Thursday, August 27, 2009

SF Chronicle: Cal's starting kicker still up in Air

Ron Kroichick


Coach Jeff Tedford resolved some personnel issues after Wednesday's practice at Memorial Stadium. Justin Cheadle and Matt Summers-Gavin will start at the guard spots in the season opener against Maryland, Anthony Miller will start at tight end and Brian Holley probably will start at fullback.  Left unresolved: Who will trot onto the field and potentially decide games with his foot?

The duel for the placekicking job includes sophomores Giorgio Tavecchio and David Seawright and true freshman Vince D'Amato. Tedford declined to name a winner Wednesday, saying he and the coaching staff need more time to decide.  "I guess maybe they don't want whoever is going to be kicking to know early, so they can cruise," Tavecchio said. "They want us to push all the way to the end, which is probably a good thing. That keeps us all under a little bit of pressure." Seawright earned the job last year and was 5-for-7 on field-goal tries (over five games), before a groin injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. Tavecchio, from Campolindo High in Moraga, kicked for the final eight games and went 9-for-13.

D'Amato made his presence known in training camp, too. After one practice last week, with the entire team due to run three "gassers," Tedford gave D'Amato a chance to go double or nothing. His 42-yard kick sailed through the uprights, to the loud approval of his teammates.  "David being healthy and Vince coming in really pushed me, and I appreciate that," Tavecchio said. "And I hope I pushed them to make them better. We all kind of kicked it up an extra notch because of that competition."

Freshmen to watch: One name to remember is Ise Sofele, a fleet and diminutive (5-foot-7, 170) wide receiver from Salt Lake City. Tedford said Sofele is one of the few true freshmen likely to play this season, possibly on kickoff returns.  Another true freshman who might not redshirt is Brian Schwenke, a 6-3, 260-pound guard from Oceanside (San Diego County).

Briefly: Linebacker Eddie Young (concussion) and safety Marcus Ezeff (sprained ankle) missed practice Wednesday, though they're expected back in a couple of days. ... Tailback Dasarte Yarnway, a freshman from Sacred Heart Cathedral in San Francisco, needs foot surgery and will miss the entire season.

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