A water polo tournament at Shaver Lake?
For the past six years, Hillary Boos, the girls water polo coach at Sanger High and Rebel Water Polo Club, has dreamed of such an event.
She threw out the idea to other coaches and parents, and last year the Rebels organized a small tournament at Sequoia Lake, with 15 teams competing.
But Boos and her crew wanted more.
This year, 25 have signed up, bringing in an expected 400 athletes for the event scheduled June 27-29 at Dorabella Cove. Boys and girls teams will be divided into three divisions: 16-and-under, 18-and-under and masters (adults).
"We decided to make it bigger and better," Boos said. "Everybody's stoked."
With the help of Sanger High construction teacher Robert Juarez, students built two 100-foot long floating docks for the tournament.
Athletes and parents then painted the docks while Boos contacted coaches at nearby Washington Academy Middle School and Dinuba High to borrow lane lines, clocks and other equipment.
In all, there will be three full-size courses in Dorabella Cove, with spectators watching from the shore.
Club parent Tal Cloud helped lock in Sunrock of Granville Homes to sponsor the event, giving the club necessary funds to build floating docks for the tournament. Without their own docks, SoCal Edison wouldn't let the group host a tournament at Shaver Lake, Boos said.
"It's been a collective effort. Everyone has worked so hard and this is really coming out to be a great event," Cloud said. "The athletes will have a one-of-a-kind experience."
After each day's games — teams are guaranteed a minimum of four — clubs can camp overnight on Nevins Peninsula, just a short walk from the shore.
"There's a lot of excitement but still lots to do," said 14-year-old swimmer Zaylynn Mangrum.
"It's been a lot of fun getting together and getting things ready. Last year's tournament was so much fun and this year is already shaping up to be better."
Teams of 15 athletes or fewer can still sign up for the tournament, and players not attached to teams also can sign up and be placed on a squad. Entry fees include campsite fees and meal tickets. Details: www.srwpc.org.
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