At the conclusion of the regular season, six members of the Santa Clara men's water polo team received a boost of confidence as they head into playoffs, earning 2013 All-WWPA Conference awards. Junior goalkeeper Matt Pritchett and RS-senior Patrick Weiss were named to the First-Team WWPA All-Conference team, and freshman Graham McClone was one of eight appointed to the WWPA All-Freshman Team.
"Having six players make all-conference says as much about our team's performance this year as the players who received the awards," said Bronco head coach Keith Wilbur. "We have had one of our strongest regular seasons ever, and a big reason for that is the leadership and play of our four graduating seniors. I am very glad to see all four of them were recognized in the all-conference voting. On top of that, Matt Pritchett was great for us in the cage, and he definitely deserved making first team all-conference. Also, Graham McClone has been having a great first season, and making the all-freshman team is a well earned honor."
Pritchett anchored the Bronco defense this season recording 321 blocks and started in all 30 of the team's games this season. He was named the WWPA Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 30. Though the WWPA all-conference mentions are individual honors, Pritchett has not lost track of his and the team's ultimate goal.
"I am truly honored to have received this award, but at the same time, I am still focused on the task at hand," said Pritchett. "This year, our team made it our mission to win the WWPA Championship, and I have every intention of helping my team to accomplish this goal. Earlier this season, I was named Kap7's WWPA Player Of The Week, but even upon earning that award, I never once lost sight of my team's overall objective. I always put the success of my team first, knowing that if we do well as a program, these types of accolades will surely follow. Awards like this are often meant to acknowledge and reward the efforts of individual players, and their performance, but I could not have done this without my coach and my teammates, and all of their continued motivation and support. That being said, I feel humbled to have been named First team All-WWPA, but I'm not done yet. We still have some work left to do."
Freshman driver Graham McClone made his mark as a key figure for the Broncos. He put up impressive numbers for a newcomer, tallying 25 goals, 24 steals and 21 steals in 27 games played this season.
"I'm very thankful to receive this honor," Graham McClone said. "I'd like to thank Coach Wilbur and my teammates for being there for me as I couldn't have achieved this with out them. Also, congrats to Patrick Weiss and Matt Pritchett for making the WWPA First-Team, that's an awesome accomplishment and they each deserve that recognition.
Weiss and Pritchett were the only Broncos to play in and start all 30 games this season. Weiss led the team with 32 steals, was third on the team with 27 goals, and had 16 assists.
"I'm excited to see all of my hard work pay off," said Weiss. "I have dedicated a lot to the Bronco program over the last five season, and this award is a reflection of that."
Three other players represented Santa Clara with All-WWPA awards. RS-senior Theo Nasser was chosen to the Second-Team WWPA All-Conference team after starting in 29 matches and scoring 33 goals. His goal mark was the second most on the team, following only senior Tucker Carlson, who added 39 on the season. Both Carlson and RS-senior Jimmy Moore were named All-Conference Honorable Mention after playing in 29 games this season. Moore notched 20 goals, 30 assists, and 15 steals.