2019 Battle of the Bay
The 2018 Battle of the Bay tournament was the first tournament our team ever attended, so in 2019, we were eager to mark our team’s one year anniversary! However, after a busy year of tournaments with maxed out rosters, we actually had the opposite issue preparing for the Battle of the Bay – so we got a little creative…
Unfortunately, Sean Paul (former water polo player for Jamaica’s National team – now international singer/rapper sensation), was evidently also busy and could not join our team for Battle of the Bay 2019 (we never heard back from him). However, we were able to recruit two last minute players – one of which was the former Clemson mascot, and the other ready to ditch his board shorts and debut his new speedo. Both clutch additions to our tournament team.
Like most road trips, things never go quite according to plan. On the morning of our departure, one player got a flat tire on the way to work, another player worked night shift with multiple delays, and about 30 minutes into the trip, a bad traffic jam left us with the decision of either waiting it out adding an extra hour to our trip, or detouring on a muddy road and wooded route through rural South Carolina/Georgia area. Somehow the detour option turned out to be the better choice.
Saturday was Day 1 for Battle of the Bay and also a big game day for College football. The former Clemson teammates were able to remain focused enough to contribute to a win on Saturday. We ended the day splitting games with 1 loss, 1 win, and eager to celebrate.
We’re #1! Well, we won a game. Celebrating 1 year of Tournaments!
After team dinner, we explored the unique town of Clearwater where we learned (& experienced) more than we ever imagine about Scientology, and eventually settled into a fun venue that included some of our favorite things – air hockey, a jukebox, and craft beer.
Some epic air hockey competition earlier that night… before and after it broke/later repaired in the most annoying way possible.
We played two more games on Sunday, which ended with the same result as Saturday. One of our newest players (to the sport), scored for the first time in competition with two goals in one game! We finished the weekend with a 2-2 record, feeling exhausted, and full of memorable experiences.
Sadly, this was the last water polo weekend with our teammate Jeremy Ladue. While serving as Deputy for Charleston County Police Department, Jeremy died in a car crash on April 13, 2020. We will certainly miss Jeremy’s presence at future tournaments, especially his Chewbacca onesie and willingness to go with the flow. Jeremy will forever be “the most colorful and entertaining member of our water polo team”.
Here’s a little tribute video from Charleston County Police Department.