The Toronto Golden Jets are extremely pleased to announce that 4-time Olympian David Hart has been hired to provide an innovative new program for the club effective with the new competitive season.
57 years after they first met in the water as rival age-group swimmers and 42 years after they competed as teammates at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, club founder and head coach, George Gross, Jr., and Hart will team up once again. Hart has signed an exclusive deal to bring his world-class coaching and mentoring experience to Gross’s Toronto Jets Water Polo Club.
“I’m thrilled that George approached me when he heard I was relocating from Ottawa to the Golden Horseshoe area and offered me this great opportunity. We both looked at each other and said …it’s been too long, let’s do this.”
Gross and Hart had an instinctive understanding of each other in the water as illustrated by the 1976 Olympic Games clip seen via the following link:
The exclusive GTA deal brings Hart’s Performance Water Polo program to the club. Hart will run a concentrated, small group (6-10 members) high performance program aimed at helping players reach international standards of play. The players selected by Hart to be included in the program will still attend all regular team practices but will also have the opportunity to learn more personally-directed skills separately under Hart’s tutelage.
Evaluations of those members interested in participating will be done during the first week of practices.
Hart is the only Canadian Water Polo personality to have coached with all 6 Canadian National Team programs (Senior Men and Women, Junior Men and Women, Youth Men and Women) and was the first ever Canadian to coach a foreign National Team (Head Coach Brazil Women 2002-2003).
In addition to his four Olympic appearances, he participated in five World Championships as well as six Pan American Games. As a coach he won 8 International Medals. As a player, he appeared in 160 international matches including the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games.
After his playing retirement in 1976, Hart became the leader of the Canadian Water Polo Association’s national office. He quickly authored the first Level 1 and Level 2 NCCP Water Polo Coaching Manuals, developed the materials for the Level 3 NCCP water polo course and provided the technical leadership for the creation of a National Officials Certification program. In the early 1980s, he spearheaded the establishment of the first national men’s league (CWPL).
In 1993, he accepted the position of Master Coach for Water Polo Canada and developed the first “Legacy Coaching Program”. Three of his graduates became head coaches for National teams
Among his other ambitious programs, his innovative “Dream Team 1999” was totally self- funded, offering an extensive 4 year international preparation and personal self-development program for 24 of the top 15 and 16 year old boys. Three of his program’s graduates represented Canada in the 2008 Olympics.
In 2001, David created one of the most innovative and important domestic water polo programs – the ‘I Love Water Polo’ program aimed at introducing young people to the sport.
In 2012, Hart received the Geoff Gowan Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Coaching Association of Canada for lifetime contribution to Coaching Development in Canada.
Golden Jets goalkeeper, Emirhan Ozdemir, became the first Golden Jets male player to play at the men’s European Water Polo Championships when he made the Turkish National Team.
Ozdemir is currently in Barcelona getting a taste of senior international competition. His introduction is a strong one as Turkey was drawn into the difficult Pool C which boasts perrennial powerhouses Croatia and Greece and the strong squad from The Netherlands.
Ozdemir has backstopped the Jets senior men to a pair of National titles (winning the Outstanding Goalie Award once) as well as winning three OUA championships as part of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Two years ago, Ozdemir accomplished the unthinkable when he led the Blues to consecutive shutouts in the semi-final and championship final games – an unheard of accomplished for a water polo goalie.
Excellent Golden Jets goaltender, Andrei Velasevic, added another honour to his water polo resume by making the Canadian National U20 team that just finished competing at the UANA Junior Men’s Pan am Games in Clearwater, Florida.
Velasevic went to camp in good shape and won the starting goalie job.
Canada won the bronze medal at the tournament and qualified for the U20 World Championships.
This makes two summers in a row that Velasevic has represented Canada as he made the 2017 World University Games team that competed in Taipei, Taiwan.
The Toronto Golden Jets GOLD team entry in the Canadian Senior Men’s National League (MLWP) finished off the regular season by winning all four of its games last weekend at home at the University of Toronto.
Before the weekend began, the Jets’ first opponent, Ottawa Titans Black was sitting comfortably in first place in the Western Division of the Eastern Conference. The two teams had met in late January in Montreal with the Titans winning 5-3.
The game proved to be a defence-first affair for both teams that led to only a single first quarter goal by the visitors. The Jets rebounded with three qoals of their own in the second quarter as they shut out the Titans to lead 3-1 at the half. Neither team could score in the third quarter. Ottawa managed a goal in the final frame but that was it for both teams and the Jets escaped with a narrow 3-2 win.
Sukhmun Hare with a pair and Euan Schoffield handled the Jets scoring while goalie Emirhan Ozdemir was outstanding.
The next day, the Jets were up against the second Ottawa team (Titans Blue) and the team wasted no team asserting its dominance by running up identical 4-0 quarters to end the first half ahead 8-0. The second half was much of the same and the Jets left the pool 15-1 winners.
Colin Colterjohn and Hare led the way with hat tricks while Brett Luehmann, Paul Spooner and Scoffield netted a pair each. Single tallies went to Chris Vang, Stefan Mitic and Tuna Tali. Back-up goaltender Andrew Chorniy was nearly flawless.
Later in the day, the Jets would match up against the Eastern Division leaders, DDO Black (Montreal). The teams traded goals twice in the first quarter to end it deadlocked 2-2. The Jets again scored twice but held DDO to one and led 4-3 at the half. As against Ottawa Black the night before, neither team could score in the third quarter. However, the Jets roared out to a 5-1 fourth quarter to win 9-4.
Scoffield notched a hat trick, Rudy Despaigne and Luehmann scored twice each while Colterjohn and Vang added singles. Ozdemir again was outstanding in goal.
The final match for the Jets Gold team was the next day versus DDO Gold (Montreal). The Jets eased out to a 3-0 first quarter lead and then fired in six more in the second period to lead 9-1 at the half. The Jets kept going and finished up with a convincing 19-2 victory. Luehmann and Tali led all scorers with four goals apiece with Vang netting a hat trick. Colterjohn, Despaigne and Scoffield each scored twice while Matt Hart and Hare added singles. Chorniy again was nearly flawless in the goal.
The Jets now move on to the National Championship Finals in Montreal March 23-25 and will open their defence of the title with a quarter-final match up against Team Saskatchewan.
The Golden Jets senior women had a historic weekend to conclude the MLWP regular season sweeping their three games.
Bolstered by two players from Capital Wave, sisters Veronica and Valeria Rojas, the team (named “Golden Wave” to reflect the combined effort of the Golden Jets and Capital Wave clubs) scored a huge first-ever win over CAMO (Montreal) in the final game of the weekend and season.
Until late in the second quarter, four times CAMO scored only to see the Golden Wave respond to tie things up. However, the team could not respond to a late CAMO goal before the end of the first half and trailed 5-4 heading into the third quarter. The same scenario played out in that quarter as the Golden Wave tied it up only to see CAMO retake the lead near the end of the quarter.
Right after the swimoff to begin the final quarter, the Golden Wave scored to tie it up 6-6 and followed that up with two more goals to take a 8-6 lead after two and a half minutes. CAMO got one of those back at the half way mark which then set up a nail-biting back and forth final three and a half minutes in which neither team could break the other’s defence and the Golden Wave held on for its monumental 8-7 win. Ana Miroslavic and Rojas (Valeria) led the way with two goals apiece while Cairlyn Tiedje, Rojas Veronica), Kassie Fraser and Brittany Sinclair added singles.
The Golden Wave opened the weekend with a 12-4 win over St. Lambert (Montreal). The game started slowly for the team which led 1-0 after the opening quarter. The lead was extended to 5-2 at the half and 9-3 at the end of three quarters as the players began to mesh better with each quarter played. Shae Fournier led all scorers with five goals while Tiedje followed with four goals. Miroslavic, Ali Kraft and Nicole Brown notched singles.
Later on in the evening, the Golden Wave was back in the pool against DDO (Montreal) and flew out to a 7-0 first quarter lead. The team never looked back and ended the game with a convincing 15-1 victory. Fournier again led all scorers with four goals. Miroslavic and Rojas (Valeria) each had a hat trick, Fraser and Rojas (Veronica) scored twice and Brown added the final tally.
The perfect weekend gave the Golden Wave first place in the Western Division of the Eastern Conference. The MLWP Championships are the weekend of March 23-25 in Montreal.
The second senior Jets team in the National League (MLWP) had an excellent weekend to wrap up its 2018 season.
The weekend began with a convincing victory over the Ottawa Titans Blue squad. The Silver Jets got off to a quick 3-0 first quarter lead and kept extending the lead to where they led 11-1 after three quarters. Arnau Peral led all scorers with 4 goals while David Rapoport and Petar Kovacevic each had a pair. Maksim Cuturillo, Luka Pejanovic, Harrison Young, Richard Laurie and Mohamed Rezk each chipped in with a tally.
The next day, the Silver Jets faced off against the Ottawa Titans Black team and though they played hard losing the first two quarters each by 4-2 scores, the team fell 17-6. Cuturillo had a hat trick while Young, Peral and Kovacevic added singles.
Later Saturday, it was a match-up against the DDO (Montreal) Gold squad. The game proved to be the most exciting of the weekend as the Silver Jets just kept coming back from deficits of 3-1, 5-4 and 7-6 to tie things up at 8-8. Cuturillo was again the top marksman with four goals. Pejanovic had a pair with singles supplied by Rapoport and Peral.
Sunday’s first game was against the DDO Black team. As expected, the Silver Jets fell behind early and trailed 9-4 after three quarters. However, the team went on a magical run by scoring four unanswered goals to pull within 9-8 in the last half minute. Unfortunately, they could not get the ball back and the game ended on that note. Rapoport led the way with four tallies, Cuturillo had a pair and Pejanovic and Kovacevic potted one goal apiece.
The fifth game of the weekend was also the final game of the season and the Silver Jets did not mail it in. Facing the tough and in-shape National Team U19 East team, the Silver Jets never backed down in losing 9-7. Rapoport and Pejanovic notched a pair of goals each while Cuturillo, Laurie and Arnau added the others.
Coach Predrag Pejanovic was very pleased with the performance of the team and deserves the credit for preparing the players in the proper way.
Congratulations to the Silver Jets players on a great season!
Canada’s national senior water polo league, Major League Water Polo (MLWP) will feature all the men’s and women’s Eastern Conference teams this weekend (March 9-11) at the University of Toronto.
The Golden Jets team, defending National Champions, will play Friday night at 8pm against league-leading Ottawa Titans Black, Saturday at 2pm versus Ottawa Titans Blue and 8:15pm against DDO Black (Montreal) as well as Sunday at 2pm versus DDO Gold.
The Silver Jets have five games on the weekend: Friday night at 9:15 against Ottawa Titans Blue; Saturday at 5pm versus Ottawa Titans Black and 9:30pm against DDO Gold; Sunday at 1pm versus DDO Black and 5pm vs the National Team East U19 team.
The Golden Jets women have a double header on Saturday with games at 4:30pm against St. Lambert (Montreal) and 8:15pm versus DDO.
The weekend action concludes the regular season for all three teams. The finals are in Montreal two weeks from now (March 23-25).
The Golden Jets U16 boys completed a very successful weekend of national league competition in Ottawa with a 3-2 record.
The Jets opened up the tournament with a 14-6 victory over DDO Gold (Montreal). The teams were tied 2-2 after one quarter as the Jets showed the signs of the long drive from Toronto right before playing. Then the Jets got untracked and went on a 7-0 run into the middle part of the third quarter to lead 9-2 at that point. Sebastien Nisker and Bora Kaya led the Jets with four goals apiece while Victor Grigoryan netted a hat trick. Nikola Reko chipped in with two goals and Alexander Papalazarou added the final marker.
The next day the Jets wasted no time in building a lead over the Laval Tritons (Montreal) winning the first quarter 4-0. Again the team stretched the lead to 9-2. Kane Law and Nisker each had four goals with Kaya adding a hat trick. Papalazarou and Reko both tallied twice with singles going to Charlie Bottrill and Niko Ivosevic.
The Jets made it three wins in a row by defeating Capital Wave (Ottawa) the next morning by a score of 11-4. The teams played a pair of 2-1 quarters to open the game with the Jets having the advantage in both quarters to lead 4-2 at the half. The team then went on a 5-0 run to put the game away. Reko led all scorers with five goals. Papalazarou added a pair while his brother, Leonidis, Kaya, Ivosevic and Law each scored once.
The final two games of the weekend were against two of the top four teams in the league and the young Jets team (one of the youngest in the league) knew it was in for a rough ride.
After the win over Capital Wave, the team was back in the pool later on Saturday to take on the Montreal Machine. The Jets totally surprised the Machine (and themselves!) by tieing the first quarter 2-2 and being tied 3-3 a few minutes into the second quarter. Then the Jets gave up four unanswered goals to close out the second quarter to trail 7-3. However, instead of rolling over, the Jets fought back in the second half and tied the next two quarters in an eventual 12-8 loss. Kaya carried the team with four goals while Nisker, Reko and both Papalazarou brothers notched one goal each.
On Sunday, the tired team had to face the Ottawa Titans and had a very tough go of it falling behind 10-0 at the half. Though the team won the second half 6-5, this was clearly a lesson in being prepared for the start of every game, regardless of opponent. Nisker with four goals and Reko with two handled the Jets scoring.
The big takeaway from the weekend is how much the team has already improved from the start of training in September. Coach Moh has the team focused on getting better every week and we are looking for even better things when the team hits the playoffs.