May 23, 2011
Dedicated to ‘Uniting Croatian Fans Around the World’, we strive to enlighten and entertain our readers by bringing you all the latest in the world of Croatian sports, one news topic at a time.
Ante Kvartuč (Co-founder/Editor)
Ante Kvartuč, born July of 1986, is a first-generation Croatian-American from San Pedro, California, born to parents from Zadar. His love of soccer and sports began at age four when he first kicked a ball at AYSO camp in Los Angeles and has not stopped playing since. He was a member of the Mladi Hrvati Nogometni Klub in 1996 and played four years of varsity soccer at Mary Star High School.
As a fourteen-year-old freshman, Ante earned a writing position at the 100,000 circulation Daily Breeze newspaper in Torrance, CA as a video game critic. The job got Kvartuč his first glimpse of writing as a journalist in a weekly column, which included the perk of attending and reporting from the world’s largest video game expo, E3, every year. Kvartuč attended both San Diego State University and Cal State Long Beach after high school.
Kvartuč often travels to Europe where much of his extended family is located, including Croatia, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. He is an avid sports fan, following European soccer, NBA basketball and NHL hockey on an everyday basis. The Croatian national soccer team is his #1 followed team in the world, followed by the Los Angeles Kings, Kansas Jayhawks, Green Bay Packers and Hajduk Split.
Denis Svirčić (Co-founder/Editor)
Denis Svirčić was born and raised in San Pedro, California to Croatian parents from the island of Krapanj, Šibenik, Croatia. Kicking the soccer ball before he could walk, his passion for soccer had begun. Svirčić was introduced to Croatian soccer in 1994, when the team was officially recognized after the European Cup Qualifier in Palermo. With only two dozen Croatian fans present, the Croatian national soccer team shocked the world and defeated world cup runner-up Italy. Svirčić has devotedly followed the team ever since, making trips to Klagenfurt, Vienna, Nuremberg, Berlin, Stuttgart, and Zagreb to watch the Vatreni play.
In addition to soccer, Svirčić has been playing and watching basketball since the age of five. In 1992, during the summer Olympic games in Barcelona, he fell in love with Croatian basketball after watching Dražen Petrović,Toni Kukoč, and Dino Rađja take on USA’s ‘Dream Team’ for the gold medal.
Svirčić holds a Bachelor of science degree in Geography from California State University of Long Beach.
Mike ‘Croatian Crippler’ Rožić (MMA Writer)
I’m going to start off my introduction to the readers of CroatianSports.com by telling you where the nick name ‘Croatian Crippler’ originated. In grade 10 of highschool I attended my first wrestling tournament and had my first official wrestling match. In the first few seconds of the match I gave my opponent a back to belly suplex and dropped him on his neck. I didn’t know the rules at the time and I found out quick that it was an illegal move as I was immediately disqualified. The paramedics had to attend to my opponent as he was unable to lift himself off the mat. My coach immediately came up to me and said ” You almost crippled that guy, what are you doing?” and one of my teammates responded with ” He’s the Croatian Crippler”. We had a little laugh and the name has stuck ever since.
I am originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada but now live in the Kitchener Waterloo area. I’m married to a beautiful Hercegovka from Calgary, Alberta and we have a 16 month old baby boy. My family is from a small selo called Dana which is near Generalski Stol/Karlovac in Croatia.
I have been training in various disciplines of the martial arts since about the age of 13. The styles are Jeet Kune Do, Wrestling, Shoot Fighting, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Combat Hapkido, Judo, Muay Thai Kick Boxing, MMA and Saturday night drunken boxing. The last one is a joke but sometimes to much Slivo can do crazy things to a man. I started training in the martial arts when I seen my first Bruce Lee movie at the age of 13. I started to train in his discipline of Jeet Kune Do immediately. I also watched my first UFC event that year, UFC 2. I have been training and following everything Mixed Martial Arts since then. I hope to provide the readers with knowledgable and entertaining articles on Mixed Martial Arts focusing on Croatians in the sport such as Mirko “CroCop” Filipović, Stipe Miočić, Pat Miletich, Igor Pokrajac, and Goran Reljić just to name a few. If any of the readers want to contact me feel free to find me on Twitter @CroCrippler.
Dr. Colin (O’Haravić) O’Hara (HNL Writer)
It’s obvious how important the HNL is to the CroatianSports nation and I am honored to be chosen to bring you all the latest updates from our favorite professional league. As a journalist by trade, I promise to bring everyone every minute of the exciting competitive action the HNL has to offer. My knowledge of the game comes from a lifetime of playing at various levels, spending most of that time as a goalkeeper. Dinamo and the HNL have always been important to me and I’ve followed the league for a long time. When I was young, I admired my great-uncle who played for Dinamo throughout the 50’s and 60’s and the love for the team. Other than soccer, I have written many other pieces on other sports including pro baseball and hockey; and I have also covered rugby,
I’ve been on this site for almost three years now and feel like I know most of you. I stumbled upon the old CSR (remember the old BlogSpot site?) one day looking for some HNL updates and instantly added it to my bookmarks. I think the only other site I spend more time on is Facebook, and that is saying a lot.
I’m 22 years old and was born in Pittsburgh, PA, but was raised in St. Petersburg, Fl. I love candlelight dinners and long walks on the beach and my turnoffs include math and the NBA. Send me your feedback or any other questions, comments, hate mail to my email.
Matt ‘The Golden Child’ Lebo (Twitter/Communications Director)
The pipe dream started when I was a little kid playing in my front yard pinging a ball against a wall. My parents never pushed me into the sport of soccer, but my dad made sure I’d use my free time to sharpen my skills. On Tuesdays, my dida used to rush me home from school to catch the tail end of EPL and Champions Leagues games on ESPN2 or FoxSports. The game became my life and an outlet during hard times.
Zach Gilfix (Staff Writer/More Sports Editor)
Zach Gilfix is a third-generation Croatian born April 8th, 1994 in Minneapolis Minnesota. He is currently a senior at Edina High School. Gilfix has been a sports fan his entire life but his love for watching soccer began after watching EURO 08. His favorite club teams are Tottenham and Everton.
Zach has been running competitively since he was 12 and captained his cross country team in the fall of 2011 to a third-place state finish. Gilfix plans on running in college and hopes to study abroad so he can attend his first professional soccer game. Outside of soccer, Zach cheers for the Milwaukee Bucks, Wisconsin Badgers, Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild.
Joe Pielago (Research & Development)
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