ACHIEVEMENT: Young High School’s eight-man touch football team consisting of (back, left to right) Matt Murray, Luke Doldissen, Harry Dunn, Angus Ross, Josh Reynolds, Jacob Lucas and (front, left to right) Nathan Anderson and Joel McKenzie have returned home from Gosford after placing among the top eight touch football teams in the state. (sub)Young’s Open Touch Football team have had an extremely successful season in 2014, being named among the top eight teams in the state.
After winning a number of regional tournaments, then against Sydney at home, they progressed to the top 10 finals play-offs in Gosford last week.
According to coach Ben Cooper the level of touch football played in Gosford was absolutely outstanding, and with many players being NSW and Australian representatives, the carnival pulled together the best of the best in the touch world.
Young had the opportunity to display their skills against large Sydney schools and the elite sports high schools.
“Young High fielded a team small in numbers, but huge in heart,” he said.
Injuries and some students away on holidays, Young’s eight players had to front up against teams of 14.
A lack of reserves meant the team had to stay on field for the entire game.
“I was amazed at the pace of play – the games were fast and furious,” team manager Susan Wilkinson said.
And the Central Coast’s torrential rain did nothing to slow them down.
The relentless attack from Young’s centres allowed for some impressive driving with Matt Murray, Nathan Anderson and Joel McKenzie controlling the play.
Jacob Lucas, the only Year 7 student at the tournament, rose to the occasion and despite initially being concerned about playing “men with beards” had a cracker of a carnival and cemented his crucial role in the senior team.
Josh Reynolds was an absolute workhorse and had his best tournament yet, while Harry Dunn continued to demonstrate his agility, ball skills and positive talk. Angus Ross came into the team at the last minute and played impressively right across the field.
Coach Cooper was extremely proud of his team.
“For the boys to have achieved eighth position in NSW Opens Touch is absolutely outstanding,” he said.
“The fact that we had a young team also points to a bright future for our opens squad.
“I would like to thank all the boys for their commitment to training, dedication to learning set plays and for their excellent sportsmanship.”
Cooper went on to say the carnival was a great way to send off Year 12 students Nathan Anderson and Joel McKenzie who have represented the school for six years and helped to referee and coach junior touch teams.
The focus now turns to Young High’s junior touch football, with the school’s Year 7/8 and 9/10 touch teams heading off to state finals in Penrith on November 7.
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