May 10, 2019 9:01 PM

winning team army
2019 Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton Jr. Champions: Army - Javier Insua, John Greening, Zoe Lehmer, Chris Ballard, Taimur Zeb.

For the third year in a row the Central Texas Polo Association hosted a Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton Jr. tournament at Two Wishes Polo Club in Lockhart, Texas, on Sunday, April 28. Due to the recently heavy rainfall, only three teams representing the Army, Navy and Coast Guard competed in the round-robin tournament.

In the opening ceremony of the game the Lockhart ISD Air Force JROTC Color Guard, made up of Jacqueline Suchite, Breanna Huggins, Alonso Rodriguez and Mayte Gonzalez, presented the American flag while Brooklyn Mendez sang the National Anthem.

Trey Crea, defended by Taimur Zeb, Army, backing the ball.
Coast Gaurd's Trey Crea at full speed defended by Taimur Zeb of Army.

The Army team was made up of Zoe Lehmer, Taimur Zeb, Chris Ballard, Javier Insua and John Greening. The Navy team included Tres De La Paz, Jessica Mignone, Carter Heltzen and CDR Karl Hilberg, USN (Ret) while the Coast Guard featured Lara Semmelmann, Patrick MacLeod, Gal Shweiki and Trey Crea.

Navy's Jessica Mignone prepares for a shot.
Navy's Jessica Mignone prepares for a shot.

While circuit military tournaments have a requirement that one player per team has to have a military connection, in this tournament all 12 players had served in the military or had a family member who served. Even the two umpires officiating, Robin Sanchez and Jack Crea, had a military connection.

The first two teams to play in the round robin were Army and Coast Guard. The Army rallied for a decisive victory, defeating Coast Guard 9-.5, with four of their total goals converted from the penalty line. Next, the Navy faced the Coast Guard for the second spot in the final. In a closely-fought game, the Navy emerged victorious over the Coast Guard 3.5-3, securing their spot in the final match against the Army.

In the championship final the Navy scored first, but the Army quickly responded with three goals of their own to lead 3-2. Again in the final chukker the Navy struck first with two goals, but Army retaliated to score the final two goals and the narrow win 5-4.

Most Valuable Player, John Greening
Most Valuable Player John Greening

LtCol Tommy Hitchcock Jr., Army Air Corps, Most Valuable Player was presented to John Greening. The SGT Reckless, USMC, Best Playing Pony honors were awarded to Roulette, owned and played by Jessica Mignone. CDR Karl Hilberg, USN (Ret) was awarded the Col Gordon Johnston, Sportsmanship Award.

best playing pony
Best Playing Pony: Roulette owned and played by Jessica Mignone.

All photos ©David Murrell