It was the much desired three-peat for the Whanganui High School 1st XI after they claimed the Manawatu Secondary Schools Division 1 Boys title with a 4-0 shutout of Feilding High at Palmerston North's Twin Turfs on Wednesday evening.
The favourites tag for the final game did not prove a burden for the WHS side, who scored goals through Kaelin Mooney, Ryan Bayler and the Hoskin's – Blake and Connor.
The team, which is coached by Andrew Spence and managed by Darrell Hoskin, will now head off to the 2019 Rankin Cup & India Shield tournament in Christchurch, as they are once again amongst the 32 best school teams in the country.
The goal will be to finish higher than the bottom six to remain in Tier 1, where they last were in 2017.
It will prove a fitting swansong for the core of senior players like Mooney, Ethan Cohen, Travis Bayler, and Patrick Madder, who will complete high school this year after spending 4-5 years in the 1st XI, while another departing player in Max Campbell is pursuing farming.
Darrell Hoskin said all the players were proud to have lived up to mantle passed down to them by claiming another title.
"Just for the previous players, that got the previous championship.
"It's a legacy that's been built for many a year.
"There's a lot of people that did hard work before we came along."
Hoskin said the previous long term coaching regimes of Langley Atkinson and Steve Rainey set the standard to follow.
The squad also has a very strong legacy of family – with a number of younger brothers following their older siblings into the team.
Unfortunately, there would not be a local double as the Whanganui Collegiate 1st XI lost the Division 1 Girls title on a penalty shootout with Feilding High on Thursday evening at the Twin Turfs.
WCS director of hockey Anna Symes said the team dominant through the game with possession and field position, but were held to a 1-all draw at fulltime.
They then lost the penalty shootout by one goal.
It was a tough finish to what has been a strong season for the team, which still received the trophy for scoring the highest points in the competition.
The team now look forward to their post-season tournament when they travel to the North Shore, also starting in the first week of September.