Three Bahamas’ national water polo teams are in Coral, Springs Florida to compete in the CARIFTA Water Polo Regional Champion Championships 2022, and will be looking to bring home the gold medal. Competition gets underway today and wraps up with the gold medal matches set for Sunday, November 13 at the Coral Springs Aquatics Center.
The Bahamas will be competing in the 14-and-under co-ed, 16-and-under and 19-and-under boys division.
Head coach for the teams, László ‘Coach Lotty’ Borbely, is happy to get his teams back competing after not competing in CARIFTA since 2019.
“It is very nice to get back to CARIFTA after being absent for two years,” Borbely said. “What is very unique in this CARIFTA is that it is not kept at the same location or time as the swimming CARIFTA. It is held in south Florida instead. It is not just the Caribbean countries but Florida club teams will be participating as well. I am excited because it is two tournaments at the same time.”
The 19-and-under boys team consists of Jayden Seymour, Joshua Gibson, Nicholas Wallace-Whitfield, TeSean Henfield, Dereo Maycock, Ashley Darville, Dominic Demeritte, Matthew Thompson, Logan Carey, Khari Marshall, Aidan Johnson, Tonny Simon and Alexander Miller.
The 16-and-under team has a mixture of boys and girls includes Simon Seth Roberts, Emma Turnquest, Davawn Turner, TeSean Henfield, Darville, Gibson, Thompson, Marshall, Aaron Poitier, Miller, Braeden Seymour and, Shanterro Knowles.
The final team the 14-and-under co-ed is made up of Alayna Darling, Jayden Turner, Knowles, Jamar Bienamie, Knyjah Sylvain, Tiah Seymour, Chelsea Smith, Paityn Burrows, Skarlette Donaldson, Asher Bastian, Jahmahl Wilson, Jacob Johnson, Durmani Stubbs, Elijah Turnquest and Angel Curry.
Borbely has high expectations for his two older teams, but he hopes the 14-and-under team can also win the gold.
“I hope that my 19-and-under and 16-and-under team perform very well. I expect them to work hard and to win gold medal. The under-14 team is learning to play so it is hard to predict what will happen, but I hope to win the CARIFTA gold with them also,” Borbely said.
The teams were training from last year after COVID-19 restrictions were eased. They were hoping that CARIFTA Water Polo Championships were going to be in April of this year. That did not happen. Borbely kept training the players and even took some to play in Texas and Florida this year. He took a break with them in August and resumed training from September until this week.
“They swam a lot because they are swimmers. I mixed the younger players with the older players so that they can learn faster from the older ones. We are rested because the storm gave us two days off. We trained today (Thursday) and play our first game tomorrow (today),” Borbely said.
The 14-and-under co-ed team will play today at 4:05 p.m. against Bonaire. The 19-and-under boys division will be in action against Barbados at the same time. The 16-and-under team will have the day off today and open play tomorrow at 9 a.m. against Hialeah Storm.