ST Joseph’s Primary School has created School Sport Victoria (SSV) history by winning state football and netball titles in the same year.
The Joeys’ netballers went unbeaten in claiming the title at Waverley Netball Centre in Melbourne’s east on Friday.
The achievement backed up the feats of the school footballers, which did likewise at Kensington Park in late August.
SSV officials yesterday said their records suggested no primary school had completed the rare double before.
St Joseph’s netball coach Louise Chow said the achievement reflected well on the Warrnambool school.
But while the football title was St Joseph’s third in eight years, it had never won a netball title before, making the memorable triumph worth celebrating.
“It is definitely the first netball title. We’ve got to regionals a few times but we’ve never got to the finals day,” Chow said.
“It is a big thing for the school so we’ve said to Mr Guinan, the principal, what is he going to do.
“We thought he should do something for the two teams, like a function for them. We don’t know when it will happen again.”
Chow said her players rose to the challenge of the state finals day.
They drew with Heidelberg school St John’s, 13-13, in their opening match before accounting for St Bernard’s of Wangaratta, 20-10.
A 17-9 win against Hampton school St Mary’s wrapped up top spot in pool A.
St Joseph’s then won a thrilling semi-final against Mooroolbark’s Rolling Hills, 17-16, to book their spot in the final.
But for all the drama of the lead-up matches, the decider was anti-climatic — St Joseph’s comfortably beat St Mary’s of Maffra 18-9.
Chow said the netballers had trained twice a week for five months preparing for the finals day.
She said all 10 players spent time on the court in every match.
Four players — shooters Jessica Hardiman and Megan Hamilton, midcourter Zoe Bussell and defender Amelia Chow — played every minute.
“Not having been to that level before, I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Louise Chow said.
“The first game I was proud of them because we drew and after that we kept winning and I started to think we might have a chance. They never gave up. Once we got there, they really wanted to win it.
“I think that might be because the boys came home with the flag, they wanted to do it too, they were determined.”
Other team members included Jessica Smith, Molly McKinnon, Ella Thornton, Jessica Thwaites, Laura Biggs and Casey Anderson.