The sporting juggernaut that is South Wagga Public School has rolled on to claim another two state titles – this time in the world of touch football.
Both the under 12s boys and under 12s girls sides swept their Riverina conference earlier this year before moving on to the NSW titles in Parramatta.
Facing off against seven other schools in the final stages, both South Wagga Public sides progressed through to the grand final and eventually took out the state’s top prize.
“We ended up going through the competition undefeated, which was great,” South Wagga Public master coach Helen Cooper said.
“Obviously we had to win the Riverina side of the draw first and then it came down to last eight teams in the state, so we won our quarter finals and our semi finals and made it to the deciders.
“The boys ended up running away with a big win but the girls did it tough – they ended up with a 3-all draw in their grand final and there’s no extra time or anything so they were named premiers as well.”
Cooper has spearheaded much of South Wagga Public’s success for the past 22 years and has a simple mantra for her charges: effort.”
“It’s just hard work,” she said.
“The teams were really good this year and had been training every lunchtime for about a month leading up to the competition and that pays off.
“We always punch above our weight and we were by far the smallest school at the finals too – we’ve only got 300 or so students and some of those others schools have around 800 students, so it’s a smaller pool to work with.
“But like I said, they’ve been putting in the effort and it’s nice to see them get the rewards for working hard.
“They’re a very self-motivated bunch.”
We always punch above our weight and we were by far the smallest school at the finals.South Wagga Public School master coach Helen Cooper
While Cooper was thrilled to see her sides do well, the veteran coach made special note of her team captains, all of whom were, in her view, “outstanding”.
“Cohen Benson, Lachie Cole and Murray Beer were our boys co-captains and I thought they lead the team around very well at finals.”
“Likewise, our girls co-captains – Lexi Fellows, Eliza Walsh and Abbey Senior – were outstanding and probably were among the best players out there.”
Still, it’s not just the senior players making waves with Cooper’s tried and tested junior additions making good progress as well.
“I always take a full 14 for each team and there’s always a few grade four or five students that come along and play.”
“It’s a good way to develop their game and then by the time they’re in year six, they’re the leaders.”
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