It has been over six years since the last water polo all-star game took place between the Central California Conference and Modesto Metro Conference, but on Saturday it is the return of the senior All-Star Water Polo clash at Turlock High.
After a group of parents involved in the Turlock booster club decided to resuscitate and also host the event, they really decided to look into it — and it paid off.
With hours of research, along with numerous phone calls and little time, they solicited a number of sponsors and received such great responses that they were even able to reward scholarships to four worthy recipients who will participate.
“Kurt Groteguth pitched the idea, and we all started talking about a possible all-star game since other sports have it,” Parent and booster member Laurie Marchy said. “We decided to work on putting it together and really we have only been working on it since end of September, about 20 parents working hard.”
The event primarily consists of the north MMC and south CCC and also includes Sonora and Oakdale both with the North. It is broken down into eight teams, a girls first and second team along with a boys first and second team. This basically breaks it down to two boys and two girl’s squads for the MMC and the CCC.
Every team has anywhere from 11 to 14 players on the roster, depending on how many seniors could participate.
“Each coach of every team was able to nominate the top seniors. Only seniors get to play and showcase them until their entire high school water polo career is over,” girls second team head coach Sonja Raynes said.
Raynes is also the Turlock girl’s head coach and is bringing three girls into the festivities. Rebekah Groteguth will join the first team, and Jennifer Melo and Ashley Johnson will be on the second team.
“I am excited to be coaching the B team for the south. I will be getting to coach some of my girls again,” Raynes said.
The Turlock boys that will participate consist of Nick Ogden and Marcelino Ramirez who will join the first team. For the second team are Dario Torres, C.J. Cossey and David Rocha.
“They deserve it, not only did they play well all season and improve, but they improved some of the newcomers with great style and lead by example and they have learned that way,” Raynes said.
The Pitman Pride boys and girls struggled with close matches this season but still looked strong and will send a total of six representatives. The first team players are Nate Hildebrand and Cameron Sondeno and for the second team is Andrew Cutler.
The Pitman first team girls’ team consist of Emma Burke and Taylor Jarvis. In the second team is Maddie Allen.
“It is going to be sweet,” Marchy said. “We are going to introduce the teams like the Olympics. We are bringing extra bleachers and we got extra lighting. They are going all out,”
The first match is set to begin at 2 p.m. Saturday followed by three more matches.