For the past decade Young High School has cemented itself as a school of excellence when it comes to touch football.
This year was no different as the latest team of touch football recruits travelled to Sydney to compete against the state’s best at the NSW All Schools finals.
Young High School won the Jerrabomberra Regional Final back in March to progress through to the state finals - an event it has consistently ranked as one of the top qualifying schools.
The school has been crowned the third best team in the state twice, and while not reaching that level this year, played extremely well by winning against some much larger private schools from the city.
Both coach and manager - Ben Cooper and Susan Wilkinson - were full of praise for new captain Steven Anderson who not only played exceptionally well, but led his side with passion and determination.
Anderson proved to be a most capable captain and was impressed with his players.
“I’m super proud of the boys and the level of professionalism showed on and off the field,” he said.
“It’s great to see the young blokes sticking it to the older and more experienced touch players.
“They all showed great heart and ticker.”
Coach Cooper said the Year 9 and 10 boys showed exceptional sportsmanship and skill level at the finals.
“The boys all played with real heart and I was very proud of them all,” he said.
“It was a [Year 9 and 10] competition and the majority of our players were in years eight and nine - this shows great promise for next year’s competition.”
Despite reaching the state finals is a huge achievement in itself, the highlight of the trip was undoubtably meeting NRL legend, Beau Ryan.
According to Cooper the boys were starstruck at the surprise meeting with one of their heroes who just happened to be filming the ‘Beau Knows’ segment for the NRL Footy Show.
“The boys demonstrated their skills of weaving in and out of a crowd to corner Beau and get a great photo with him,” Cooper said.
“They also had the opportunity to chat with Beau back in the hotel where they were all staying.”
Young High School’s key player Jacob Lucas - who scored a huge number of tries - said meeting Beau Ryan was a huge highlight of the trip.
“He was such a great bloke and so funny,” Lucas said.
“He had a really good talk with us and was happy for us to get our photos with him.
“We were pretty stoked to meet him - it made our great trip even better.”
With time to reflect on his teams achievements, Cooper said he is proud of his boys and puts their success down to hard work, determination and enthusiasm. .
“The players ask me when touch will start the first day back at school each year,” Cooper said.
“They meet me on the oval at the start of every lunch and always give 100 per cent.”
Young High School has been successful in reaching the state finals every year and this is something that coach Cooper said he is very proud of.
“I am lucky now to have the students I have coached over the years volunteer to help me with the younger teams,” he said.
“We have established a real touch culture where students work together to achieve excellence on the touch field.”
While the Year 9/10 team will hang up their boots for a while, the next group of Year 7 and 8 students are ready to start training in the hope of continuing the tradition of excellence in touch football at Young High School.
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