Zac on twin mission after Excellence accolade
HOCKEY: With two top grade premierships in his sights, Zac Profke has plenty to keep him focused next weekend.
He received a welcome boost in his quest after winning Ipswich Hockey's Barry Dancer Award for Excellence.
The Queensland under-18 player was awarded the prestigious annual trophy for the first time at Friday night's Gala Dinner at Brothers Leagues Club.
"It was very pleasing actually. It's a massive honour,'' said Profke who plays for Norths in the Ipswich competition and Pine Rivers/St Andrews in the Brisbane series.
"It's been a really excellent season so far. I'd be pretty excited to top it off next week, hopefully with a win.''
Both his teams have qualified for grand finals next weekend, meaning the teenage sharpshooter will play in Brisbane first before rushing back to join his Norths teammates in Saturday night's Ipswich decider.
Norths upstaged minor premiers Hancocks 8-6 in a shoot-out qualifying thriller. PR/St Andrews beat Commercial 5-2 in their major final.
"It was a very tough game,'' Profke said of the Ipswich final.
Profke, 17, represented the state under-18 side which came second at this year's national championships in Launceston.
He's still in the Queensland under-18 squad in line for next year's Australian championships in Hobart.
Profke was also named Ipswich's male junior umpire of the year.
Other major winners on Friday night included Sara Rogers, who again won the Amy Korner Excellence Award for female players.
Paul Malcolm was recognised for his terrific volunteer work, as was Terry Wode who won the inaugural Masters accolade.
Other season achievers were also honoured on the night before Saturday's Ipswich junior grand final day.
"It's a very good night to have heaps of people around you and just enjoy everything,'' Profke said of the Gala Dinner.
Look out for more stories and photos from the junior finals in coming days.
Ipswich Hockey's major winners named at Friday night's annual Gala Dinner at Brothers Leagues Club.
Excellence Awards: Barry Dancer Award - Zac Profke. Amy Korner Award: Sara Rogers.
Masters Award: Terry Wode. Paul Mantell Volunteer of the Year: Paul Malcolm.
Senior Players of the Year: A Grade men - Matthew West (Wests). A Grade women: Eden Jackat (Wests). Reserve Grade men: Reid Jackwitz (Hancock Brothers). Reserve Grade women: Sarina Butta (Hancock Brothers). R2 men: Dominic Muhling (Wests). R2 women: Angela Wilkinson (Vets). A2 men: Paul Duncalfe (Wests). A2 women: Ashlin Burchmann (Bellbowrie).
Basil Coker Award for Umpiring Achievement: Hayden Michel. Herb Eleison Award for Services to Umpiring: Robert Lewis.
Junior Players of the Year: Male - Daimon Bell. Female: Hayley Petersen. Runners-up: Male - Riley Profke. Female: Lile Lenaghan.
Junior Umpires of the Year: Male: Zac Profke. Female: Abby Eleison. Runners-up: Male: Zachary Eleison. Female: Ashley Hansen.
Rod Parkinson Encouragement Award: Ashley Westmoreland.
Peter Hunter Encouragement Award: Lachlan (Archie) Cameron.