Posted 2 hours ago

BAKERSFIELD BASQUE RESTAURANTS

When people hear that I’m a Kern County native, the #1 thing people always seem to know about are the Basque dining establishments in Bakersfield. I’m not going to sit here and break them down, menu vs. menu. These are simply my recommendations, and I haven’t eaten at most of these places in awhile.

Why now? I went to Bakersfield last night right after our second practice to celebrate my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary at Benji’s on Rosedale Highway, and it reminded me of how much people like to talk about Bakersfield Basque restaurants. Not to mention how good the food is:

Best breakfast that can last into the afternoon: Noriega’s (Noriega Hotel) 525 Sumner St, Bakersfield, CA 93305 (661) 322-8419

Best lunch: Luigi’s 725 E 19th St, Bakersfield, CA 93305 (661) 322-0926

Best dinner: Wool Grower’s 620 E 19th St, Bakersfield, CA 93305 (661) 327-9584

Next best dinner: Noriega’s or Benji’s

Posted 1 day ago

Day Something…

We have reached Groundhog Day in training camp. I have no idea what day it is, I just know the pattern and routine and move from meals to meetings to practices to meetings to practices to meals to meetings and more meetings. So cool! 

Yesterday was not a great day, but it seems like with this team, our not-so-great days aren’t too shabby. Here’s your million dollar advice to apply to your life and to teach your kids for today. I learned this through countless hours in the film room and on the practice field:

Things are never as good or as bad as you think.

What? That’s it? That’s all you got? Yep, it is that simple. Don’t get too high with the highs or too low with the lows. In football, as in life, you can’t get too hung-up on what just happened. You can’t move forward with that extra weight. You can learn from those experiences, but you can’t dwell on them. Keep moving forward. Keep growing. Move on to the next play. If you think your last rep was great, that’s about the time you get smacked upside the head. If you beat yourself up over what just happened, you miss something right in front of you. Simple yet profound and hard to apply.

New Student Orientation begins today. School starts next week. The challenge on our end as a staff is maintaining focus. There will be a lot more noise and clutter. We’ll see how this group navigates those waters.

Posted 2 days ago

This post is dedicated to Keith Miller.

Posted 2 days ago

TRAINING CAMP DAY 5

Wednesday was a blue collar, punch-in and get to work day on the North Field. The AM practice, our second in full pads, was spirited and physical.  I was impressed with the speed of our front seven in the team run period, as the Defense earned the Competition Belt for the first time in camp. The Offense responded with a nice 7-on-7 period, so the day ended with positives in every phase of the game.

The afternoon practice, in shorts, was short and crisp. I decided to go to a country music playlist as an educational primer for our players that are not up to speed on that genre. We witnessed some dance moves to country music you generally don’t see at your local honky tonk, but Coach Emma, who bombed the AM Punt Catch competition by not knowing how to properly operate the Jugs Machine, slipped-in one too many songs from the George Straight Troubadour album, and the men turned on me mid-practice. We actually had to turn the music off.  Coach Emma had asked me beforehand if it was OK to play a little Troubadour, and I thought he was referring to the song, not the entire album. Nobody appreciates a good George Straight tune more than me, and I can belt The Chair word for word with all of my heart, but life is about balance, and when you’re introducing at least 75% of your team to a new musical genre, you can’t give them too much of one thing.

We got better yesterday. We also got bumps and bruises. Today is a test of our mental make-up more so than our physical. We’re going to strap it up and get back after it this morning, let’s get our mind right.

Posted 3 days ago

SONG OF THE DAY:  Convoy, from 1976.  WHOMP WHOMP WEDNESDAY at the Lu!

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Posted 4 days ago

DAY 4

We had an opportunity to feel sorry for ourselves and wallow in self-pity yesterday as people’s legs started to ache and we have a few bumps and bruises. Life is about choices, and this group chose to have a champion’s mindset and brought great energy to practice on Monday. 

The best song on Monday’s Practice Playlist: I liked Mötley Crüe’s Wild Side

Mid-practice, we held a Dance Off, video footage to come. On the Defensive side, Dejon Rothschild was a one man crew, but his break dancing and snow angels could not overcome David Rico being tossed around in the air, and Ricky Johnson’s smooth moves and standing backflip in helmet and shoulder pads. Very impressive finish, Offense retained the Competition Belt.

Day 4 also included our pool events in the team building competition, and while Punter Jack McFarland’s team continued their strong showing in the Shoulder Pad and Pants Relay, they just didn’t have enough lead in the pants to compete for the Belly Flop title. That went to Offensive Tackle Cheyne Darough, who outlasted FR Center Clayton Fegett who had a strong showing in the 1st round. Darough dominated the Flop Off, and McFarland’s win streak was snapped at two. 

Posted 5 days ago

DAY 3

Sunday was a busy day around these parts.  While the rest of campus was socked-in on a foggy morning, we were up and at it early, held a walkthrough at Rolland Stadium, then took it inside for our annual Dodgeball brawl!

I’ll be the first to admit that I jumped off the bandwagon when Punter Jack McFarland’s team was down to their last man when the court condensed. However, they found a way to rally and win the game, then cruised to the title. The coach’s team always awaits the winner, and they made quick work of our squad. We hoped for major contributions from young Coach De Los Santos, but he got eliminated not once, but twice. In an event that we have won several times since 2007, our staff looked old and disinterested yesterday, and there are only three of us that can use the word “old” in describing ourselves.

Practice #3 was the best first day with shoulder pads effort we’ve ever had. It was also our annual Fan Day, and the bleachers and back lines on the North Field were packed! Thanks to everyone that came out and shared the afternoon with us. 

Today will be a challenge as legs are getting a little heavy and faces looked tired at breakfast. Attitude is a choice, and we have to choose to bring the energy this morning at 0930.

This afternoon, we’re in the pool for the always entertaining Antoine Adams Invitational Swim Relay and Belly Flop Competition.

For more pictures and commentary from our team building activities and practices, follow on Twitter @CLUCoachMac and on Instagram @CLUFootball.

Posted 1 week ago
Posted 1 week ago

(Photographic evidence that I coached Running Backs once)

ALRIGHT! We’re practicing, baby, life is good!!! I’m not going to report a lot since we’re in the NCAA acclimation period and only wearing helmets with no pads. Honestly, you can’t tell a real football player without playing real football. You can tell athletes, and there is no shortage of athletes of all eligible ages competing on the North Field, but we’ll get a better idea once we’re able to have some contact.

The weather is perfect, low-80s with a breeze, light marine layer in the morning. Food is outstanding, the Ullman Commons is an unbelievable upgrade. You can’t truly appreciate it until you dine there. Sleep is in short supply as we discuss and evaluate every guy in the program into the wee hours of the night, then get-up early to get after it. Meetings, practices, meetings, weight room, and more meetings. Such is training camp, and I love it (especially since my eligibility ended)! My wife and 2/3 of the kids stopped-by last night, and it was cool watching my son lead the Running Back break and getting bounced-off of the pass rush pop-up dummies. Pretty amazing what a shot in the arm five minutes of seeing your family during this time can do for you, and I’m sure the players feel the same way.

Things will become increasingly more challenging for the players tomorrow as we put-on shoulder pads with the shorts for two days. Leg soreness will set-in and mental fatigue becomes an issue. You can get a lot accomplished once the shoulder pads come on, and our best teams have spent a good portion of the season practicing in shells in days of yore. It’s up to the team, how they learn to practice, to determine how often we go in shells, so that is TBD outside the mandated acclimation period and scheduled rest days.

An hour before practice and I have 125 NCAA forms to sign. Time to crank some good signing music (80s Metal playlist) and find a good pen. 

Go Kingsmen!

Follow us on Twitter @CLUCoachMac and on Instagram @CLUFootball  Use #luball and #clucamp14 for updates and photos

Posted 1 week ago

QUICK “NOTHING TO REPORT” FROM TRAINING CAMP

WELCOME to the official start of the 2014 football season at Cal Lutheran! Tomorrow will begin my regular training camp reports, but here are a few impressions from check-in day:

  • 125 student-athletes reported;
  • Impressed by the work most of them put-in over the summer;
  • No real surprises.

I’ll get back in the blogging saddle tomorrow when there are some real topics to shed light upon, like impending position battles, the food in the new dining commons, and FGP’s.