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GAO announces Team Ontario for 2016

UXBRIDGE, Ont. — The Golf Association of Ontario (GAO) has announced the seven boys and five girls who will comprise Team Ontario for 2016. The team met in full for the first time, Oct. 2-4 in Foot’s Bay, for their kickoff camp held at OviinByrd Golf Club.

The team is set for a full winter of training, which will include two camps in Florida, along with a camp/the Can-AM Matches during March Break in South Carolina. The camps will all be leading up to the start of the 2016 season, which will begin with the Team Ontario Cup in late April.

“The coaching staff and I are very excited to begin training with this very talented group of young athletes,” said GAO Manager of Sport Performance Mary Ann Hayward. “Several of the players already hold national and age category provincial titles and we are looking forward to raising their games to the next level and hopefully putting more Ontario players onto the National Development Team.”

This year’s team again highlights the quality of the GAO’s high performance programs as eleven members of the team are either returning to Team Ontario or are products of the GAO’s Regional (U17) Team Program.

With each new installment of the team, there are departures. Three 2015 members have graduated from the program and are furthering their career in the ranks of the NCAA. Unionville’s Max Sear is attending the University of West Virginia; Ruthven’s Alyssa Getty is at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and Ridgeway’s Madeline Marck-Sherk is at Florida Gulf Coast University.

The 2016 version of team Ontario will feature five returning players:

  • Jason Chung, 16, from Thornhill and Thornhill Golf & Country Club, coached by Charlie Woo.
  • Monet Chun, 14, from Richmond Hill and The Summit Golf & Country Club, coached by Don Lee.
  • Jackson Bowery, 17, from London and Greenhills Golf Club.
  • Jake Bryson, 16, from Dunrobin and Eagle Creek Golf Club, coached by Kevin Haime.
  • Isabella Portokalis, 14, from London and West Haven Golf & Country Club

Joining the returnees, are the following graduates of the GAO Regional Team Program:

  • Lachlan O’Hara (Team York), 15, from Mississauga and Credit Valley Golf & Country Club, coached by Jeff Overholt and Jon Roy.
  • Ty Celone (Team Ottawa), 16, from Long Sault and the Upper Canada Golf Course.
  • Peyton Callens (Team Waterloo), 15, from Langton and Delhi Golf & Country Club, coached by Ralph Bauer.
  • Sam Meek, (Team York – 2014), 17, from Peterborough and Kawartha Golf & Country Club, coached by Henry Brunton.
  • Hailey McLaughlin, 14, from Markham and Cedar Brae Golf & Country Club, coached by Gord Burns.
  • Alexandra Naumovski, (Team York – 2014), 18, from Halton Hills and Brampton Golf Club.

Rounding out the team is: Alyssa DiMarcantonio, 12, from Maple and Station Creek Golf Club, coached by Thomas Youn.

GAO Head Provincial Coach Reggie Millage, a Class ‘A’ PGA of Canada professional from Milton, leads the Team Ontario coaching staff. Millage enters his third season with the team. Also returning this year are Athletic Therapist Andrew Hoermann, Strength and Conditioning Coach Nick Martichenko and Mental Skills Coach Judy Goss.

The team is already an accomplished group and they will look for even more success in 2016. Some highlights from the 2015 season included: Chung – CN Future Links Quebec Champion and silver in the Ontario Juvenile Boys’ Championship; Callens – AJGA Junior All-Stars at Ravenwood Champion; Celone – CJGA Mizuno National Champion; McLaughlin – Ontario Bantam Girls and Women’s Four-Ball Champion; DiMarcantonio – Ontario Peewee Girls’ Champion, Bantam Tour Hidden Lake Champion and silver at the Ontario Bantam Girls’ Championship; Chun – Ontario Junior Girls’ Match Play Champion, silver at the Ontario Juvenile Girls’ Championship and bronze at the Spring Classic; Naumovski – silver at the Ontario Junior Girls’ Championship; Meek – Bronze at the Ontario Junior Boys’ Championship; Bowery – Bronze at the Spring Classic; and Portokalis – bronze at the Ontario Bantam Girls’ Championship.

Looking ahead Team Ontario will train indoors during the winter months at Peak Performance Golf in Vaughan. ClubLink’s TPC Eagle Trace in Coral Springs, Florida will host Team Ontario training camps in January and February.  During March-break, the team will head to the Wachesaw Plantation Club in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina for a training camp as well as to take part in the Can-Am Matches, an annual team-match event between the top junior golfers from Ontario and South Carolina.

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