ST FRANCIS College has teams in under 14s state finals in three sports thanks to the skills of players such as (from left) Jack Grintell, Lachlan Pengelly, Sam Hopper, Isaac Williams, Nathan Tang and Tom Van Buuren.School sportST FRANCIS College has unearthed a stream of sporting talent that could take them all the way to state titles in three sports.
The year 8 boys that fill the under 14s age group are well on their way to leading the state in Australian rules football, rugby league and basketball.
Last week the under 14s won the Riverina final of the Giants Cup in Australian rules football.
Played in different age groups, the state competition features teams playing for the Giants Cup in southern NSW, while northern schools play for the Swans Cup.
Having won the MIA competition, St Francis under 14s met up with regional winners from Albury, Wagga and Deniliquin last Thursday.
The Leeton school defeated Xavier High School by four points, Kildare Catholic College by sevent points, then smashed Finley High School to be crowned Riverina champion.
It now plays off against the winners from Canberra, Sydney and Northern regions for the state title in Sydney on August 18.
It is the first time the school’s under 14s have made the state final. The St Francis open boys and open girls teams just missed out on being named Riverina champions.
In basketball, the under 14s are the Wagga Diocese champions and are schedueld to play in Sydney against other diocesan champions at the Combined Catholic Colleges (CCC) state finals.
St Francis defeated Xavier High School and Marian Catholic College to reach the state finals.
In rugby league, the team plays in the Cochrane Cup, which is a state-wide age-based CCC school knockout competition.
St Francis has already defeated Mater Dei Catholic College and Kildare Catholic College to progress.
Today the team plays Red Bend Catholic College at Forbes for the chance to make the final 16.
The strength of the team is the fact so many of the boys have played with or against each other in school, representative and club sports, so they know how each other plays.
“They all play lots of different sports, developing the skills that have combined to create the talents that they have now,” teacher Travis Doyls said.
A number of the boys were also members of the St Joseph’s Leeton team that won the Mortimer Shield primary school rugby league competition in 2012.
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