AN Emmanuel College team stacked with Hampden league senior footballers is one win away from a School Sport Victoria title.
Creative small forward Will White kicked six goals in its dominant 10.18 (78) to 5.5 (35) semi-final win over Bendigo Senior Secondary College at Reid Oval on Wednesday.
Emmanuel College, under the leadership of Koroit coach Chris McLaren, will now play in the premier boys' division grand final with a time and date to be finalised. McLaren said the team embraced the challenge.
"The Bendigo coach was saying they might have two or three boys who are playing senior footy and we had 16 and some guys are younger and are at strong clubs and that's why they haven't played yet," he said.
"Playing flat 20-minute quarters versus 28 or 29 in seniors means you're running further and harder and it helps with physicality.
"The boys are protecting the ball with their bodies which is an advantage and that's a credit to club senior coaches."
McLaren said White - one of South Warrnambool's emerging forwards - was "a dangerous player".
"He and Connor Byrne have probably been our points of difference in each game," he said. "Connor was a little quieter today and sat the last quarter on the bench."
Harry Keast, 17, and Reggie Mast, 15, played crucial roles in the win.
North Warrnambool-aligned Keast was strong in the midfield while Mast, already playing senior football for Warrnambool, was steadfast in defence.
"Reggie was great behind the ball, he just kept marking it, and Harry's physicality was great," McLaren said. "He probably plays a little more outside for North but he will definitely end up being an inside mid."
Mast said team work was key.
"It was hard fought and everyone played well - defence, mid and forward," he said.
Keast said it was enjoyable playing alongside his peers.
"We don't usually play together and we've played really well together," he said.
"I love it, it's the best footy you play I reckon."
Mast agreed, saying "we've bonded really well together".
Port Fairy's Sedgae Lucardie in defence, South Warrnambool wingman Luamon Lual and Koroit's Curran O'Donnell were also named in Emmanuel's best.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.