Why Wests' nursery getting stronger
THE pride etched on the face of Wests' stalwart Rod Lewis represented much more than satisfaction watching his unbeaten team win their grand final.
It highlighted how he felt about the successful Wests' club this season.
Given Wests won three of the five Ipswich junior grand finals they contested on Saturday, Lewis had every right to be proud.
His boys team won at the Ipswich Hockey Complex along with the undefeated Wests' C Grade girls and E Grade girls' sides.
The D Grade manager has been with Wests for nearly 50 years.
"As you can hear, the (team) song we just belted out twice,'' Lewis said after his D Grade side beat Norths 2-1.
"The club at the moment is probably the healthiest I've seen it since I've been there (since 1969).
"There's been a lot of hard work behind the scenes and our junior coaches are quality coaches.''
Lewis was delighted to see the rise of all the Wests' sides, which included Ipswich Hockey's junior team of the year. Wests' D Grade girls only lost the grand final in shootouts.
In past years Lewis had coached successful junior sides.
This year he took on the manager's role to mentor promising young coaches like Westphal brothers Matthew and Daniel.
The long-serving clubman was pleased to see the young A Grade players coaching and experiencing the thrill of working with "a great group of kids''.
Wests' D Grade boys were undefeated minor premiers scoring more than 150 goals for the season.
"They (the D Graders) have been together for a few years, most of them, so they've stuck together and they are going really well,'' Lewis said.
"They are good listeners.
"They are good trainers so it's a pleasure to be with them.''
The Wests' D Grade side was co-captained by Rhys Stenzel and Arnell Saric- Pamenter.
Goal scorer Nicholas Brown was the team's player of the final.
Although his side dominated during the year, Lewis praised Norths for putting up such a good battle in the grand final.
The Norths' team coached by Robert Lewis won last year's title decider 3-1.
"Norths need to be proud of what they have done today,'' Rod said.
"We've been winning pretty easily. It surprised me they (Norths) actually got there. I thought we would be playing Easts today.
"But credit to Norths and Rob and his team. They've done really well.''
In Saturday's C Grade boys' grand final, minor premiers UQ beat Norths/ Hancocks 5-4 to complete their successful season.
In the C Grade girls' match, premiers Wests completed the club's successful afternoon with a 3-0 win over Norths. Emma Picton was player of the final for the winning team.
The minor premiership- winning girls were also undefeated.
Wests' E Grade girls held out Thistles 1-0. Wests were also minor premiers.
In the earlier E Grade boys' grand final, minor premiers Easts Black capped a fine year with a 6-1 victory over Wests Black.
Team of the year: Wests' D Grade girls (minor premiers and mid-season final winners, scored 117 goals and only conceded six going into the final).
Junior players of the year: Riley Profke (Norths), Victoria Heffernan (Bellbowrie). Runners-up: Damon Bell, Caitlin Canty.
Grand final results
C Grade girls: Wests 3 (G Stenzel, E Peters, C Canty) d Norths 0.
Players of the final: Emma Picton (Wests), Cleo Jordan (Norths).
C Grade boys: UQ 5 (S Miller, J Newcombe, E Holland, B Moss, Z Dos Santos) d Norths/Hancocks 4 (B Powell 2, Corey Punch, J Anderson).
Players of the final: Samuel Kenny (UQ), Baxter Powell (Norths/Hancocks).
D Grade girls: Thistles 3 def Wests 2 in shootouts. The teams were deadlocked 1-1 after regular and extra-time. Goal scorers were Caitlin Canty (Wests) and Bella Forde (Thistles).
Players of the final: Caitlin Canty (Wests), Grace Vermeer (Thistles).
D Grade boys: Wests 2 (Nicholas Brown 2) def Norths 1 (Ben McCarroll).
Players of the final: Nicholas Brown (Wests), Beau McCarroll (Norths).
E Grade girls: Wests 1 (Amity Jackson) def Thistles 0.
Players of the final: Jacinta Millar (Wests), Alice Brown (Thistles).
E Grade boys: Easts Black 6 (Thomas Savage 3, Samuel Savage 3) def Wests Black 1 (Harry Black).
Players of final: Thomas Savage (Easts), Alex Zumbansen (Wests).
Junior umpires of the year: Hayden Michel, Ashley Spry. Runners-up: Zac Profke, Alysha Sweeney.
Rod Parkinson Encouragement Award: Ashley Hansen.
Peter Hunter Encouragement Award: Lachlan Pomerenke.