Rocky Mountain Neptunes
Water Polo Club
Coach Manu with the former Women's Olympic Team Coach (2000-2008)
Guy Baker, after receiving a national award in 2012.
Some of Manu's awards:
* Mountain Zone Coach of the Year for Women’s Teams, 2009, 2010, 2011.
* Brent Bohlender Distinguished Coaching Award (National Award from USA Water Polo) 2012.
* ODP East/West Regions Top Coach Award 2012.
* Coaching certificate from Partizan Club, Serbia 2015.
Coach Manu brings a lot of experience in organizational skills, and getting players to the highest possible national and college levels.
The original then Boulder Neptunes club was formed by Manu Ghaffari in October, 2005. A year later, we joined the late Grier Laughlin's Colorado Water Polo Club based in Aurora.
In late 2010 with the help of the Games family, Rocky Mountain Neptunes was established as a nonprofit club.
In March 2011, just a month after Grier's tragic accident, RMN organized and hosted the first Grier Laughlin's Memorial Tournament to honor him, help his family, and to help CWP reorganize itself.
In October 2011, RMN hosted the first ever Rocktober 12U national tournament with the help of USWP's Claudia Dodson. 12 teams participated from the West coast, East coast, Mountain, and Midwest zones. RMN had 3 teams, 2 Mixed, and one girls, and repeated the same in 2012. We hosted the first 3 years of Rocktober.
Hosting this important tournament outside of California significantly helped the growth of 12U players in our state and zone.
Several Olympians have helped train our team!
Summer 2011: One of the best defenders in the world, Natalie Golda-Benson was our guest.
Dec. 2012: Former Olympian Genai Kerr was invited to run a 4 hour clinic at VMAC while visiting family in Denver. 30 players attended.
April 21, 2013: Former US Men's Olympic team coach, Rob Lynn and a member of his coaching staff, Marco Plazzo, ran a 7 hour clinic at VMAC attended by 21 Neptunes players, 5 RMN coaches, and 4 CWP players.
2015: A member of the US Women's Olympic team coaching staff, Kyle Utsumi, was our guest.
May 2016: US Women's National Team Captain and FINA's Player of the Decade, Brenda Villa ran a two day clinic for us accompanied by her brother.
We are now one of the largest and strongest water polo teams in the Mountain Zone.
In February 2009, Manu took our 18U boys to the Winterfest Tournament for the first time. They took the 8th place in the Advance bracket.
In 2009, Manu took a 16U girls team (incl. other Mtn Zone players) to JOs. They took the third place in the Gold bracket.
In 2010 the 16U girls team moved up to the Platinum bracket at JOs and took the 20th place overall among 48 teams.
Following that, former Olympic team coach, Guy Baker invited Manu to bring a women's team to the prestigious Top 40 Tournament in southern California where our players competed against many current and former Olympic and national team players.
Some of RMN achievements:
10U: 1st place 2016 and 2015 Zone Championships.
10U: 2nd place Commerce, CA Tournament, Dec. 2016.
12U: 2nd place 2015 Zone Championships.
12U: 3rd place 2016 Zone Championships.
14U: 2nd place 2016 Zone Championships.
14U: 2nd place Winterfest 2016 coed division, Orange County, CA.
14U: 1st place Winterfest 2017 coed division.
Every year several RMN players have qualified for the Mountain Zone teams. In 2016, Schuyler Cramer, James Dooley, Ruth Efe, Alison Jackson, Alexa Dembo, Jespyn Bishop, Charlie Wang, and Danny Hruby represented the Mountain Zone at Nationals. Danny was also selected for the National Team Selection Camp.
RMN's Luis and Ramon Vidal grew up swimming and playing water polo at high level in their native Puerto Rico. They moved to Colorado and played during their high school and college years while at times training and competing internationally with Puerto Rico's National Team. Some of Ramon's youth swimming records are still holding.
Brigitta Games whose family helped start RMN, was selected as a Center player for the Youth National Team from 2011 - 2012 and traveled internationally with that team. She was a part of the University of Southern California team that took the NCAA title in 2016. They are also ranked #1 in the nation in 2017. We hope to see Brigitta on the next Olympic team!
Bailey Gadd received a scholarship to play at the Gannon University in 2010. She earned the MVP title as a junior in 2013 in the Division II Eastern Championships.
Kalina Grabb, one of our first players was recruited by and played at Harvard for 4 years in Division 1.
Mitra Ghaffari. At age 14, she played on Mountain Zone's 16U team as a strong Center Defender. She also played as a goalie in Malaga, Spain in 2012 when she was attending high school there. She got a standing ovation in her last game. A BVSSL High Point swimmer, Mitra's 10U 50 Breast stroke record in the 2006 BVSSL championships is still standing.
RMN enjoys having many more talented players who are also successful swimmers as either Summer League record holders, High Point Title achievers, or both: Jamie Wang, Codi Ortiz, Sarah Temu, Luke Corson, Shane Conroy, and Nate Starbuck.
About RMN's founder and head coach