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Photos: Estevan Sharks water polo program hosts home tournament

Competitions were held in several age groups

ESTEVAN - The Estevan Sharks water polo club hosted a home tournament Sunday at the Estevan Leisure Centre's pool.

This was the third event in the Community League Series.

The tournament has a different look than in past years, as COVID-19 and close-contact quarantines had over half of registered players dropping out. However, those who were able to participate played hard and had fun. 

“There was some discussion about cancelling the tournament, but keeping the kids swimming has been our goal throughout the pandemic, and we really didn’t want to take that away from those who could be there," said club president Heather Tober. 

The day started with U13 boys. Estevan, Weyburn and two teams from Regina were entered. With Estevan's regular goalie out, Carter Smelt stepped in and played excellent in net.

Brothers Mason and Carter Yunick and Hudson Enns combined for a total of 31 goals. The team was rounded out by rookie player Parker Griffin and the Saskatoon Pirates’ Ben Boutin, who both swam hard. The Sharks finished their day in second place. 

The second group of the day was the U10 minis category. With just nine athletes from the four clubs, a modified tournament was created for them. Veteran Shark Blaire Wilson led the Sharks. Three rookie players - Laine and Leighton Petterson and Ayla Smelt - did great, helping the mini Sharks win all their games. 

The third and final group of the day was the U13 atom girls. The Sharks were down to just three players who were unaffected by the recent COVID/close contact situation - even their usual coach could not be there. Mahlyn Bomberak, Jill Rosengren and Blaire Wilson welcomed Maria Zaika from Weyburn and Anna Boutin from Saskatoon to the team.

Wilson and Boutin showed great strength and determination, as they had already played earlier in the U10 minis games, but were ready and willing to play for  the U13 atoms, too. Facing two strong Regina teams, the girls played six games, finishing with a record of 2-4, which was good enough for second place in the tournament. 

This was the final scheduled tournament for the U10 mini division, and the only tournament Estevan will host this season. 

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