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Prestonwood Polo Club High School Team

Top 2 Team in USA- Reaches National Final

L-R: Ronnie Puente, Vaughn Miller Jr, Vance C. Miller III, Coach Vaughn Miller

News Release -- Oak Point, Texas - March 16, 2015- The Prestonwood Polo Club High School Varsity team made history as one of the youngest programs to reach the National USPA Polo Championship! This year 38 teams from all over the USA competed for the trophy that dates back to 1928 and Prestonwood made the final 2. Team mates Vaughn Miller Jr, Vance Miller III and Ronnie Puente are three time High School Champions in the Central USA division and defeated teams from Culver, New York and Houston by a margin of 26 goals to reach the National finals VS West Shore (Maryland). They lost a tough game in the finals against an older team but they're looking forward next year.  7 teams traveled to the ERG Arena in Houston, Texas to compete in the Finals of the National High School Open Championship:
Region Winners
1. Southeast - West Shore (MD)
2. Central - Prestonwood (TX)
3. Northeast - Toronto (CDN)
4. West - Poway (CA)
Wildcards
5. Eldorado (CA)
6. Country Farms (NY)
7. Houston (TX)

In the 1st round Toronto defeated Eldorado in an overtime shoot-out, Prestonwood defeated Country Farms in a comeback victory and Houston knocked-off Poway.  In the semi-final West Shore defeated Toronto 21-5 and Prestonwood defeated Houston 16-11. In the Final West Shore defeated Prestonwood and things started off with excitement as West Shore from Baltimore, MY (George Hempt, Tommy Huber, Ben Lynch and alt. Jackson Bennett) and Prestonwood from Dallas, TX (Vance Miller III., Vaughn Miller Jr., and Ronnie Puente) kept the score within two-goals in the first seven minutes of play. Tommy Huber claimed the first two goals of the match as he converted two back-to-back penalty shots, securing a 2 goal lead for West Shore, 2-0. Vaughn Miller quickly answered with a steal from Tommy Huber and a perfectly placed pass to Ronnie Puente who sealed the deal with a quick jab into goal putting Prestonwood’s first goal on the board, 2 -1. Hempt then sunk another one along the wall (3-1) and immediately then drew the foul after the throw-in resulting in a shot from the 15, which Huber took and scored, 4-1. In the final goal of the chukker with Tommy Huber on his hip, Vaughn Miller earned the assist with well placed 80-yard pass to Ronnie Puente, who scored again, 4-2. The excitement went until the last second as, with 12 seconds left to spare, Vaughn Miller saved a perfectly placed back shot on goal courtesy of Huber one foot outside of the goal line, clearing it out of the red-zone.

West Shore really came alive in the second chukker as they held Prestonwood score-less while putting up 6 goals of their own. West Shore’s breakaway began with two goals from Huber gaining a four goal lead, 6-2. Ben Lynch quickly showed he had earned his spot on the starting line-up with three back-to-back goals of his own, 9-2. Huber closed up the first half converting on another penalty shot bringing the score to 10-2.

Hempt scored the first goal (of his five goals that he would soon score in the third chukker) with an incredible thirty yard shot (11-2), only to then block what would have been a dead on two-poiner shot from Ronnie Puente, swiping it out of the air and clearing it from the red zone. However, Prestonwood wasn’t ready to throw in the towel yet. Puente, receiving another pass from Miller put another quick one in within the fifteen (11-3) Miller followed suit with a goal of his own, making it 11-4. Hempt then answered with four goals, three of which were converted on penalty shots gaining an 11 goal lead, 15-4. Lynch echoed Hempt with an outstanding nearside neck shot from within the fifteen, 16-4. Puente closed things up for the third chukker with another conversion on a penalty four attemption to gain some momentum to close the twelve goal gap, 16-5.

The fourth chukker started out with Vaughn Miller converting two penalty shots back-to-back adding two more goals to their tally, 16-7. However, Hempt never let up, bringing another one in off the wall (17-7) only to be followed by Lynch with a shot out of the air, making it 18-7. Vaughn Miller scored with an offside tail shot from beyond the 15, making it 18-8. Unfortunately that would be the last goal of the match for Prestonwood as they were unable to overcome the ten-goal deficit. Finally, Huber finished things off with one last back shot to goal for West Shore, securing their 19-8 victory over Prestonwood.

Despite the difference in goals, the energy at the ERG arena in Brookshire, TX was high from start to finish. The players on both teams played incredibly well demonstrating outstanding ball control at speed and well executed strategy throughout.

Prestonwood Polo Club's Youth Polo program is considered one of the best in the country and supports the growth of youth polo in America.

The Prestonwood Team with Coach Miller made history in 2015 as one of the youngest programs ever to make the National Finals.

Prestonwood Polo Team: Ronnie Puente, Vaughn Miller Jr, Vance C. Miller III

MVP Vaughn Miller Jr Won USPA All-Star with 21 goals in the Central Regional tournament

MVP Ronnie Puente Won USPA All-Star with 7 goals in the Central Regional tournament

Sparky, Prestonwood Team Mascot, had a great time too!

 
 

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