The New Zealand Secondary Schools Underwater Hockey National Championships held in Wellington last week were a major triumph for Tauranga Boys' College.
Following on from their success at UWH Regionals in Auckland in June, Tauranga Boys' junior team dominated their grade at nationals to claim the title and gold medals.
Their clinical teamwork was the key to winning all of their games convincingly and they only conceded two goals during the entire competition.
Captain Jack Tortoiseshell was deservedly awarded MVP for his team.
Tauranga Boys' senior team finished in third place after mixed results on the first day of competition. In the play-off for third, they were down 0-3 to Glendowie College but never gave up and clawed their back to 4-4 at full time.
They then endured players sin binned for accidental fouls and after more than nine minutes of sudden death play they scored first to claim third place.
Keegan Witney's "never say die" persistence and clearance skills earned him the MVP award for the team. He also received a special award for his uniquely decorated glove.
With these results Tauranga Boys' were co-winners of the coveted Top School of the Tournament award.
A further indication of the boys' success was having five players named in the Tournament teams in Guy Roberts (senior team) and Jack Tortoiseshell, James Robinson, Zac Howe and Levi Watts (junior team).
Roberts was also awarded the accolade of Top Male Player of the Tournament. He recently was vice captain of the NZ Under-18 men's team that won the 2016 Trans-Tasman Championships held in Hobart.
Gareth Ward-Allen, Ryan Carter, Jack Tortoiseshell and James Robinson were also selected to train along with Roberts in the NZ Under-18 men's wider training squad for 2017.
TBC Underwater Hockey would like to thank their outstanding coaches who have given so much to the teams in junior coaches Anton Williams, Dean van Niekerk and Shan McGuinness and senior mentor Kenrick Knowlson, Tauranga Underwater Hockey's club captain. Thanks also to team managers Lynette Oxford (seniors) and Katherine Bolus (juniors) for their tireless efforts and to all of the parents for their support during the long hours of training and at the regional and national events.
Looking ahead, the 2017 NZSS UWH Championships were to be hosted by Tauranga Underwater Hockey Club at Baywave on September 7-10.
This was a positive endorsement of the growth of underwater hockey in the Bay of Plenty/Mid Northern Region.
Tauranga Boys' College underwater hockey teams:
Guy Roberts (C), Ryan Carter (VC), Fletcher Oxford, Keegan Witney, Gareth Ward-Allen, Isaac Coggan, Hamish Cooper, Jacob Heyblom, Gene Hughes
Jack Tortoiseshell (C), James Robinson (VC), Storm Roberts (VC), Aidan Heath, Zachary Howe, Levi Watts, Thomas Holdom, Christopher Maine, Daniel Maine, Thomas Bolus, Ben Williams