The annual benefit tournament raised nearly $3,000 for the American Diabetes Association.
The Pittsford Boys Swimming and Diving Team won the water polo invitational tournament it hosted last weekend, but that’s not the most important measure of success according to Panthers head coach Mark Morris.
“All the kids were polite and respectful throughout the tournament,” Morris said. “And we reached our primary goal of raising money. Great kids plus a benefit to the community—you can’t ask for better than that.”
Eight local swim teams participated in the two-day event, a fund-raiser supporting the American Diabetes Association that was started by Pittsford’s first swim coach, Fred Rockow, in 1973. Combining team donations and admission receipts, the benefit netted more than $2,870 to help send diabetic children to summer camp.
The competition has become the unofficial kickoff of the boys’ swimming and diving season, and is intended to promote fun and good sportsmanship in addition to raising money.
On Friday, Penfield and Fairport advanced to the semifinals over Victor and Gates Chili in morning competition, while McQuaid and Pittsford eliminated Churchville Chili and Webster in the afternoon.
The closest and most exciting of the day’s 12 games was the last one played, with McQuaid edging out a strong Webster team by one point. The final goal was scored in double-overtime just three seconds before the buzzer, for a 14-13 finish.
Play continued on Saturday, with the Panthers downing the Red Raiders (11-1) in the first game. The Patriots got past the Knights in a close (10-8), hard-fought battle with excellent goal tending on both sides.
Fairport then won the consolation match against McQuaid (12-7), earning a third place overall finish. For the third year running, Pittsford faced Penfield in the final game and came out on top (12-3), to go undefeated in the tournament.
Tenacious goalies led the robust defense for Pittsford, resulting in a total of only 10 goals scored against the team across all five games played. The team racked up 71 points against its challengers.
Coach Morris expressed appreciation for the participating teams and for the many volunteers who contributed their time and talents over the busy holiday weekend. Officials included Keith Shields, Scott Shields, Ralph Simpson (who officiated six straight games on Friday and both the finals on Saturday) and Dr. Stefan Lucas.
Caroline McPherson ran the concessions stand, and fundraising efforts were coordinated by Wendy Gladstone-Brown. Morris also thanked members of the Pittsford Girls Swimming & Diving Team for running the clock and keeping score.