poly Beat Cal?

Yes, yes they did. Cal Poly Head Coach James Tesoriero didn’t want to put too much stock in the results, but, yes, 19-17, with Alex Domine breaking through and combining nicely with Patrick Madden to lead the way.

This could be a harbinger of better things to come for Cal Poly. Players who were injured last year are now back and ready to play. Some first-year players (Domine, Will Nogrady) have started to contribute immediately. Madden and Kyle Hegarty are veteran players who are starting to use their teammates better.

“As a sevens team we’ve got some players who have been playing here for three years,” said Tesoriero. “And we’re cautiously optimistic about the 15s season.”

It’s probably wise for Tesoriero to be cautious looking ahead; it’s only one sevens tournament, but it’s potentialy an indication that the Mustangs will be a handful this year.