Sept. 8, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- After opening the season last weekend at the Navy Labor Day Open, the Santa Clara Men's Water Polo team will be spending this weekend at home in the Bay Area honoring those who have represented Santa Clara before them. Saturday, September 9th is the annual Jeff "Paco" Kopacek Alumni Game, which slates the Broncos of today against those who led the Broncos over the past 50 years. The game is set to begin at 12:00 p.m. with an alumni and family barbecue to follow at 2:00 p.m.
Jeff "Paco" Kopacek, a 2002 graduate of Santa Clara University and former Bronco team co-captain was killed in a tragic accident in August of 2004 while en route to climb Mount Kilamanjaro. Each year Santa Clara water polo alums return to their Alma Mater like it was a homecoming game. Over the years, this annual event has grown to be a great opportunity for current players, alumni, and their families to get re-acquianted and meet people who have shared similar experiences, even if they occurred during a different era of Santa Clara water polo. For the first time, there will be post-game barbecue, which has been named after Steve Oda, the father of Mark and Luke Oda and also an alumnus.
One special guest expected this year is Dick Vance '54. Vance played with the original members of Santa Clara's first ever water polo team, and was the second ever student player/coach. In addition, this year's event boasts what could be the largest alumni attendance ever, including all alumni from the past three years.
Saturday's match will also feature top alumni talent from the recent past, including Grant Allison and Jon Greco, both of which graduated last year. Meanwhile, Jack Wall will lead the Broncos into action after scoring ten goals in four games during the Navy Labor Day Open.