Aiken Youth Polo easily advances to finals in interscholastic tournament
The Aiken Youth Polo Open Team cruised to victory Saturday during its opening game in the U.S. Polo Association Southeastern Open Interscholastic Preliminary I tournament.
The local squad defeated Triangle Area Polo of North Carolina 21-4 at New Bridge Polo and Country Club near Aiken.
Aiken Youth Polo, or AYP, will face a team from Florida in the tournament’s championship match at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The other squads in the tournament, which began Friday, are from Alabama and Georgia.
“It was really fun,” said AYP’s Aiden Meeker. “There are a few things we can work on, but overall, I think we played really well. I’m ready to get back out there and play again tomorrow.”
If AYP wins Sunday, it will advance to the Southeastern Interscholastic Regional tournament scheduled for Feb. 22-24 in Virginia.
The teams in the Preliminary I tournament are playing in the AYP arena, which was built last year.
“We are super excited because it is the first time we have hosted a tournament at this high of a level in our arena,” said AYP Manager and Coach Tiger Kneece. “For you to host one of these events, it has to be awarded to you. You can’t just say, ‘Hey, we want to have a tournament.’ We had to show the U.S. Polo Association, which is the governing body, that we had put in the facility and had the infrastructure that was needed in place. They must have thought a lot of us and our facility because they gave the event to us
“The goal now,” Kneece continued, “is to be able to host more and more of this type of tournament. It’s great for our youth polo program, and it’s great also for the City of Aiken.”
The New Bridge Polo and Country Club is at 862 New Bridge Road.
Want to go?
WHAT: Aiken Youth Polo championship match
WHEN: 1 p.m. today
WHERE: New Bridge Polo and Country Club, 862 New Bridge Road
COST: Admission is free