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Remembering Bubba

GOLF: Second annual tournament raises money for Estancia High, while remembering Kapko.

November 11, 2006|By Dominic Perrone

When Jim Huffman began to put together a slide show for the memorial of Estancia High football player Brian "Bubba" Kapko he made a request of the community for photos of Kapko.

The next day the photos began piling up on Huffman's door step. Of the 800 Huffman said he sifted through "there were like three that he didn't have gigantic smiles."

A huge smile, that was the trademark of Kapko, who was killed at the age of 19 on Aug. 28, 2005 when a car hit his Toyota 4Runner while Kapko and four friends were returning to Johnson & Wales University in Denver after watching a volleyball tournament in Boulder, Colo.

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"He was probably asleep in those three photos," Kapko's mother Nancy Kapko said. "I can feel him smiling and laughing. He loved trying not to stress out about the small things. He enjoyed living life and loving one another."

On Monday a tradition will continue to remember Nancy Kapko's son at the second annual Bubba Kapko Memorial Tournament. The golf tournament will begin at 11 a.m. at Costa Mesa Country Club's Los Lagos course and will raise money for the Estancia High School Athletic Booster Club and the Bubba Kapko Memorial Fund.

Booster Club President Dan Oliver said it was a simple decision to ask Brian Kapko's parents, Nancy and Rick, if they could rename the golf tournament in their son's honor.

"It's a celebration of this young man's life and the values he stood for," Oliver said. "When I asked Rick Kapko he said 'Do it.' That's the kind of people they are. There are a lot of kids who thought the world of him. He was a big old jock but everybody really liked him."

Though Brian Kapko was best known as a football player for the Eagles, he was team captain and the most valuable player his senior year.

"A golf tournament is a fitting way to remember him. He played in the summer golf programs in grade school and junior high for Art Perry [Estancia golf coach]," Nancy Kapko said. "We took trips to Hawaii and [Rick and brothers Matt and Adam] would make a foursome and play. I'd drive the cart and take pictures. He'd be honored by this and he'd be kind of humbled."

Registration for the golf tournament begins at 9:30 a.m. Monday. The cost is $150 per golfer and $600 per foursome. The proceeds are split evenly between the Estancia Booster Club and the Bubba Kapko Memorial Fund. The booster club supports Eagles athletics that don't have a booster club and the Bubba Kapko Memorial fund gives scholarships with one going to a football player who best emulates Bubba.

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