2017 FALL SCHEDULE: PRESEASON PACKED FOR CATS
Dante Weeks '18 and the Wildcats will use a beefed up preseason to prepare for the all important Spring.
Aug 23- Arizona announced their preseason schedule today, with a higher workload for both Fifteens and Sevens expected to help more players prepare for Spring.
In Fifteens, the Wildcats Second XV (Junior Varsity) will feature heavily, with New Mexico and UC-San Diego sandwiching a home and away fixture with Grand Canyon University. Arizona Third XV (Developmental Side) also will see an uptick in opponents, taking on Northern Arizona University both home and away in addition to matches against Grand Canyon University reserve sides. The reason for the beefed up schedule- more minutes for more players. "We asked the players what they wanted, less or more, and it was a resounding more. So game on. It will be a great opportunity for guys to show what they can do, and will give us the best environment possible for players to work on skills, especially the finer points of the game that make all the difference in Spring." Last Fall both Arizona sides went undefeated in the preseason, with the Second XV outscoring opponents 157-31.
The Fall will include some subtle tweaks as well, with the Wildcats departing the Rio Grande Conference where their Third XV played the past year. "We're forever grateful to the Rio Grande Conference, especially their commissioner Delbert Arnold who welcomed us in and allowed us to get great matches. We're shifting our focus to playing a bit more locally in addition to matches in the Southern California region where many of our players, alumni, and fans call home." The reserve grade sides will be led by Assistant Coach Pat Coco. "Coach Coco has done a tremendous job, and as Defense Coach for the Varsity has really taken us to the next level. He'll be a great leader for this group and he knows I'll be there as well to assist" said Duffy.
In Sevens, the Wildcats return to two major tournaments with a possible third on the horizon if invited. Arizona kicks off their Sevens preseason October 21st in San Francisco at the West Coast Sevens where they enter as reigning champions and The Rugby Channel is expected to provide full coverage. From there, the Wildcats hope to earn an invitation to the inaugural Silicon Valley Sevens at Avaya Stadium the first weekend of November, home to Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes. The Cats round out their Fall with the hosting of the PAC Sevens for the second straight year, with PAC-12 Network once again providing first class coverage of the event. "We have some surprises in store this Fall, and we could have as many as four tournaments for guys to show their stuff. More news to come." said Duffy.
The Fall culminates with the 3rd Annual Red-Blue Game on Friday November 17th, with proceeds once again going to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. This year's Alumni Guest Coaches will be announced shortly.
To view the full schedule, click here.