Skilful and aware: St Peter Claver has 'best' young team
ST Peter Claver's Year 7 netball team have made history by going through the Combined Ipswich Secondary Schools Sporting Association (CISSSA) and Brisbane Metropolitan finals tournaments as undefeated premiers.
The Riverview school has not won a Brisbane Metropolitan netball championship in over a decade and the recent achievements have the school's netball community excited for the future.
The Metropolitan finals are made up of 14 districts in the Brisbane/Ipswich area. Teams must first win the district series to qualify for the Metro finals.
Claver coach Tania Meredith believes the latest team is the most talented group of girls that she has seen in junior netball.
"During selections earlier in the year, you could just see that there was something special about this particular group," Meredith said.
"Their skill, knowledge and game awareness as both individuals and a group are the best that I have seen for 12 to 13 year old girls.
"I would not be surprised if a number of these girls go on to big things as they progress through the year levels.''
Saupo Toeleiu was a standout performer over the season, turning heads with each of her involvements.
The talented goal attack was pinpoint with her shooting and was an on-court leader for her teammates.
Tia McGregor also played a big role in Claver's success with her tenacity in mid-court and excellent passing game.
While the team's skills and abilities are impressive, the key traits which coach Meredith believes led to success were their effort and commitment.
"Often with young teams you can see players drift out of games due to lack of concentration or cohesion as a team,'' she said.
However, with these girls, they believed in each other and were committed from start to finish.
"They should be very proud of not only the result, but also the fact that as a group they set a goal and they all worked hard to achieve it."
Head of Sport Sarah Cassin was also impressed with the incredible year 7 talent she has witnessed.
"Their results spoke for themselves,'' Cassin said. "To win a Metropolitan semi-final 60-18 against Clairvaux Mac-Killop College and then the grand final 46-15 against Cleveland State High School . . those kinds of results are unheard of at that level.''
St Peter Claver College look to take that momentum into the Vicki Wilson Shield State Championships, which will be played this weekend at the Queensland State Netball Centre.
The junior team (grades 7-9), which consists of four students from the year 7 premiership team, is one of only 20 schools in Queensland to qualify for the championships.
SPC are in the pool with Shalom College Bundaberg, Canterbury College Waterford, Rockhampton Grammar School and Varsity College.
Winning SPC year 7 team: Jaylah Ape, Teriarna Cox, Anahera Duncan Semau, Leilani Fatialofa, Allah Lacey, Tia McGregor, Clarissa Smidt, Olivia Smith, Olivia Taalolo, Saupo Toeleiu.
Coach: Tania Meredith.