By Caitlin Graveson '11
The 1991 football program.
A reception and dinner on February 27 honored the legacy of football at Saint Mary's, the first event of its kind since the College dropped the football program in 2004.
Chris Carter, director of Alumni and Volunteer Engagement, says the event represented the first step toward reestablishing relationships with football alumni, many of whom were disappointed that the program was cut.
The Soda Center was filled with memorabilia from both the "pre-modern" and "modern" football era, including banners, photos, media guides, jerseys and the playing of a film of the 1990 Little Big Game against Santa
Clara. About 230 people attended the event, 150 of whom were football alumni; the oldest was John Consiglieri '41, who played for Slip Madigan.
Scott Evars '93 played outside linebacker for the Gaels and helped win the last Little Big Game in 1992, 44–22. Evars was instrumental in working with Carter to try to get football alumni reconnected with the school. He noted that events of this nature are important for the program's memory.
Mick Clements '97, Juan Nunez '95, Ed Cox '98 and Sean Laird '98.
"It's been tough because we haven't had a program, so we have to be vigilant about events to keep the spirit alive," Evars said.
Ryan Seto '91, a wide receiver on the 1988 undefeated team, agreed. "It's a matter of getting everyone together. It's pretty much been, unless someone is getting married … we don't see each other."
Manly Moulton '91 and son.
Alumni who assisted in planning the event want to create a formal football alumni chapter which would hold an annual get-together in the late summer. In addition, Carter hopes to work on preserving memorabilia and to create a football display on campus which encompasses both the glory years in the 1930s and 40s and the modern era after it was brought back as a Division III sport in 1970.
Scott Evars '93, Ryan Seto '91 and Juan Nunez
"This is a great start. Saint Mary's has supported what we want — asking us ‘what do you need from the school,' " Seto says.
Brother President Ronald Gallagher thanked the football alumni, coaches and guests "for coming together as a community. At Saint Mary's we know the value of community."
Former coach Tim Landis reminisced about his days at Saint Mary's, saying "I have so much respect for the prior coaches. There is so much tradition here."
Landis invited all the players he coached who attended the reception to join him up front to sing the Saint Mary's fight song.
Neil Sweeney, '50, played guard for the Gaels in the match-up against Cal Berkeley. Sweeney seconded Landis' remarks about Gael football tradition saying, "My favorite thing is the loyalty among students and the camaraderie."