WELLINGTON, FL--May 25, 2016----Grand Champions Polo Club, a hotbed for developing junior polo players, showcased some outstanding up-and-coming players Saturday at the fourth annual NYTS Qualifier.
Polo School Green (Landen Daniels, Alyssa Tranchilla, Benji Daniels,Justin Daniels) defeated Polo School Purple (Santos Bollini, Rachel Kelly, Grant Ganzi, Riley Ganzi), 4-2, in a four-chukker game.
The USPA National Youth Tournament Series event is a series of youth qualifying tournaments around the country. All-Star representatives from each of the nation's four zones earn the chance to play in the final tournament.
Justin Daniels scored a game-high four goals. Grant Ganzi and Bollini each scored one.
"It's the best thing in the world playing with your brothers," Daniels said. "You have a certain chemistry that you don't have with anyone else. I'm very happy the team won. It's the last game of the season for me."
At 12, Landen Daniels was the youngest player competing.
"Practice and playing is definitely helping me get better," said Landen Daniels, competing in his second NTYS event. "I didn't feel intimidated just because I'm young. I'm happy I am on the winning team. It was fun."
Polo School Green led 2-0 after two chukkers before Polo School Purple tied the game in the third chukker before Polo School Green regrouped and pulled away for the victory.
Named to the NYTS All-Star team were Justin Daniels, Grant Ganzi, Riley Ganzi and Santos Bollini.
The All-Star selection is based on horsemanship, sportsmanship, playing ability at their current handicap and team playing ability.
The four players selected will be added to the 2016 All-Stars masters list from which a Zone 3-Florida team will be selected to play in the Sept 1-4 2016 National Championships at Myopia Polo Club in South Hamilton, Mass.
Tranchilla and Kelly made the road trip from Vero Beach with their supportive parents. Tranchilla had played with the Daniels brothers in other tournaments.
"It's nice to be on the winning team, but it's just good to play with everyone," Tranchilla said. "The Daniels played great, you could tell the way they played they are brothers."
Kelly, 17, was making her NYTS debut.
"I love playing with and against these guys," Kelly said. "Playing with these kids makes me better and definitely brings my game up on the field. I learn a lot from them.
"These kids fly down the field, they are amazing. The quality of the game was awesome. They definitely played above their ability. I am very happy I got a chance to play."
In nine years, Grand Champions has hosted more Polo Training Foundation and other youth tournaments than any other polo club. Several players have grown up playing juniors and are now competing in adult level tournaments. Others have come up through The Polo School.
Timmy Dutta, 14, who has competed in PTF and NYTS tournaments, is just one example. Dutta recently scored the winning goal for Audi to win the Polo Gear Challenge Cup in medium goal play.
"It's awesome Timmy is growing up here," said Audi teammate Marc Ganzi. "He has matured so much in one year. You look at his polo from last year to this year. He went from a boy to playing like a man.
"He's absorbing big hits, he is hitting the ball the first time, he is slowing down. He is making all the decisions you need to go to three or four goals. His mind is in the right place.
"He has unlimited potential and that's the best thing, watching all these kids grow. You see them all. The way Grant has played this season, the way Juancito has evolved into a nice pro. We just have to keep these kids moving. If we can keep them moving, it's really good for polo."
On Monday, Grand Champions Polo Club will host The Memorial Kidz Polo Tournament at 10 a.m. in the final tournament of the spring season.
Deadline for applications for the PTF Exchange Trip to England are due Wednesday, June 1. The Hurlingham Polo Association is hosting a team of PTF junior players for the week of July 16-24 in England as part of the successful PTF and HPA Exchange Program. Those interested in applying should go to the PTF website and email Jennifer McLeavy at email@example.com.
ChukkerTV, the only crew to give youth polo exposure worldwide, is live streaming Grand Champions Polo Club games along with other games around the U.S. during the 2016 season with polo broadcasters Toby Wayman and Dale Schwetz calling the action.
Grand Champions Polo Club is the nation's busiest and most innovative polo club. The club hosts polo tournaments ranging from six to 20-goal in addition to special events.
The club also features The Polo School, dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. Its mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through June and September through November.
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB 2016 SPRING SCHEDULE
Friday-Sunday, The Memorial, Friday at Grand Champions, 11 a.m. Flexjet vs. Grand Champions; 5 p.m. The Dutta Corp vs. Postage Stamp Farm; Sunday at IPC Stadium Field, 1 p.m. Championship final, 3 p.m., Grand Champions Polo Cup subsidiary.
Monday, The Memorial Kidz Polo Tournament, 10 a.m.
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB
WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.
DIRECTOR OF POLO: Juan Olivera, 561-644-5050, firstname.lastname@example.org; hotline 561-373-0073.
INFORMATION: For spectators, there are great field side views for tournament action and also the Grand Champions Polo Club Boutique. The club is home base for pro teams Audi and Flexjet. Everyone is welcome to watch every level of polo in a relaxed atmosphere that includes a complimentary Argentine asado by Cilantro's during the featured games of the winter, spring and fall tournament seasons and other special events. Admission is free except for some special events.