Wellington, FL - Juancito Bollini and Grant Ganzi of Wellington, both following their families' polo footsteps, will compete in the inaugural National Youth Tournament Series National Championships this weekend in Upperville, Va.
The tournament culminates the U.S. Polo Association's National Youth Tournament Series that featured 23 qualifiers held at various polo clubs across the nation where 99 All-Stars were selected.
Eight All-Star players will represent each of the four zones in the two-day tournament hosted by the Virginia International Polo Club, the largest polo club in Virginia.
The draw will be made Friday and competition will be held Saturday with two first round games at 10 and 11 a.m. on Field One and Sunday with games at noon and 1 p.m. on Field Two. Monday is the rain makeup day.
Bollini and Ganzi will be joined by Zone 3 All-Star teammates Justin Daniels and Wes Finlayson, all starters, and alternates Santino Matini, Christian Weisz, Gonzalo DiCiurcio and Matias Gonzalez.
All Zone 3 All-Star players have competed in several junior tournaments throughout the years at Grand Champions Polo Club including the Buzz Welker Invitational.
There are three other Zone teams.
Zone 1 All-Stars are Liam Lott, Austin Finch, Loretto Natividad, Russell Stimmel, Savannah Broderick, Irving Silvestre, Jim Wright and Colton Bancroft.
Zone 2 All-Stars are Andrew Begg, Pierce Alworth, Agustin Arellano, Wesley Bryan, Jeff Shuler, Kingsley Ward Jr., Lucas Arellano and Evan White.
Zone 4 All-Stars are Wyatt Harlow, Johann Colloredo-Mansfield, Simon Colloredo-Mansfeld, Marissa Wells, Tommy Huber, Valentina Echandia, George Hempt and Barrett Coke.
All Zone teams were required to meet a 0-4 goal handicap.
Bollini, 18, a Wellington High School graduate and incoming freshman at Florida Atlantic University, is following in the footsteps of his father Juan Bollini, a former 8-goal rated player, who competes for Piaget during the 20- and 26-goal seasons and plays at Grand Champions Polo Club during the spring and fall seasons.
Ganzi, 15, a sophomore at St. Andrew's School in Boca Raton, is from a polo family. His parents Marc and Melissa Ganzi, owners of Grand Champions Polo Club, one of the nation's fastest growing polo clubs, are avid players. His younger sister Riley also plays polo.
Ganzi and Bollini have grown up playing with and against each other in both youth and adult tournaments at every level. Bollini, rated at 1.5 goals, played for Audi as an alternate for Marc Ganzi.
Marc Ganzi is one of the nation's top amateurs and heads the Audi team. He recently competed in the Westchester Cup with the U.S. team in England. Melissa Potamkin Ganzi, newly-elected to the USPA Board of Governors, heads the Piaget team and is one of the top women's players. Both are currently playing at their Aspen Valley Polo Club.
The Ganzi family and support staff are also preparing for the upcoming sixth fall season at Grand Champions.
The season will feature nine tournaments including two 20-goal tournaments in November. All tournaments are USPA-sanctioned and have grown in stature since their start in the mid-1990s.
GRAND CHAMPIONS FALL SCHEDULE
Sept. 27-29,Tackeria Invitational, Palm City Polo Club, Boca Raton
Oct. 4-6, USPA Fall Classic
Oct. 13-15, USPA Kay Colee Memorial
Oct. 18-20, US Trust Cup
Oct. 25-27, USPA Fall Plates
Oct. 30-Nov. 9, USPA North America Cup
Nov. 1-3, Pedro Morrison Memorial
Nov. 8-10, Palm Restaurant Invitational
Nov. 13-24,The National 20-Goal Championship
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB
WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 561-644-5050.
INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro teams Audi and Piaget. Everyone is welcome to watch high and medium goal polo in a relaxed atmosphere during the spring and fall tournament season and other special events including the International Cup in November, Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament in March, Women's Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League International Tournament, both in April.