Weber State football: Bay-Area Wildcats want to prove themselves close to home

Friday , September 08, 2017 - 5:00 AM

BRANDON GARSIDE, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — When Weber State football’s schedule was released in January, Wildcat All-American tight end in Andrew Vollert marked Sept. 9 on his calendar.

The native of San Mateo, California, is not only returning close to home in the Bay Area to play in front of friends and family against Cal, but he also knows the Cal Golden Bears had two opportunities to sign him and declined on both.

“It’s just another game, but with that said, it has been circled on my calendar for a while because I’m coming home, I’m playing a Pac-12 opponent, and Cal has passed on me twice. Once out of high school, and once out of junior college,” Vollert said. “I haven’t forgotten that.”

WSU FOOTBALLWildcats gear up for Cal — a much different opponent

Vollert isn’t the only player on the team from the Bay Area. In fact, nine of the 22 Californians on the roster are also from the greater San Francisco Bay area, and running backs coach Quinton Ganther is from Oakland.

Sophomore safety Trey Hoskins is from Oakland as well, and like Vollert, has his eyes focused on this Saturday.

“I hate to say it, but Cal was my dream school growing up, but hey, I’m going to have to go take it to them,” Hoskins said. “I did want to go to Cal growing up, but we were on the other side of that, so we have to go get this win while we’re there.”

What’s done is done, and while Vollert grew up watching Aaron Rodgers sling passes at Memorial Stadium with the hopes to one day step on that field dressed in yellow and blue, he has no regrets about his college career.

“Obviously, I would have loved to play at Cal. It didn’t end up working out, obviously,” Vollert said. “I would have loved it, but I’m happy here at Weber. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Dressed instead in purple and white, Hoskins, Vollert and the Wildcats will take the field Saturday intent to defy the odds and shock the world by earning Weber State’s first win over a Pac-12 team.

“I think it would be awesome to go home and take down a local school with a lot of California guys,” Vollert said. “It would mean a ton for the program to get this win. It would be a huge step in the right direction for the season, too.”

According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Wildcats have a 5.3 percent chance of winning Saturday, but the team won’t be thinking about that come game time.

“We can’t go in thinking that there’s a slight chance of losing. We’ve always got to go in with a positive attitude and go execute what we’re doing,” Hoskins said. “I know we have some good players, we’ve got a lot of players from the Bay Area also, so we’ll go out there and get the win.”

Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at bgarside@standard.net, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarsideSE.

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