Florida Region defeated Eastern Region by an impressive 10.5-4 and won the National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS), in the final that took place on Friday January 15 at International Polo Club Palm Beach.
The NYTS program was set in 2013, to provide outdoor clubs the framework for hosting USPA-sanctioned tournaments. Players age 19 and under holding a minimum -1 goal handicap are eligible to participate, allowing youth players the opportunity to compete against their friends. A unique and crucial step in developing a young player, the program instills valuable lessons about being a team player, while improving a participant’s polo game. At each qualifier, NYTS All-Stars are named for their exceptional horsemanship, sportsmanship and skill, both on and off the field. Players nominated as All-Stars are eligible for selection in their respective zones for the National Championship Cecil Smith Cup and NYTS Girls Championship.
The NYTS Subcommittee was forced to make the difficult decision this year to host just one Open Division at the Championship level. The USPA is pleased that the teams are well represented by both male and female participants and will be showcasing the top youth players. Therefore, the 2021 edition of the NYTS saw four regions compete. Those were Western, Central, Eastern and Florida, all of them playing at Port Mayaca Polo Club, while the final was held on Field 1 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach-
NATIONAL YOUTH TOURNAMENT SERIES – TEAMS:
FLORIDA REGION: Finn Secunda, Jack Witman, Hope Arellano, Landen Eckbo Daniels. Coach: Jared Zenni.
EASTERN REGION: Sophie Grant, Hunter van der Burgt, Winston Painter, Aiden Meeker. Coach: Costi Caset.
CENTRAL REGION: Lily Lequerica, Grace Parker, Vance Miller III, Lance Stefanakis. Coach: Gerónimo Obregón.
WESTERN REGION: Alea Crespo, Colby Smith, Riley Jordan, Niklaus Felhaber. Coach: Felipe Viana.
NATIONAL YOUTH TOURNAMENT SERIES – FIXTURES:
Wednesday January 13 – Semifinals:
Eastern Region 10 vs. Eastern Region 5.5
Florida Region 10 vs. Central Region 4
Friday January 15 – Finals:
Central Region 6 vs. Western Region 2
Florida Region 10 vs. Eastern Region 4