Rocky reps score medals at national indoor championships
INDOOR HOCKEY: Rockhampton's Cathy Irwin has continued her impressive form as coach at the national under-13 girls championships.
She was at the helm of the Queensland Fire team which won silver at the titles in Goulburn earlier this month.
Rockhampton player Shanelle James was in the team, which secured its second-placing with some great results including a hard-fought win over arch-rivals New South Wales.
Fellow Rocky rep Kyanna Willie also enjoyed success on the national stage, winning gold with the Queensland Maroon under-15s a week later.
Irwin said it was a fantastic performance from her young charges, the result another welcome addition to her coaching resume.
"This is my sixth year coaching and I've come away with one first, four seconds and a third,” she said.
"Over those years I've had various Rockhampton girls in the team, and this year I had Shanelle.
"She went very well and improved as the competition progressed.”
James, 12, played striker and said it was great to score silver in her first national indoor championships.
"It was really good. I'm very proud of the girls,” she said.
"I really enjoyed playing against the other Queensland team but I loved beating New South Wales.
"That was probably the highlight.
"It was very hectic, the games were very intense but it was good fun.”
James has been involved in hockey for eight years and plays with Park Avenue Brothers. She excels in both forms of the game and last year was selected in the Queensland schoolgirls outdoor team.
"I hope maybe one day to make the Australian team but for now Queensland is a very good achievement,” she said.
Willie, 15, was one of two goalkeepers in the victorious Queensland Maroon team.
She played the second half of the grand final against New South Wales, which went to shootouts after the two teams were locked at 2-all at full-time.
She said it was great to exact some revenge on NSW after they beat them 5-4 in their round game.
Willie also won gold when she played with the Queensland under-13 team two years ago.
"That time we played against the other Queensland team, this time we beat NSW which made it a lot better,” she said.
Willie, who also plays with Park Avenue, started her hockey career on the field before moving into the goal when she was about 10.
She said her goal this year was to keep improving her game and earn Queensland selection again.