by Pam McKay
RUGBY LEAGUE: Kev Crawford has been around rugby league for a long time but there's one thing that continues to amaze him.
It is the playing talent that, year upon year, continues to rise through the ranks of Mount Morgan State High School.
And it was there for all at Browne Park to see when Mount Morgan reigned supreme in the three grand finals it contested in the Rockhampton District Secondary Schools Rugby League competition.
It won the Year 8C final 42-18 against Heights College, the Year 10C final 28-16 against The Cathedral College and the Open D final 22-8 against Yeppoon State High.
Head coach Crawford said it was a fantastic achievement for the teams and a great result for him and fellow coaches Jason Grange and Pat Fortescue.
"Our Year 8s, which in our case is made up of half Year 7s, were very strong and went through undefeated.
"The Year 10s was a bit of a fairytale because they struggled with numbers and had to play three Year 8s in the final.
"The Opens was a very pleasing result because it could have gone either way.”
Crawford said the Mount Morgan players' enthusiasm was second to none.
"The boys are totally rugby league mad, they just love it,” he said.
"We started training at the start of Term 2 because the boys were demanding we get them out on the field.
"They're pretty special kids and it never ceases to surprise me that every year there's more young ones coming through with the ability to take the place of those who are leaving.”
Crawford acknowledged the work done by the RDSSRL to ensure that teams such as Mount Morgan could compete on a level playing field.
"It's a credit to them that they have sufficient categories that small schools like ours can actually play competitively against teams at our level,” he said.
"Our finals were on the Wednesday night at Browne Park and they were treated with the same importance as the A-grade finals on the Saturday.
"It was quite an amazing night. We had a huge crowd of supporters there and the noise coming from the grandstand was what you would expect at a Capras game.”
Crawford said the competition generated great camaraderie between the schools, which was illustrated when players from the Mount Morgan and Yeppoon open teams insisted on having a photo taken together after their final.