Harbour Schools Lead the Way at Schick National Championships
Once again North Harbour schools had a highly successful time at the Schick Secondary Schools National Championships played in Palmerston North last week.
Not only did the Boys’ National title remain on the North Shore for the third straight year, and the 9th occasion in the past 13 years, but the three Harbour schools all finished in the top eight.
Former Harbour representative player Matt Lacey, in his first year as head coach at Rosmini College, led his charges to the title with an 87-79 win against Rangitoto.
Finishing the season with a 16-0 run Rosmini’s second title, following its success in 2011, provided a fitting climax for Year 13 players Will Heather, Peter Jenkins and captain Matt Sokol.
It wasn’t the finish the Rangitoto seniors Harry Clarke, Caleb Langridge, Cameron Stone, Dan Fotu, Logan Anderson and Zack Te Puni were looking for but they and head coach Kenny Stone have had an amazing run of success winning back to back Secondary Schools National Championships in 2015 and 2016.
Cam, Logan, Dan, Zack and Kenny have carried all before them during the last few years winning multiple trophies for Harbour, Northcross Intermediate and Rangitoto.
Five times National Champions Westlake Boys were dealt a cruel blow a week out from the championships when captain James Moors was scratched after breaking his hand in a practice game.
Despite the set back Westlake, coached by Zac Fitzgerald – like Matt Lacey a stand out Harbour representative player - finished a highly creditable seventh.
Seniors Moors, Reuben Fitzgerald, Thabo Manyere, Ethan Martin, Josh Hidalgo, Marc Malingin, Jesse Winter, Mathew Cairns-Hita and Lucas Mennenga will move on but with ‘Lakes’ renowned development programme expect them to remain a force in 2018.
The picture is entirely different on the Girls’ side with the three Harbour representative schools Westlake Girls, Rangitoto College and Carmel College only fielding a trio of Year 13 player between them.
New Zeeland Under 18 representative Keeley Tini will move on from Westlake Girls where coach Jody Cameron will be hoping another twelve months experience will enable Westlake to challenge for national honours. They finished runners-up at Zone 1 Premierships and 8th at Nationals.
Rangitoto College under the tutorage of Tony Pompallier finished 19th in Palmerston North. They will bid farewell to Tyra Cambell and Ashlee Wharepouri but we can expect growth from this team in 2018.
Coach Gareth Teahan took a very young Carmel College team, that debuted at Nationals, after receiving a wildcard entry when St Mary’s College pulled out. The team finished 24th but with no players departing the team will have gained valuable experience ahead of its second season back in the Auckland Premier competition and hopefully a second appearance at the Schick Nationals.