Solid performances across five sports brought success and smiles to the more than 150 athletes, coaches and umpires that represented the Central Coast Academy of Sport (CCAS) at the 2018 ‘Your local club’ Academy Games held April 27 to 29. Participating in five of the eight sports on offer at the Games, CCAS once again performed strongly with the highlight arguably being the boys basketball Grand Final which saw the CCAS boys edged by the Hunter Academy of Sport (HAS) with a second left to play in the decider.
AFL was again a feature of the Academy Games, with 2018’s edition seeing girls from across the state competing for the first time at a talent identification tournament alongside an exhibition match for junior boys teams from CCAS and HAS. The CCAS boys got the AFL tournament off to a great start, narrowly defeating HAS 13 to 12. Most of the boys were participating in their first ever representative match and performed like veterans showing maturity and bravery beyond their years. Keiran Diamond and Will Hodder were among the many strong performers for the boys on the day. The CCAS AFL – Girls finished their tournament with a win, a draw and two losses which was a good effort considering they were short on substitutions and battling terrible weather conditions at times. Dixie Butler, Jayda Kennedy and Sarah Rockoff were among the best on ground for the CCAS AFL – Girls over the weekend.
Both the boys and girls CCAS Basketball teams featured in Semi-Finals and both were eventually defeated by northern rivals HAS, girls losing in the semi and boys going down by two points in a nail biting Grand Final. The CCAS girls basketball team had a number of close games throughout the three day tournament, starting with Friday night’s fighting victory over South West Academy of Sport that saw the team come back from eight points down in the final quarter to win by two points. Special mention goes to Kyla Fitzgerald, Lauren Griffiths, Saba Horne and Georgia Tea for their performances throughout the weekend.
The CCAS boys basketball side were one of the dominant forces in the pool matches before meeting fellow undefeated side, traditional rivals HAS in the Grand Final. The match was a nail biter from start to finish with HAS leading by five points at half time. Led by the efforts of Isaac Wooller, CCAS fought to stay in the match playing high intensity basketball with energy and effort in every play. A basket from Eli Taylor put CCAS ahead by one point with four seconds on the clock as HAS called a timeout. Credit to HAS and their coaching staff as they wrote up a good play to score a clutch basket and secure the game with one second left on the clock and not enough time for CCAS to reply. Along with Taylor and Wooller, CCAS were helped by contributions from captain Ben Cummins, Josh Garbutt and Liam Perry.
The CCAS Callaway Golf Squad and their competitors had access to fantastic golf courses and facilities over the two-day tournament although torrential rain cut short Sunday’s shotgun round. CCAS had seven golfers compete at the 2018 Your local club Academy Games with Saturday’s play taking place at Pacific Dunes and Sunday at Newcastle Golf Club. Despite the weather reducing play, the golfers had a great time building friendships with their competitors and each other. Special mention to Riley Millers who finished fourth with his best ever tournament score and Keegan Phillips who finished fifth.
The Academy’s UAA Hockey squad made their debut at Academy Games level and proved they belonged to be there. The CCAS girls team was short of substitutions throughout the tournament and unfortunately had to play most of their games without any substitutions due to losing a player to injury. The girls showed great spirit though, fighting hard in every game and gaining a lot from the experience against well-established Academy Hockey programs from around NSW. The CCAS boys started with a win in their first match and played very well in the rounds to qualify third. In their final match against Northern Inland Academy of Sport (NIAS), NIAS requested to combine their two boys teams to play CCAS in the third place playoff. The fresh legs were too much for the CCAS boys as NIAS won 3 – 0, meaning the CCAS boys finished in fourth place. A great result in their debut! Special mention goes to Isaac Drennan (boys) and Dalice Gallagher (girls) who were named MVP’s for the CCAS teams.
The CCAS Greater Bank Netball Squad is a part of the strong Academy network established by Netball NSW. The Academy Games is a talent development tournament so scores are not officially recorded, although naturally this does not deter from the competitiveness shown by the players. CCAS has built a strong reputation in Netball in recent seasons and the class of 2018 lived up to the high expectations, proving to be tough competition throughout the weekend. The Division 1 girls finished with a record of eight wins and two losses and the Division 2 girls finished with five wins and three losses. Special mention goes to Milla Evans (Div 1) and Olivia Miles (Div 2) who were named to the Academy Games merit teams in their respective divisions.