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WHS hosting special swimming, volleyball events

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The Watertown volleyball and boys swimming teams are each hosting special events this weekend. The Frontier League Christmas Relays will be at the high school pool on Friday night, while the volleyball squad is preparing for its annual Pink Out event, which is slated for Saturday morning.

Both events are intended to break up the monotony of the regular league season, and organizers of both competitions are raising funds to support a specific cause.

BOBB WATKINS CHRISTMAS RELAYS

The annual Christmas Relays will be hosted by the Watertown boys swimming team at 5:15 p.m. Friday.

Now referred to as the Bobb Watkins Memorial Christmas Relays, the meet will feature nine events, including a diving relay.

Eleven schools are expected to participate, giving the event an invitational-type of atmosphere. The results don’t count in the overall or league standings. Watertown’s team managers have been busy compiling Christmas music to be played during the meet.

“Varsity leagues often do a relay tournament for fun and it’s good practice for the kids,” Watertown coach Jeff Ginger said. “Holidays are around and we’re all exhausted and the kids are sick and they’re beat up, and so we just do something to ease the tension in the middle of it.”

Ginger will be providing an opportunity at the meet for the swimming community to donate to the Bobb Watkins scholarship fund at Lowville school.

Watkins, a longtime Lowville swimming coach, died from colon cancer last December. He had hosted the Christmas Relays at Lowville for at least the last 14 years.

This isn’t the first year the swimming community has supported a special cause at the Christmas Relays. In 2004, Watkins organized an effort to collect money during the meet for an Indian River swimmer whose family who had lost its belongings in a house fire in Calcium. Coaches, swimmers and spectators donated $450 to the family.

The swimming relays include novice, 400-yard medley, 200 freestyle, 200 butterfly, 200 backstroke, 200 breaststroke, 400 individual medley and 500 crescendo.

PINK OUT CLASH TOURNAMENT

The Watertown High School volleyball team is hosting its fifth annual Pink Out event, to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research, at 8:45 a.m. Saturday at the Case Middle School and Watertown High School gyms.

The Cyclones, who usually host their Christmas Clash tournament this time of year, have merged the tournament with the Pink Out event to form the Pink Out Clash.

Nine teams are participating in the tournament, including Carthage, Indian River, South Jefferson, Camden, Tully, Dolgeville, Oneida, Chittenango and Camden.

Admission cost to the event is a donation, and several raffle items will be given away. All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program.

As part of the effort, the Cyclones have already raised $1,100 from the sale of 265 T-shirts, which were designed by Watertown coach Robin Boomhower’s marketing class.

Raffle items for the event are still being accepted. Contact Boomhower at school (785-3810) or by e-mail (rboomhower@watertowncsd.org) by 3 p.m. Friday.

WRESTLING IS FOR THE GIRLS

A wrestling league for girls will be offered in the state for the first time by New York City’s Public School Athletic League (PSAL) in March.

New York will become the sixth state to hold sanctioned girls wrestling events.

Planned is a 16-team league that will compete in dual meets, followed by a city championship tournament, according to the New York Daily News. The first dual meet is scheduled for March 4.

The PSAL is working closely with Beat the Streets, a youth wrestling program, to offer the opportunity.

Sportswriter Leslie Sheldon covers Frontier League sports for the Times. She may be contacted at 661-2348 or lsheldon@wdt.net

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