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49ers Alumni Enjoy Bocce Ball Tournament

Posted by Alex Espinoza on October 17, 2012 – 5:53 PM

49ers alumni from all generations of the proud franchise took part in a fun-filled bocce ball tournament in Livermore as part of 2012 Alumni Weekend. Campo di Bocce’s restaurant and bar provided a unique and intimate setting for ex-49ers players and staff to mingle and kick off Alumni Weekend, but most of all compete.

“That’s one thing guys still do have,” Eric Wright (1981-90) said. “You do have that competitive juice flowing. In anything these guys have to do or we have to do, there’s always some competition going on.”

From Wright’s more recent generation to all-time greats like 2012 49ers Hall of Fame inductee Gordy Soltau (1950-58) and C.R. Roberts (1959-62), the entertaining event brought together old friends and created new ones. As for the rules of the game? The jury is still out on that one.

“I had no idea how you play it,” Roberts said smiling. “Unfortunately, my skills just aren’t up to par.”

And while all the players are familiar with the pigskin, most were getting their first go around with a pallino, a small ball that serves as a target in bocce ball. The 49ers alumni split into six teams and took turns throwing their bocce balls as close to the pallino as possible, providing for some great competition all afternoon.

“We had a great team, we should have won the championship,” Soltau said. “But the bocce ball rolls kind of funny.”

Nearly 40 almuni and members of their family took part in the tournament, including other notable ex-49ers like Steve Bono, Jesse Sapolu, Harry Sidney, Lloyd Winston, Willie Harper, Darin Jordan, Dale Messer, Dennis Brown and Guy McIntyre. Aside from bocce ball, the group also enjoyed food, drinks and good discussion.

“This is exactly what we hoped for,” VP of Football Affairs and fellow 49ers alum Keena Turner (1980-90) said. “That guys would have an opportunity to socialize, and have fun and compete. Because the competing part never goes away. As soon as you say, ‘game’ or ‘teams,’ you want to compete. No matter how old an alumni you are, you still enjoy competing.”

View a photo gallery from 2012 Alumni Weekend


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