Sport

Grand Gift is all set

RUN Warrandyte’s 2016 event is going to even greater lengths to include and entertain the entire community, premiering the Grand Hotel Warrandyte Gift, a handicapped sprint race which joins other existing events to further bolster the day.

Offering a cash prize, the Gift will be run on the main oval as runners from longer distance events finish their races, allowing spectators to witness an exciting quick sprint event not previously offered on the day.

Sponsored by the Grand Hotel, the Gift is offering a prize of $600 dollars to be split between the three podium places, to give runners a little incentive before taking off. The day (Sunday March 6) kicks off with the 15km run at 8am sharp, followed by the 10km, 5km, and two point 2km events shortly after. The U8s have centre stage next, before heats start for the inaugural gift at 9am.

The day can’t be run without volunteers and those who are interested need only register online. This year the road events have been altered, with a section of rough added to the now famous Run by the River. The familiar 2.2km run/walk event now only contains one lap of the Second Avenue loop, but has runners doing more on the main oval. All other tracks have been changed slightly, and include the Pound Bend Tank, all starting and finishing on the main oval. All participants who register online will receive a Run Warrandyte running singlet as part of their entry fee and money raised will aid local sporting clubs – Warrandyte Junior Football Club, Warrandyte Football Club, Warrandyte Netball Club and Warrandyte Cricket Club. Visit warrandytesports.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

State call ups for our boys

WHEN Basketball Victoria is identifying players from your side for state selection camps, it’s a good indicator your program is in good shape.

In the past year, numerous players from Warrandyte Basketball have attended camps and tryouts in the hope of selection for state programs and teams.

In the 2014-2015 season, two Warrandyte affiliates represented Vic Metro; Under 16 player Casey DeWacht made the Under 16 Vic Metro Men’s side and coach Nicole Howard was head coach of the Under 14 Southern Cross Challenge Vic Metro Girls team.

This list has continued to grow in recent weeks with announcements for the 2015-2016 season. Young guns Emma Dowling and Alan Ure from the Under 14 Warrandyte Venom program have earned places in the Southern Cross Challenge (SCC) Vic Metro sides, while Nicole Howard will retain her head coach role at the SCC.

The SCC involves four days of competition and will take place in January at the State Basketball Centre, where Emma, Alan and Nicole will represent Vic Metro against Vic Country and other state sides.

Further selections include Warrandyte Venom Under 18 junior Fraser Trenfield, who will don the navy singlet for the Ivor Burge Vic Metro Men’s side, and Ryan Holloway, who joins the side in an assistant coaching capacity. Both Ryan and Fraser will travel to Queensland in February to compete in their national competition and will be able to use lead up games and tournaments to prepare. The Under 18 Vic Metro teams selections are also underway, with squads being whittled down to low numbers. Casey DeWacht (Venom Big V player) has reached the top 24 players for the 18 Men’s and will travel to NSW to compete in the East Coast Challenge in early January.

Joining him in NSW will be WBA director of coaching Nicole Howard, in an assistant coaching role for the Under 18 women’s side. The Under 18 national competition will take place in Adelaide in April, which Casey will be eligible to compete in if he earns final selection for the state side.

With a strong pathway now from Aussie Hoops all the way to Big V basketball, Warrandyte Basketball is helping to develop the skills of young players and coaches, who are able to represent Victoria Metro with pride.

To hell and back

RECOVERING from a long-term injury is a brutal physical process, something Melbourne AFL player Christian Petracca can certainly testify to. The second pick in the 2015 draft saw his dream of an AFL debut shattered after a season-ending ACL injury in pre-season training. But the 19-year-old Warrandytian insists the mental struggle was more difficult than the physical one, though he is winning the battle. Dealing with the reality of waiting another year to step onto the field, as well as the pressure of being a high draft pick, took its toll on the explosive midfielder. But according to Petracca, some tough love at home, a trip to America and learning some hard lessons along the way helped pave the way to his recovery. The Diary’s MICHAEL DI PETTA takes time out in the young gun’s home town for an update.

Michael: First of all, obviously with the ACL injury, you missed the entire year. As a young player, how do you come back from that?

Christian: Yeah, when I first did it, it was pretty frustrating, obviously I’d never had a setback like this in my life as a footballer, or a sportsperson in general. I didn’t really know how to cope or how to handle the situation, especially being touted as a high draft pick, when the pressure’s already on me. I think the biggest thing I did was to surround myself with good people. My family was supportive throughout the whole year and obviously so was everyone down at the footy club. You’ve got 44 blokes on a list and it really helps; any day if you’re feeling flat, you can talk to any of them.

MD: What was some of the best advice you got from some of the blokes at Melbourne or from the family?

CP: Make the most of it, you’re only in the gym for a year, so really try and harness the experience and get your body right. Also, they told me it’s probably the best time to do a knee, if you were to do one, right at the start of your career, so really just focus on working hard and being a better person.

MD: And the family?

CP: They’ve done everything, I get home, they’ve probably seen I’ve had a bad day and they give a lot of sup- port. My brothers haven’t changed and that’s probably the best thing, they’ve kept on telling me to suck it up. I don’t want them to change just because I’ve done a knee, or become an AFL footballer or anything, but it’s good because we haven’t changed at all. Mum and Dad have been really good the whole year, even off the field, just helping me through and it’s what I needed.

MD: What were some of the things you did, or techniques you used to keep yourself physically and emotionally motivated throughout the period?

CP: It was quite a boring year, I guess, because every day I did the exact same stuff – there was no real change, it was just basically leg strength. Every day, Monday, Wednesday and Friday would be my main days for running, gym and we did these other little exercises with that which would basically take up the whole day. And on Tuesday and Thursdays, which were my days off, I’d still be doing a bike session, or a swim to keep the cardio going. Then on top of that, you’ve got to fit in the meetings with the main group and all the game style reviews, and reviews from training. So you’re pretty busy; it’s a full time job. I’m probably more mentally fatigued then physically, just because it really has been a long year. I just can’t wait to start.

MD: When you were sitting out on the sidelines you must of learnt a lot about playing and being in the AFL, even though you weren’t out on the field.

CP: Yeah definitely, I think the biggest thing that I found was that talent only gets you so far, you could have another one of these injuries and your career might be over. It’s a really cutthroat industry and one minute you could be pick No.1 and the next minute you could be delisted. You’ve just got to work hard and earn respect, and that’s the biggest thing that I found. At the start of my career, I thought I’d rather be liked, but it’s more about working hard and earning respect from your teammates.

MD: You went to the US recently to take part in a rehabilitation program, what kind of different stuff were you doing over there?

CP: I was actually surprised, it was quite similar stuff, but Billy Knowles, the ACL specialist, made things a lot more specific with the drills we were doing. It was a lot of hard work, it was two two-hour sessions a day for five days, it would be all legs, a lot of gym, and a lot of focusing on landing, jumping and controlling. Obviously he knows a lot of statistics and he was telling me a lot of ACLs are done when you are decelerating, so not when you’re speeding up, but when you are slowing down. That’s how I did my knee, so we were focusing a lot on how to plant your feet or when you’re jumping and you get hit in the air, learning how to land properly. It was really good, it gave me a really good insight and I’ve come back from Philadelphia really confident in my knee. Mentally it was really weird: he sort of connected the wires from my mind to my leg, he made me think while I’m up in the air, this is how I’m going to land. I didn’t really know how to do that kind of thing, but now that I’ve gone there it really gave me a good insight on how to do it.

MD: So do you feel like your knee is back to 100%?

CP: I don’t think it will ever be back to 100%, I still have deficiencies in some areas, but I’ve spoken to a lot of boys and they’ve said similar things – not every ACL is the same. But at the moment it feels really good and I’m doing everything I can, and when we get to Day 1 of pre-season, I’m sure I’ll be able to do a lot, probably not the contact work, but I’ll probably build into it.

MD: Explosiveness was one of the words used to describe you coming into the draft. Do you feel you will have to modify your game in any way to still have the same impact?

CP: Not at all, I’ve always been quite an explosive player. The most frustrating thing about the injury was that I did it while I was moving. With my strength being agility, playing a lot of basketball, it really frustrated me because I’ve probably done that action so many times on the field, but I don’t think it will change my game in any way. I’ll still be the same player.

MD: Melbourne showed some really positive signs. Didn’t win too many games, but there were some really good signs from young blokes like Hogan and Brayshaw. With you coming back, how strong is the foundation for the footy club over the next few years?

CP: We’ve shown this year – well it’s been a bit inconsistent with the wins on the board – but we definitely have improved and we’ve got a really good base of young guys who have really helped us.

It’s really good going to a club every day knowing there are young guys around your age who are really there for one reason – to win premierships. It’s a really good feeling to know we definitely have the group to do that in the future.

MD: So, what’s your personal goal for the season ahead? What do you want to accomplish?

CP: I have some goals that I like to set, but for now it’s really just getting through pre-season unscathed. If I play Round 1, I do, if I don’t it’s really just focusing on playing some games this year. Pre-season this year is shorter, the NAB Cup starts in early Feb, but for me I think if I can get through Christmas I’ll be on the home straight.

Spectacular summer opener for athletes

THE summer season kicked off on AFL Grand Final day with young athletes in hot form in the warm conditions, especially young runner Harriette Glover. Pre-season training was clearly evident with the up and coming middle distance runner performing well and winning the opening day 800m.

In the Under 10s category Rhianna Cummings was finding it tough at the end of the first lap of the 800m, but a short drink on the side of the track was enough to recharge her batteries for a sprint in the final 300m. The effort displayed terrific confidence and inner belief that Rhianna and her teammates, Cloe Woolard (back from a sojourn in Tasmania) and training partner Holly Hansen, can use to achieve some great results.

Shane Mills was back running strongly in the U10s and Odette Rusciano-Barrow returned in the U9s along with older sister Marchella in the U14s. The sisters are hoping to make a run at the state finals for the hurdles event after a strong winter season.

The relay season starts in October culminating in the Victorian State Championships at Lakeside Oval. This will be followed by the regional and state track and field championships and the state multi event – an event based on a variation of the decathlon. Furthermore, October is bring a friend month where mates can try out the sport for free.

For more information on East Doncaster Little Athletics contact coaching director Peter Sharpe 0413 777 107.

Netball seven heaven

THE end of the 2015 winter season capped off one of the strongest finishes in memory for the Warrandyte Netball Club as nine teams reached the grand final: three open age teams and six under age teams.

Playing at the Lower Templestowe courts against strong op- position including Donvale, East Doncaster and Eltham, seven teams managed to take home premiership glory, crowning Warrandyte as the winners on the day in the Doncaster and District Netball Competition.

A terrific day of finals competition kicked off early morning with the Under 13/2 Warrandyte Stingers team up against Doncaster Youth Club Kool Kats. The Stingers were quietly confident going into the Grand Final, having already defeated their opponents by eight goals in the semi final.

The match was tight throughout the first half with the teams going goal for goal. However, the game changed in the third quarter with the Warrandyte goalies putting on a number of scores in quick succession to give them momentum into the fourth quarter. The team morale quickly lifted as more and more goals went in and the Stingers eventually claimed victory by 18 goals.

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Under 13/2 Warrandyte Stingers

Later in the morning two Under 15s teams took the court. The Under 15/1 Warrandyte Pythons were to play their long-time rivals Donvale Dominatorz.

With just one loss for the season, Donvale was firm favourite for the premiership, but unfortunately for the Dominatorz the Warrandyte Pythons hadn’t read the script.

The Pythons went in hard and played to win, displaying strong defense in a well umpired game. Warrandyte’s fight proved too much for Donvale in defeating them for the first time this season (by eight goals) when it really mattered.

In another Warrandyte versus Donvale match up, the U15/3 Warrandyte Cobras took on the Donvale Dollz, a rematch of the semi final which Donvale dominated, winning 39-16. With that in mind, Warrandyte came out fighting and was up by six goals at quarter time.

The game was tighter in the second and third quarters and with only eight players on court, Warrandyte dug deep and fought to maintain a one goal advantage at three quarter time. In the last quarter, the game went goal for goal. With only minutes to spare and the score drawn, Warrandyte fought hard and stole the ball to sink the final goal to claim a classic final win.

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U15/3 Warrandyte Cobras

After lunch three Under 17 teams took the court. Never before had the Under 17/1 Warrandyte Jaguars beaten the Deep Creek Crystals. The semi final meeting was one to forget for Warrandyte, with Deep Creek winning convincingly 53-22. The girls went in with a positive attitude and nothing to lose, and cool heads once again prevailed with a fairytale victory for Warrandyte in a nailbiter. Cheers were heard far and wide as the players jumped all over each other to celebrate a two-goal win.

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Under 17/1 Warrandyte Jaguars

The U17/2’s Warrandyte Leopards took on Deep Creek Aquamarines. During the season the two teams had a tight tussle for first and second spot on the ladder and met each other in the semi final where the Leopards won to progress. Deep Creek was able 
to fight through the elimination final to face Warrandyte again, this time at the big dance. With just seven players, the Leopards showed strong fight but lost in an arm wrestle, succumbing by four goals.

In our only match up for the day against Eltham, the Under 17/3 Warrandyte Lynx faced the Eltham Firebirds. With only four teams in the section, the teams knew each other well and in previous meetings the Lynx had beaten Eltham only once. Going in as underdogs, the girls played a wonderful game of netball and the mateship between the girls was unparalleled. It was a close game for three quarters but the Lynx fell by six goals.

With the junior finals concluded, the Open teams took the court 
in the afternoon. The Open A Warrandyte Falcons took on the Deep Creek Diamonds, whose only loss for the season came against Warrandyte in Round 8. The game was always going to be hard fought and emotionally charged, as it was Amie Dusting’s 400th game for Warrandyte Netball Club.

With composure and plenty of support from parents, Warrandyte brought home the win to celebrate another great milestone for Amie and break a six-year drought for the Open A team.

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Open A Warrandyte Falcons

Coming into the finals season, the Warrandyte Open B Tigers were clear favourites, remaining undefeated for the season. However, they received a reality check in the semi finals, losing to the East Doncaster Jets by four goals. That forced the Tigers to play Warrandyte Hawks in the elimination final, which they managed to win by three goals. When the Tigers and the Jets met again in the Grand Final, it was the Tigers turn to growl, beating East Doncaster by 16 goals.

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Open B Warrandyte Tigers

In the Open C section, Donvale loomed as the team to be reckoned with. Sitting on top of the ladder after a flawless season, they were the team to beat in the Grand Final after the Warrandyte Red Robins girls won a very convincing semi final game against DYC to reach the event.

The Red Robins were confident and knew if they played their own game they could beat Donvale and that’s exactly how it panned out. The fourth quarter saw the Red Robins overtake Donvale’s score and run away with a terrific four-point win.

P32netball - Open C Red Robins

Open C Warrandyte Red Robins

That win was Warrandyte’s seventh and final premiership win for the day, a remarkable achievement in the eyes of president Meaghan Cross.

“It has been a great day of netball for Warrandyte and has capped off another terrific season. The club is going from strength
to strength with recent seasons seeing record numbers of players and teams,” Cross said.