AIMS Games review
Water polo: It was so nearly gold for our team and to add to the buzz, three of the team; Hamish Low, Josef Schuler and Sam Wylie, were named in the tournament team. The Aquinas team that exceeded all expectations and did their college proud, comprised Hamish, Josef, Sam and Kayla Dew, Tehgan Barker, Joseph Welten, Lochlainn O'Connor, Leon Castle, Tom Wilson, Dominic Crombie, Jack Cameron and Zac Watson.
On their journey to the finals, the Aquinas team defeated Otumoetai Intermediate 14-1, then defending champions Glen Eden Intermediate from Auckland 5-4. Further wins were clocked up on day two and three against St Kentigern College (10-6), Auckland Diocese School for Girls (6-1), St Peter's College (6-1), and Albany Junior High (6-3). A win against Northcross (4-2) led into the semifinal against Rotorua's John Paul College, which was won 7-4.
The final saw Aquinas up against Murray's Bay in an incredibly tight match. The score, with 40 seconds left on the clock, was 4-4 before Murray's Bay scored in the closing seconds of the game.
The silver medal in water polo at the AIMS Games is a first for Aquinas College.
The team is coached by Kellie Low and managed by Michelle Schuler. Aquinas principal Ray Scott says the college has done exceptionally well at AIMS and Winter Tournament Week.
At AIMS, a gold medal and silver were won in gym sport, silver medals in swimming and multisport, and bronze medals were achieved in cross country and golf. In football, Aquinas finished in second place in the boys' plate division. An impressive number of competitors were selected for tournament teams.
A highlight of Winter Tournament Week was the Aquinas Girls' hockey team's second placing.
Hockey: Last Saturday, both our First XI hockey teams played in their Tauranga competition finals. The girls' first played Tauranga Girls'. In an intensely close game, Catlin Procter scored at the beginning of the first half, off a penalty corner, to open the scoring. Through some fantastic defensive work by goalie Anae Dixon, the defence managed to clear many attacks. After much pressure, Tauranga Girls' equalised and at the final whistle, the score was still 1-1. The game then went into golden goal, with both teams playing with two fewer players. Some great defensive skills by Paige Wilkinson saw the ball cleared downfield and the attack managed to force the ball over the line to secure victory for Bethlehem College. Final score 2-1 to Bethlehem College and a great conclusion to a memorable season.
The boys' 1st XI played against Tauranga Boys' in their final, and again we got off to a great start as Benedikt Schlueter scored first.
However, Tauranga Boys' came back strongly and equalised to lock the game up at 1-1. The game was intense with some superb dribbling and quick footwork from Tiaan John and some strong defence from Chase Raleigh. The team displayed top skill worthy of the final.
In the closing minutes of the game, it looked like Bethlehem were going to finish on top with a penalty corner going their way, but a turnover saw Tauranga Boys' score from a breakaway. With only two minutes to go, Tauranga Boys' were in front 2-1 and they held the ball to wind down the clock. In a final effort to earn a draw, our boys replaced the goalie with an extra player but it was too little, too late and the boys had to be content with second place. Both Bethlehem College teams displayed great skill and as they are filled with young talent, the future looks good.
Volleyball: The summer sports season kicks off this weekend with three junior teams competing for seeding to go to the North Island Secondary School championships. We wish them all the best.
Football: End of year prize giving was last week and guest speaker Adam Thomas (NZ under-23) enthralled the boys with his experiences playing at the London Olympics. Congratulations to the respective Player of the Year recipients: Sean Wakelin, Lachlan Wood, Liam Roberts, Reuben White, Jake Bartlett, Jake Kennerley, Fergus Kirk, Hideki Takashima, Callum Pennycuick, Jamie Gilbert, Sam Verschaffelt, Luke Aldersley, Zac Brown and Matt Kilpatrick.
Skiing: At the New Zealand Secondary School Ski Champs, our six freestylers took part in the Slope Style Comp on the big kickers at Mother Terrain Park. Dan Tingey took fourth place out of 80 skiers, and our Team A Freestylers came fourth overall out of 40 Schools.
Moto X: Several riders from the TBC Moto X team competed in the "Once in a blue moon BT trophy event" at Maddix Park on Sunday. The team had some success in the event with Reese Garret winning his 85cc class. Other podium finishes went to Cole Atkinson (3rd) and Todd Van De Laar (3rd).
Bowls: Congratulations to the following boys who qualified for the NZSS Lawn Bowling Championship to be played in Hamilton during December: Nathan Arlidge, Talor Duncan, Stefan McCartain and Brendon Walton.
Water Polo: Well done to Cameron Hayes for his selection on the NZSS Water Polo team.
Athletics: Congratulations this week go to Amy Robinson and Abbie Goldie who have been selected in the Athletics New Zealand squad which will compete at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in January. The team will be named after the National Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships in December, so we wish them the best of luck.
Basketball: Makayla Daysh represented New Zealand last week, playing for the Junior Tall Ferns in the transtasman competition in Wellington over the weekend. Despite being beaten in the series, the team played well.
Also achieving in basketball is Rebecca Hughes, who has been named in an under-18 girls' national representative squad which will travel to Albury/Wodonga, Australia, in January to compete in the Country Cup.
Football: The season has finally finished for our Junior As, who won their game against Te Puke 1st XI 7-0 on the weekend, putting them first equal in the Senior Girls' Division 2, an outstanding effort. The 3rd XI have yet to play their last game against Bethlehem College 1st XI, which will determine who comes third.
TE PUKE HIGH
Hockey: This has been a great year for hockey at Te Puke High School as our boys' and girls' teams both made it through to the finals. Our girls beat Aquinas in the semifinal in what was a tied game that came down to strokes. This left them to play off for first and second against Otumoetai 2nd XI, the same team they had beaten the week before. There was a lot of pressure on our girls and at halftime, Otumoetai were up by one goal.
Our girls took possession in the second half but just could not get the ball in the goal. Our girls played a great game against Otumoetai and did very well to finish second overall.
Our boys had a very close semifinal game against Otumoetai 2nd XI, with the game again coming down to strokes. The boys just missed out and ended up playing Tauranga Boys' for third and fourth position. The boys had a great year, and it was inspiring to see Te Puke winning against schools with many more teams and resources than ourselves.
As there is no artificial surface in the Te Puke area, the hockey teams have to travel to Blake Park in the Mount for their games and practices.
The boys' coach, Raewyn wishes to thank our parents for all the support she and manager Tousina Hodder have enjoyed during the year. As the boys' team is losing six players next year, as they are finishing school, it is hoped all hockey players will put themselves forward next year so hockey at Te Puke High School continues to grow.