St John’s Win Crusaders Shield
St. John’s College awesomely supplied six swimmers to the Zimbabwe Under-19 water polo team selected after a superb aquatic weekend that featured both boys and girls competitions in Harare last weekend.
Their sister school, Chisipite Senior, further provided seven members to the girls’ Zimbabwe Under-19A after wrestling the Players Shield tournament. Hellenic, who triumphed in the Hippo Trophy, had two players picked for the same team.
The St John’s crew of Luke Lister, Martin Eeason, Liam Burnett, Conor King and the Rusch brothers Ryan and Byron inspired their school to win the 2017 Crusaders Shield and were selected to be part of the 13-man national youth team that is heading for a series of tournaments in South Africa this summer.
Cody Rensburg of St George’s survived from last year’s Zim Under-18A squad to be included I this year’s team and will be among the experienced members in the squad that also contains four boys from Falcon College and one from Christian Brothers College.
St John’s hosted and won the Crusader Shield which was contested for by other schools such as Peterhouse, Falcon, CBC, Hellenic and St George’s. The newly-crowned champions beat St George’s 8-4 in the final.
While water polo masters at St John's could not be reached for comment, St George’s sports department congratulated Rensburg for his selection and also hailed Chris Duffield for being named as one of the non-travelling reserves. The department attributed the success to their coaches’ acumen.
“We have been blessed to have the services of Mr. Rob Hammond as our 1st team coach. He is undoubtedly the best coach in the country and has been a vital cog in the great success for Water Polo at St. George’s,’’ read their statement.
The boys’ Under 17 tournament was also held recently at Falcon College in Esigodini with the hosts emerging victorious after beating St John's College in a penalty shootout.
The national Under 16 and Under 17 sides were selected at the Falcon College games.
The Under 17 MVP award went to FC Muller of Falcon College.
The premier waterpolo tournament is the Crusaders Shield played by the Under 19 boys and this was held at St John's College last weekend.
The Crusaders Shield is the oldest known trophy in the country and dates back to 1937.
This year, St John's College were victorious and retained the Shield after winning it again last year.
The Under 19 national team was selected at the games. Conor King of St John's College was awarded the Arthur Lucas Trophy for being the Best Player of the Tournament.
The Under 14 and Under 15 boys' national tournaments will be held this weekend at Hellenic Academy where the respective national teams will be selected.
While the national selection was largely lauded there were some murmurs at the omission of players from Prince Edward School who for many years dominated local water polo.
“I see a lack of PE boys. Don't they play water polo anymore?’ asked Peter Blair Whitfield after the squad was posted online.
Rob Templeton was also aghast: “No waterpolo at PE???’’ was his simple query.
Tara Ann Duffy-White was, however, content.
"Go Johns, brilliant effort!'' she cried.