Water Polo Alumni to Play in McCovey Cove
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  08/24/2012

Aug. 24, 2012

BERKELEY - For the second year in a row Golden Bears will act like Polar Bears in the frigid waters of McCovery Cove (adjacent to AT&T Park) as the Olympic Club of San Francisco's water polo team will be entertaining the Southern California All-Stars in a free exhibition water polo match at 4:45 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 26).

The Olympic Club is hosting its second annual AT&T Park McCovey Cove Water Polo Match after a successful inaugural event last year that was in conjunction with Presbyterian-Cal football game in San Francisco. This year, the water polo match in the San Francisco Bay will coincide with the Atlanta Braves-San Francisco Giants baseball game that begins at 5:05 p.m. Sunday.

Sunday's roster will be made up of several Cal water polo notables, including - Michael Sharf, a two-time NCAA champion who holds the school record for most goals scored in a single season (98 in 2007) and was named the 2007 NCAA MVP; Mark Sheredy, a two-time NCAA champion goalie who was named the 2006 NCAA MVP; Brian Dudley, an NCAA champion and a member of the South African National Team. Also featured at the event will be a hero of the London Olympic Games - Cal's Heather Petri, a 2012 gold medalist and four-time Olympian for the U.S. women's water polo team, who will throw the ball in the bay for the opening sprint.

As in a regulation match in a heated pool, the McCovey Cove contest will be played in a full Olympic distance 30-meter course with two goals, four 10 minute quarters, a shot clock, a scoreboard, and a referee stationed on a stand up paddle board to officiate. Players will not be wearing wetsuits.

Schools with players represented at the match include Cal, UCLA, Santa Clara, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, Stanford and USC. Commissioners from the Olympic Club will be playing as well. Twelve players who will be participating in the match have won NCAA championships, and five participants are former USA National Team Members. Players range from 18 to over 50 years old.

Along with Sharf, two members of the Bears' 2007 national championship squad - Mike Sample and Thomas Pearson - were instrumental in organizing the water polo match in McCovey Cove. For more information on the event, contact Mike Sample at michaelsample@gmail.com or 408-472-9039.

"We are excited to be bringing this match back to McCovey Cove for a second year," said Sample. "Not only is it an awesome way to gain exposure for the sport, but the unique setting the cove provides just outside the Giants stadium is an exciting element for both the players and fans. We are doing this for the love of the game and to help raise money to support The Olympic Club Foundation, which provides athletic programs for disadvantaged youth in the Bay Area."

"This year we are especially grateful in that we are able to give back to the community by donating proceeds of the event to The Olympic Club Foundation, added Pearson. "Our main goal is to just go out there, have fun, and put on an entertaining show for everyone who wants to watch."

"On behalf of the Olympic Club, we are delighted to be hosting the second annual McCovey Cove Water Polo Game," said Sharf, The Olympic Club Water Polo Team Commissioner. "The game will be a fantastic showcase for our sport and we hope to continue the momentum water polo gained at the London Olympics."