Thursday, November 30, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Maroons' Netball Ace And League Warrior Earn Junior Sports Awards

Queensland Schoolgirls netball goalkeeper Shaylah Pershouse and Redcliffe Dolphins-bound rugby league forward Sam Anderson are the St Patrick’s College Junior Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year recipients for 2023.

The talented duo were officially recognised for their superb achievements this season on the netball court and football field and accepted their awards at the College’s annual Sports Assembly.

Defensive dynamo Shaylah capped a stellar season in her chosen sport when she represented Queensland at the SchoolSport Australia 15 years and under National Netball Championships in Perth.

Donning the maroon uniform was a proud moment for the emerging goalkeeper, who helped her team mates achieve a fourth placed ranking behind tournament champions Victoria, NSW and South Australia.

In the lead up to the National Carnival, the outstanding Pershouse turned in skilful performances for St Patrick’s at the Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Netball Championships in Brisbane.

15-year-old Shaylah showed a maturity that far belied her years with inspirational defensive displays throughout the tournament to earn a spot in the 2023 QISSN Carnival Rising Stars Girls Team.

It was a deserved honour for the Mackay DAS product as she and her St Patrick’s team mates held their own against some of the best senior netball schoolgirl outfits in the State.

Shaylah also produced superb performances for the Capricornia representative side at the Queensland School Sport Netball Championships in Brisbane to earn her maiden State honours.

The teak-tough keeper was at her combative best when St Patrick’s won both the Cup (Seniors) and Shield (Junior) categories at the Capricornia Regional Trials at Mackay Multisports Stadium, to qualify for the prestigious Vicki Wilson State Netball Championships in Brisbane.

Sam Anderson is a promising rugby league forward destined for bigger things.

The powerhouse 15-year-old prop – who helped St Patrick’s claim the Queensland Regional Schoolboys championship and Cowboys Challenge trophies in 2023 - has secured his immediate future after signing a two-year contract with the Redcliffe Dolphins.

Anderson proved a tower of strength this season in the schoolboy ranks, earning a Queensland Under 15 representative jumper following stand out performances for Capricornia at the State Secondary School Championships in Townsville.

The emerging forward also impressed for the Queensland White team that reached the semi finals of the Australian Secondary Schools National Under 15 Championships at Port Macquarie.

But it was in the Cowboys Challenge Shield series that strong-running Sam made a huge impact – inspiring the all-conquering St Patrick’s team to a 24-10 Grand Final victory over Ignatius Park College Townsville at the Mackay Junior League Fields with his punishing defence, hard running and skilful ball play.

It was a bitter-sweet experience for the rampaging prop, who damaged his knee early in the match and was forced to watch from the sidelines forlornly as the undefeated champions brought home the trophy.

Anderson missed St Patrick’s triumph over Dolphins Cup champions Emmaus College Rockhampton in the Queensland Regional Grand Final challenge the following week, but played a pivotal role in the championship double with his mentoring and motivational tips.

Sam’s immediate goals for 2024 are to force his way into the St Patrick’s College top grade squad, that will defend its Aaron Payne Cup schoolboy's premiership title under the astute coaching of Ian Schifilliti.

Contributed by Chris Karas

St Patrick’s College 2023 Junior Sports Person of Year Award recipients Sam Anderson and Shaylah Pershouse.

Photo supplied

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