Silver lining after rugby concussion
George Coombe was devastated when his rugby dreams ended this year following a head injury which put him out of the sport for good.
However, as that door closed, another door opened for Coombe, through cricket which saw him recognised as the Best A Grade Batsman of the Year by Auckland Cricket last month.
The year 12 Auckland Grammar School (AGS) student had suffered a head concussion playing for the school’s 2A rugby team team in June, against Mt Albert Grammar School.
Forced to let rugby go, Coombe then focused all his attention on cricket.
The batsman, who often plays for Cornwall Cricket, was one of three AGS students that scooped awards at the Auckland Regional Cricket Prizegiving.
The other two winners were Kaylin Daji, awarded the Colts bowler of the year and Samuel James Everton, who won A Grade bowler of the year.
‘‘I was stoked really, I didn’t know I was going to win the award until about a week before the event,’’ Coombe said.
‘‘They asked me to go along to the awards and I was really sur- prised that I won.’’
Coombe’s biggest achievement on the oval this year was scoring 100 runs against King’s College in term one of school.
He attributes that successful feat to focus - after reluctantly letting rugby go, he had shifted his entire focus onto his cricket game.
‘‘I think in cricket, if you overthink everything, it gets to your head. I just stayed focused and did the best I could.
‘‘I love cricket in the sense that while it is a team sport, there is also opportunities to shine individually.
‘‘When your team is not doing well, it’s not the best game but when you’re doing so well it’s so much fun.’’
Cricket has filled the void that rugby had in Coombe’s life. While his game improves in every outing, he’s also found lifelong friends through his team mates.
Next year, Coombe promises to work harder on his batting but hasn’t decided if he wants to pursue cricket professionally in the future.
‘‘I probably might, who knows. I haven’t thought that far but right now, I just want to say focused on playing cricket in school and improving the other aspects of my game in the offseason.’’
George Coombe, Kaylin Daji and Samuel James Everton won awards at the Auckland Cricket Regional Awards.