St George juniors’ annual accolades
More than 120 St George Rugby League Club juniors and their parents attended their prizegiving at Pataka on August 20, where they could reflect on another successful year among the junior ranks.
St George chairwoman Stella Teariki says the prizegiving, attended by Mana MP Kris Faafoi, was a chance to reflect on the sense of pride and gratitude felt towards all those who participate in running the club.
‘‘[We] are renowned for being family-oriented and steeped in many generations of players.
‘‘The manager of the under 6s team was saying this year how her grandfather and father played for the club back in the day and now their mokos are running around in a Dragons jersey. This is a tradition we hope to carry forward for the next generation.’’
Teariki says they have a number of coaches in their junior ranks, with the knowledge and experience of the likes of Tasi Tu’aga and Tony Kemp shining through.
‘‘Every year we have parents who want to step up and make a difference. The coach of the year – Sami Paese – did exactly that, with two boys in two different grades, he started the under 9’s till coaches were secured there, then continued to coach the U10’s for the season and took them to a semi-final. He balanced this with playing premier and reserves [at the senior level].’’
Ben Koopu took charge of the under-13s this year, guiding them to the grand final. Five players from this team were selected for Wellington, while nine made Western Bays, good signs for the future. The under 10s, 11s and 12s all made their respective semi-finals, with a number of players from these sides making rep teams.
Player of the year awards went to Sila Fa’avae – under 6s, Tipene Bishop and Afaese Fa’avae – under 7s, Jacob Fifita – under 9s, Blaine Betham- Taape – under 10s, Eli Moataa and Sime Luafalealo – under 11s, Luamafale Lualua – under 12s, Brandon Naera and Bryson Filipo – under 13s and Lopati Soagia – under 15s.
Kazzeus RuaporoNgatuakana, Jerico Koia, Bradley Crichton, Julius Seuala, Qwintyn Bennett-Thomas, Andrew Phillips, Dante Laulu, Bailey Silva and Paris Ariu all received most improved player accolades in their respective teams.
Along with Sami Paese’s coach of the year award, team of the year honours went to the under13 side, while Helanie Kemp was named manager of 2011.
Team of the year: St George RL Club’s under 13 side was given the team of the year accolade at the recent club prizegiving.