Thursday, April 13, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
They are more renowned for their rugby league, basketball, boxing or touch football prowess – now a batch of athletic St Patrick’s College Mackay students have banded together for a crack at Boys Netball at this year’s Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Netball Carnival in Brisbane.
Fresh from a maiden appearance at last year’s inaugural QISSN Boys Netball event, the new look 2023 combination coached by Phil Dreghorn and Nina Gaviglio has an exciting look about it.
Early indications show a natural flair among the group with the player mix quickly adapting to the fundamentals of netball.
The team doesn’t have far to look for inspiration with rookie players from last year’s foundation squad in centre/wing attack Ben Pease and shooters Will Randell and Baxter Norsworthy gaining recognition and proving ideal role models.
At the conclusion of last year’s QISSN Carnival staged in Mackay, Pease and Randell were selected in the tournament’s inaugural All Stars Team while the promising Norsworthy was named in the Rising Stars squad.
And the squad have been buoyed by the rapid success of the versatile Pease, who will represent the Queensland Suns Under 20s side at the National Boys Netball Championships to be staged in Perth from April 7 to 17.
Only two members of the College’s original 2022 team are back on deck this year - the capable Norsworthy, who is a gun goal shooter, as well as talented centre/wing defender George Mann.
“We have a new look side that is developing quickly and improving each week,” revealed mentor Nina.
“The players look up to someone like Ben who has forced his way into a State representative netball side in such a short time while having a basketball and AFL background,” she said.
Having cut their netball teeth in recent weeks in the Fast Five Boys competition, the team is now gearing up for the Mackay Schools series that commences in the opening week of Term 2.
Under the astute coaching of Phil and Nina, the squad should be in good stead in the lead up to QISSN (June 25 to June 30) and the qualifying tournament for the Vicki Wilson Cup State Championships on August 5-6.
By Chris Karas
Standing L-R George Mann, Matthew Hof, Baxter Norsworthy, Joshua Venz, Joshua Williamson; Seated Jacob Elbourne, Trae Cora, Toby Falconer, Oscar Bishop, Lance Allan. Photo supplied