Hokies Arrive in California
San Fran Chronicles
December 26, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO - It took a while - actually, 12 hours - but the Virginia Tech football team and the official traveling party finally made the 3,000-mile trek across the country to San Francisco to begin preparations to play Air Force in the inaugural Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl on New Year's Eve.

The Hokies' traveling party left Blacksburg at 7 this morning on six buses carrying the 225-member group to Greensboro, N.C., for a chartered flight to San Francisco. But the plane arrived late in Greensboro after a hang-up in Baltimore and took off at 1:30 p.m., three and a half hours later than scheduled. The traveling party arrived at the Hilton, the team's headquarters, in San Francisco at 7 p.m. (EST).

Tech head coach Frank Beamer canceled the team's individual meetings slated for Thursday afternoon. Instead, the team will meet as a group at 6:30 (PST) and then attend a Welcome Bar-B-Que Dinner at 7.

"It took us a little time, but we finally got here," Beamer said. "It was worth it. We're excited to be here."

Tech will have a two-hour practice Friday morning at Laney College in Oakland and then leave for a trip to Alcatraz Island that afternoon.

To get a player's perspective on the Hokies' trip to the West Coast, check out Willie Pile's daily video diary on Tech's bowl page. Among Thursday's highlights of Pile's video diary in an interview with freshman Aaron Rouse, who was traveling by plane for the very first time. Friday's entry will feature the Hokies' first practice and trip to Alcatraz, all shot from the senior's perspective.