Palo Alto High grad Champion signs with Italian pro league


Recent Princeton women's water polo graduate Phoebe Champion (2010), a three-time All-American and two-time Southern Most Valuable Player, has signed with Plebiscito Padova in the Italian A1 league for the upcoming season.

Champion, who graduated from Palo Alto High, was a member of the U.S. Junior National Team and went on to a stellar Princeton career that saw her score 181 career goals and add 93 assists, ranking her fifth all-time at Princeton in goals and second in assists. She a four-time All-Southern honoree and named to the All-Eastern Team in three seasons.

Champion's new team, which plays in Podova at the top of the Eastern edge of the Italian peninsula, is one of 12 teams in the top Italian league.

The top teams in the league at the end of the season move on to the International Championships with teams from Greece, Spain and Croatia.

Each team has 19 players and is only allowed one non-Italian player on its roster.


Coming off their finest finish in program history, the Palo Alto Oaks' players, alumni and friends will gather Sept. 19 for the 7th annual Tony Makjavich Memorial Golf Tournament.

The event, which honors the man who coached the team for more than 40 years, will be held at Summitpointe Golf Course in Milpitas. Check in is at 12:30 p.m., with a shotgun start at 1:30 p.m. The $150 entry fee includes gree fee, cart, range balls, prizes and a BBQ dinner.

A downloadable entry form is at

The Oaks are coming off a season that saw them go 22-3-2, win the Western Baseball Association league title, capture the Northern California State tournament crown and finish third at the Stan Musial World Series, the team's first appearance in 60 years.

For additional information on the golf tournament, contact Steve Espinoza at or 302-3279.


Former Stanford player Matt Kopa was released by the San Francisco 49ers last week, but re-signed and placed on the practice squad.

Kopa, who was trying to get a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA, finally gave up and signed a free-agent contract with the Niners in June.

The 6-foot-6, 303-pound Kopa began his collegiate career as a defensive lineman before making the switch to the offensive line as a junior. He played in 35 career games (seven starts), including starting the final six games of the 2008 season (five at right tackle and one at left guard).

Kopa started at right tackle in the 2009 season opener, but missed the rest of the season with an injured foot.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports

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