Part of what makes Texas Arena League so appealing is the emphasis on sportsmanship, teamwork and camaraderie. While MVPs and winning players and teams are awarded, Sportsmanship – during play and outside of the arena – carries a significant value to all the participants and breeds goodwill amongst the teams and players. In each game during League play, Sportsmanship is awarded and considerations for the award are noted. In 2020, the Sportsmanship winners were given U.S. Polo Assn item as a prize at each game and for final runner-up but the final awards for sportsmanship are the beautiful Catena watches. This year Catena provided the Classic Mens CATENA Swiss made watch – stainless steel gold case, Sapphire crystal with Roman numerals and date and the Ladies Stirrup CATENA Swiss made watch – stainless steel case with white mother of pearl dial and diamonds in center of dial.
In addition to the Catena Sportsmanship awards, Royal B Threads sponsored the Best Team Player award and Pro Chukker sponsored the Players’ Choice Competitor award. Players’ Choice Competitor is voted on by the participants in TAL for the player who best represents Texas Arena League through competitive play, sportsmanship, and commitment inside and outside of the arena.
This year TAL added a Most Improved award suggested by Amanda Massey at the end of 2019 TAL and sponsored by Elite Motion & Performance.
Pro Chukker Players’ Choice Competitor – Jack Crea
“I am extremely pleased to have been chosen as the Pro Chucker Players Choice Competitor for the TAL 2020 season. I always enjoy playing in the Texas Arena League and look forward to next season. Thanks to all who voted for me and to Pro Chucker for their sponsorship,” Jack Crea.
0-3 Goal Catena Sportsmanship Runner-up – Oscar Bermudez Jr
0-3 Goal Catena Sportsmanship Award – Karl Hilberg
“I would like to thank our Sportsmanship sponsor Catena. They provided watches for both the Texas Arena League 0-3 and 3-6 goal leagues,” says Hilberg.
“Sportsmanship is one of the most important and undervalued aspects of any sport. The Texas Arena League is working on promoting sportsmanship and with Catena as our sponsor it is working.”
0-3 Goal Royal B Threads Best Team Player – Mark Osburn
Mark’s teammate in both flights, Brady Williams commented “It has been a lot of fun playing with Mark the last two seasons in TAL. I was glad for him to win the Best Team Player award. He has improved a lot since his return to polo in 2018. He started out leasing horses from me last year in the 2019 season and now owns his own 3 horse string. He is good to play with because he can take direction and contributes the team in many ways. He will ask for a pass if he knows he is open but is also not afraid to step up and play defense if the situation calls for it. We have had some wins and some losses together, but he keeps his head up and level always ready for the next game. “
0-3 Goal Elite Motion & Performance Most Improved – Ryan Owen
“After stepping away from polo for 10 years from the time I played at Texas Tech, Texas Arena League is a fun and affordable way to get back in the game of polo. Having the opportunity to play at such great facilities all over the state along with good competition and professional umpires, helped make vast improvements quickly in my game,” says Owen. “I would recommend competing in Texas Arena League for anyone looking to get back in the sport of polo or even beginners just learning the sport. TAL has a division for all players at every level of play. I look forward to playing again next winter.”
3-6 Goal Catena Sportsmanship Runner-up – Cody Goetz
3-6 Goal Catena Sportsmanship – Kelly Coldiron
“I’m honored to have received the sportsmanship award during the TAL and I believe that with such a large number of players, it’s even more important to be generous and supportive. Each year at the TAL, I play against some people that I know and often against people I do not know. With that said, in a league like this with a large group, I feel it is even more important for the encouragement to others in polo. In particular, low-goal polo is a recreational sport for many and the recreation of it goes much further with a good sportsmanship attitude,” says Coldiron. “The CATENA watch is beautiful, so well-crafted.”
3-6 Goal Royal B Threads Best Team Player – Ariel Mancebo
3-6 Goal Elite Motion & Performance Most Improved – Dani Gibson