WARRNAMBOOL College has four hockey teams in state title contention.
Its intermediate boys’ team won through to the School Sport Victoria finals yesterday, joining its junior girls’, year seven boys’ and year eight boys’ squads in the hunt for a state crown.
The intermediate boys played their Greater Western Region finals in Dimboola and scraped through on goal difference.
They drew with 2012 state champion Kaniva Secondary College 2-all before trouncing Horsham College 6-0.
The junior girls and year eight boys played on Wednesday and collected two wins each to progress, while the year seven boys bypassed the Greater Western finals on their way to the state play-offs.
Warrnambool College teacher Mark O’Sullivan, who coaches the year eight boys’ squad, said the school placed a strong emphasis on player development.
“We are chuffed because the idea is to encourage people to play,” he said.
“Most teams we played yesterday (Wednesday) were combinations of years seven and eight.
“We could have put in a stronger team of year sevens and eights but we are doing this to encourage people to give hockey a go.
“In the year seven team we have kids who hadn’t played hockey until this year and in the year eight team we had a couple who hadn’t played hockey before.”
O’Sullivan said many Warrnambool College players tried the sport out at school before joining Warrnambool and District Hockey Association.
“We encourage them to play in the competition in Warrnambool the next year,” he said.
“The year eight boys, most of them are playing for local teams in Warrnambool.”
O’Sullivan said all four of Warrnambool College’s teams were capable of winning state titles.
“The junior girls are very even. They are a good chance,” he said.
“The year eight boys were runners-up in year seven last year but it is a step up in competition.”