As a senior beginning the final training camp he’ll participate in as a Golden Bear, Cal men’s water polo player Colin Mulcahy didn’t need much in the way of external motivation to jump in the pool Wednesday morning.
But, there it was, inscribed in big block letters and staring him right in the face as he tossed on a jacket under a cloudy Berkeley sky.
“When you look up at the wall and it says ‘California,’ that wakes me up every morning,” Mulcahy said. “As a senior, you don’t get to see that much longer. These guys already kind of get that, and that’s huge.”
Teaching that culture is one task to tackle right off the bat for longtime Bears head coach Kirk Everist. Just as he did last year, Everist welcomes 10 freshmen that, while they might be a little green to start, could have the talent to put the experience factor on the back burner.
With so many young players on board, the learning process will be an important piece of the first portion of camp. The learning isn’t confined to players though, as Everist and his staff also need to figure out what they have in advance of a rapidly approaching regular season.
“It’s a super young team, and we played five true freshmen last year,” Everist said. “I think there’s five or six (freshmen) in this group that have a shot to compete. They’ve got to prove it. I think we could be a really young team but they’re talented. Experience you can get. Talent’s hard to teach…”