On Monday August 25, our AFL Team travelled to Sydney to play for the Tony Lockett Shield as part of the NSW Public School Sports Association (PSSA) State Final - and they were crowned AFL Champions! THE BEST TEAM IN NSW!!!
The Semi Finals against Terrigal started off well, with Jacob Overend being the first to get points on the scoreboard. Our team was very strong for the rest of the first quarter and with Jake Shaw, Nicholas Tondering and Max Geaghan displaying exceptional skills in defence. The second quarter was more of a challenge. Terrigal crept into the lead, but this only made our team hungrier for a win.
With some break away moves and strong attack by Sam Woods, Jonty Dwyer, Jak Howker and Caleb Higgins, the team ended the third quarter in the lead again. Despite a challenging final quarter, the team's defence stayed strong. Kiarna Wolley-Blain took some amazing marks to score points, being a stand-out due to her amazing forward skills as well as for being the only girl on the field. Charlie Buckingham then scored an amazing goal towards the game's end and sealed the deal so that the team could win 5:11:41 against Terrigal 3:12:30.
With the threat of a storm on the mind of the officials, the Grand Final was brought forward. Even though Holbrook had won their semi by around 60 points, they were not as convincing against our strong side. We were first to score and led the tight first quarter. The game remained tight throughout the second quarter, however we continued to maintain the lead. The team ended the third quarter with a strong lead, but this did not go to their heads. They continued to play hard like it was still nil all. Cam Christie, Rhys Pentecost, Jaxon Pilgrim and Saxon Frew played a hard game. They drew on their league skills to put in some massive tackles. Despite having an injury Blake Suter bought his best game, Cooper Noaak used his impressive speed and ground skills and Wilson Douglas played the best game of his life. Mattee Scott took some big breaks and Jedd Martyn was all over the ball and feeding the forwards.
Lily Butler-Woollard's organisation and management skills helped keep the side on task. Together with the parents and families she was a great motivator for the side. In the end our team was too strong for Holbrook and won with a convincing 10:13:73 to 3:1:19 score.
Thank you to the Diggers and Panthers, who many of the squad play for, who prepare our children for these challenging competitions. Luke Taylor, the local GWS Representative and Skills Development Coordinator, thank you for playing a big part in developing the side's ability and for organising skill development sessions at the school for students from Kindergarten, which no doubt is the reason why the team did so well despite half of them not currently playing regular AFL (we also hear you are now working in our local preschools).
At school we have been overwhelmed by the positive community support and encouragement given to the team. South East Fibre Exports were one of the team's biggest supporters, sponsoring the side $1800 to get to the final. The support from parents, caregivers and the community was also amazing. Not only from those who travelled the distance to go to the match but also from those who kept in close contact throughout the day via Facebook. It is so wonderful to be able to support our children in being the best that they can be - our school's purpose.
Thank you to Mr Morris for coaching the side and being such an inspiration to all!
See our photo gallery to get another insight into our championship team's triumph.