The Cabrillo College Men’s Water Polo Team played De Anza College in Cupertino at 3:30 pm on this date. The game was a disappointing loss but the following event provided an adrenalin rush- hi! ho!
We were returning home and approximately halfway between Saratoga and Los Gatos on Highway 9. I was driving the lead college van of two with 15 student water polo players, assistants and managers on board. Suddenly I couldn’t turn the steering wheel. Initially I thought I’d lost the power steering. What was happening? I felt like we were experiencing unprecedented gravity.
We looked out the window and saw the eucalyptus trees swinging right and left at a 40 degree angle……. We realized it was an earthquake! We got to Los Gatos, the freeway was closed so I swung down through Los Gatos on Santa Cruz Ave. Broken glass and running water were everywhere. Somehow we got on to Highway 17. What was amazing was that we did not encounter anyone from Los Gatos to Cabrillo. We found out later that Highway 17 was closed before we got on it. How did we pull that off?
Coming over 17 was an adventure. The lane divider/barricades were split open every ¼ mile. I recall three different times that all 4 lanes of the pavement were split and separated, and raised and lowered. We were fortunate that there was enough shoulder to go around. The absence of vehicles and people from Los Gatos to Cabrillo was eerie- enhanced by a reddish hazy sky.
No one was around when we arrived at the College, although the gym was wrapped with yellow tape. We crossed our fingers and parked the vans and stored our equipment.
Local players on this adventure were David Barton, Brent Erickson, Kevin Ferreira, Bill Hackbarth, Richard Harbison, Mark Harris, Matt Nowark, Andy O’Brien, Gordon Spaulding, Carl Tresser, and team assistants Danny Over, Joy Williams, Shelli Lopes, and Kadance Giroux.
By Ted Bockman, head coach of the water polo team