BERKELEY (KPIX) – As soon as it turned clear COVID was going to wreak havoc on the 2020 faculty soccer season, the NCAA elected so as to add an additional yr of eligibility for sure athletes. The choice opened the door for soccer gamers to go on the seven yr plan – like Cal’s Luc Bequette.
“Again after I was committing, I despatched out a tweet saying I used to be excited spend the subsequent three to 5 years in Berkeley,” Bequette stated. “I feel it put a curse on me.”
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He’s a real blue Cal Bears, however Bequette is extra like a unicorn. The son of Olympic determine skater Debi Thomas is one in all about ten soccer gamers nationwide to reap the benefits of the distinctive alternative.
“To be aside of the document books is a particular deal to me,” he stated.
Harm performed an enormous position within the defensive lineman’s path to turning into an excellent, tremendous senior. After redshirting his freshman yr in 2015, then suffered a decrease physique damage in 2016 and acquired a medical waiver from the NCAA.
He performed 2017, 2018, and 2019 when he received this system’s award for greatest defensive lineman. Bequette was set to play his last yr at Cal till the Pac-12 initially acted to cancel 2020 due to the pandemic.
“As soon as I heard the information I began tearing up as a result of I knew what it meant,” he recalled.
With designs on taking part in on the subsequent degree, Bequette didn’t need to threat sitting out a yr and acquired an instantaneous switch to Boston School. He performed a full 11 recreation season with the Eagles, however wasn’t satisfied his 6th yr can be his final.
“I used to be prepared to hitch the true world and begin interning at a spot right here in Berkeley,” he stated. “Then in February I had two goals that I used to be again taking part in soccer at Cal.”
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Seven years of school soccer nearly at all times occurs in a dream, however Bequette determined to reap the benefits of the NCAA ruling and rejoined head coach Justin Wilcox protection.
“By no means have I been round somebody who has performed seven seasons,” laughed Wilcox.
Wilcox was an assistant at Wisconsin when Bequette was recruited by then-head coach Sonny Dykes in 2015, however Wilcox was thrilled to reintegrate Bequette’s unprecedented quantity of expertise.
The freshman on as we speak’s crew have been barely out of elementary when Bequette was teaming up with quarterback Jared Goff who’s now in his sixth NFL season.
“I used to be within the 7th grade,” laughed freshman linebacker Femi Oladejo.
Wilcox had a chuckle that a few of his youthful gamers couldn’t imagine Bequette was born in 1997 after they first met him. He’s adopted the nickname “Uncle Luc” within the locker room.
“My cousin stated I ought to attain out to Life Alert to get an NIL (title, picture, likeness) deal,” Bequette joked about his senior standing.
If seven years of school soccer is heaven, may eight be nice? East Tennessee State’s Jordan People returned for his 8th season.
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“I stated I’d by no means be again for a seventh yr,” he stated. “Guess you’ll be able to’t rule something out.”