Tokoroa boys can hold heads high
The blow of missing out on a top four placing in the national rugby league secondary schools championship was eased by the number of trophies Tokoroa High School took home from the tournament.
The school team won the More than Just A Game Award for epitomising the tournament’s seven core values – arguably the second highest honour.
Meanwhile player Isaiah CooperTetevano was the recipient of the It’s Not OK Best & Fairest Award and manager Billy Maea won Best Manager Award for the third year running.
Maea said that as a teacher and manager, the award his side received for showing discipline and respect was as satisfying as first place would have been.
‘‘This is the second highest honour. It’s really important – that sums up not only their behaviour on and off the field but their effort and how we organised ourselves as a team.’’
He said this was the second year Tokoroa High School had won the award, the first was in 2012.
The award showed the boys had just real heart’’.
‘‘They are well behaved off the field and our systems are designed so that they stay well behaved. We are by far the smallest team in the premier grade but the boys punch above their weight every year.’’
The side finished eighth as opposed to sixth last year, but Maea said it was no measure of their performances.
The side only lost 8-4 to Aorere College who ranked third overall.
One of the highlights was beating Mt Albert Grammer School, last year’s runnerup, Maea said.
The Tokoroa High teacher was humble about his own success saying being a good manager came down to ensuring all the right boxes were ticked.
Maea has now been asked to manage the secondary schools tournament team which three Tokoroa players, CooperTetevano, Montell Maea and Cleveland Poko, narrowly missed out on.
The rare chance that league could become a career for the players is what keeps him motivated.
‘‘We do it to show the boys it’s real. It’s hard, but it’s real.’’
A huge thanks goes out to all the sponsors and supporters who helped them get there, Maea said.
Fair player: Isaiah Cooper-Tetevano is the deserving recipient of the It’s Not OK Best & Fairest Award.