Skills and Drills set Juniors Apart
Development programs among the juniors both new and current are proving popular as can be seen in Wednesday’s program where they are put through a series of fitness and skills activities by Coach, Jemma Wratten. The improvement among the players has been very encouraging as they prepare for competitions and tournaments.
The eight week program has plenty of variety and fun activities to set the sessions apart and girl numbers are increasing which is fantastic for the sport at junior level on the Coffs Coast.
From beginner to Friday Junior mixed competition, players have opportunities to be selected to play in regional tournaments such as the Green Shield, which is one of the key events on the tournament calendar in June. Age groups cater for younger members with Under 11,13,15 and 17 groups providing initial match play experience. With the improvements taking place among the Little Squashies Squads, some will be pushing for selection no doubt.
Tuesday competition returned to full swing this week with a number of good matches in Round Five.
Competition leader Brad Harrison proved too strong for Luke Bain, winning 4/1 but Luke battled gamely on, after taking the first game before suffering a leg injury. Aden Smith outstayed Troy Clouten to hold his spot at two on line One. David Bergan Line Two proved a survivor outlasting Ross Gentle in five games and Shaun Steminger is gaining his match fitness quickly with a close 5 game win against Paul Johnson.
NSW Academy Camp
Coffs Harbour will host the next NSW State Junior Academy Camp with players expected to come from a wide range of locations across the state at the end of March. State Coach Adam Schreiber will be in attendance to see the talent available on the North Coast.
Australia Junior Open
On 3-6 April, players will take part in the Australian Junior Open in Sydney which has a strong international field of players taking part. Keelan Birch, Brad Harrison and Jacob Ford will
contest their respective age groups among the 250 entries registered in what will be the toughest test for many with such quality fields in each age group.
Photo: Little Squashies Joshua Taylor, Adele Adebhar – Armstrong and Jimmy Dean show their skills in Wednesday’s fun session.
Tuesday night : Troy Clouten serves to a watchful Aden Smith.
COFFS COAST ONE DAY CHALLENGE RESULTS
One Day Challenge a Great Starter
Sundays One Day Challenge certainly lived up to its name. Players aged 9 to 19 competed in pool matches to earn their way into semi-finals and finals during the afternoon.
In Division 4 many new faces made a confident start showing their skills in each game and improving throughout the day to rival their more experienced fellow players in the Under 19/17 Division. Jimmy Dean’s service game was on song early in the final against Joby Newton with Joby making a spirited comeback in the third game but Jimmy finding the better placements at the end to win his first final. Georgia Buist showed her potential and improvement during the day and took out the Novice Final for first timers. Division Three saw the first upset with Jaden Herring toppling Tanai O’Brien from Gloucester in a good display in four tough games. Both players showed good skills, as Tanai had beaten Jaden in the earlier round matches before Jaden stepped up a level in the final to take a narrow two games to nil lead before Tanai took a game back. Jaden started strongly in the fourth and opened a good lead with well-directed shots to run out winner in four games.
In Division One, Brad Harrison set the standard for the day with Aden Smith his finals challenger. Both boys put on a classy display of quickness on court and some great stroke play to which many of the younger members will take away to work on for the future. Aden Smith looked to be in great form approaching the final and they didn’t disappoint with their court coverage.
In the final Aden withstood a rapid power play in the early stages of the first two games with Brad playing the big points better to take a two games to nil lead. In the third game Aden forced Brad to all corners and was a little unlucky to led his lead slip and narrowly go down in three great games.
Division 1 Winner 1st Brad Harrison,
R/Up Aden Smith Coffs Harbour 3/0 15/8/15/11 15/13
Division 2 Winner Sarah Moloney, Coutts Crossing
R/Up Luke Young, Grafton 3/0 15/11 15/9 15/7
Division 3 Winner Jaden Herring Coffs Harbour
R/Up Tanai O’Brien Gloucester 3/1 15/12 15/11 12/15 15/8
Division 4 Winner Jimmy Dean
R/Up Joby Newton Coffs Harbour 3/0 15/5 15/2 15/10
Novice Winner Georgia Buist,
R/Up Ariana Dean Coffs Harbour 3/0 15/11 17/15 15/7
Encouragement Award Joshua Taylor Coffs Harbour
The finals of the Tuesday night singles and doubles top division saw the on paper favourites John Sambrook and Rhys Edwards go down to the well drilled combination of Jemma Wratten and Jacob Ford in both singles and doubles providing a clean sweep for the underdogs.
In the opening singles Jemma used precision placements to the high court and put away any short ball cutting the pace at the front court to run out winner 48/41 against Rhys.
Jacob Ford moved onto the ball quickly nullifying any attack from John to take the second singles match holding off a strong finish by John but with time against him he couldn’t close the gap as Jacob’s consistency kept the pressure on to record a 38/33 win. The doubles match proved entertaining with both Jemma and Jacob anticipating their opponents power play and taking the ball to the front corners proved yet another winner to give them a 40/31 win.
Division Two provided a close result with Ross Gentle and Peter Saxby edging home against Lindsay McConachy and Brad Cullen 2/147 to 1/133. Congratulations though to Lindsay and Brad for their consistent play during the rounds which saw them take the honours.
Contrasting forms showed in the line-up between Luke Bain, Brad Harrison against Rob Jackson and Keelan Birch. Luke making his first appearance found the going tough going down to Rob 33/71 but found a strong partner in Brad who recorded a great win against Keelan and their combination in the doubles proved a winner.
Final score 2/106 to 1/133.
Nominations for the first singles competitions commence next week and players are invited to join in the action. Whether you are a regular member or looking for that fitness activity you have promised yourself in 2015 there are games for all levels of ability. Enquiries can be made by contacting the centre on 66536523.
CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014
Nathan Retains Open Title
The Club Championships were held on Sunday, with plenty of players taking to the courts proving it was a great day with some great matches.
The junior contingent got proceedings underway with some close scoring and very entertaining tight games which delighted onlookers.
In the highly anticipated senior clashes Nathan Jeffery stormed to another title in the Men’s Open Division with a clean sweep against Keelan Birch. Nathan showed why he is so difficult to score against as he opened his title defence with a rapid string of winners and not allowing Keelan to get into any rhythm, always keeping him under pressure to take the first game 11/3.
In the second game Keelan kept his basic length and strung together longer rallies to work his way into the contest but Nathan proved just as sharp and seized on any loose ball to quick fire a winner to take a firm hold on the match taking the second game to go 2/0 up. The third game saw both players looking for an edge with Nathan using his experience to counter the do or die challenge mounted by Keelan. Nathan controlled the pace, running out winner in straight games to clinch his fourth title as Club Champion.
The Men’s B Grade final was won by the resilient Paul Hozjan from Barry Ford in four top games. Both players produced strokes anyone would be pleased to play with Paul’s consistency proving the difference on the day.
In the Junior A Grade Jaden Herring managed to hold out the much improved play by Luke Kocon-Fredericks to win his first junior title. Luke worked tirelessly into the deciding game but found the gap opened up early by Jaden too much to claw back and Jaden taking no chances with his first attempt at match ball to claim his prize.
The Junior B Grade was played out by newcomers Alic McKay and Jordyn Mears with Alic taking the match 3 games to 1. Both players are showing great improvement and will benefit from the tougher competition. The C Grade final was between two of the youngest club members with Tamika McKay and Joby Newton putting on a good exhibition. Tamika won a close scoring match in three games.
A number of Awards were introduced this year to recognise the talents and contributions made by players throughout the year.
Voted by their peers the winners for 2014 receive our hearty congratulations from all the membership.
Nathan Jeffery – Player of the Year
Jacob Ford – Junior of the Year
Club Patron – Jeff Iddles
Most Improved – Brad Harrison
Encouragement – Tamika McKay
Open Grade – Nathan Jeffery def Keelan Birch 11/3 11/6 11/6
A Grade – Jacob Ford def Jemma Wratten 11/4 8/11 12/10 11/4
B Grade – Paul Hozjan def Barry Ford 11/8 5/11 11/7 11/7
C Grade – Jeff Edwards def Brad Cullen 11/8 11/6 11/7
D Grade- Mark Orman def Aaron Grantham 3/0
Women’s C/D Grade – Heidi Stewart def Helen Taylor 11/9 13/11 11/9
A Grade – Jaden Herring def Luke Kocon-Fredericks 11/8/13/11/9/11 7/11 11/7
B Grade – Alic McKay def Jordyn Mears 11/13 11/8 11/5 11/9
C Grade – Tamika McKay def Joby Newton 11/2 11/7 5/11 11/6
NORTH COAST OPEN 2014
There was great media coverage over the weekend.
Photos from the weekend are still being processed, but they will be up shorty.
For more results check out the tournament page click here
New Programs to challenge players
Development Squad-As part of our junior development programs primary school students are invited to join in the Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon squads commencing this term. The sessions are designed to teach players new skills and have a fun time on court. Equipment is provided so if you’re looking for an indoor sport with plenty of exercise contact the centre as registrations are welcome. It has been developed to provide the best possible introduction for young children to the sport of squash. It’s all about learning through play, court activities, modified games and much greater game involvement with an emphasis on fun. This includes the use of modified equipment and balls depending on age and size of participants. Many of our top juniors started from similar programs and now enjoy squash at competition level and the fun activities and experiences it provides.
Friday Juniors- Primary and High School students are welcome to join in the Friday afternoon program from 4pm to 7.00pm each week. If you have not taken part in the graded program anyone can register for the school term Friday program. Children of all ages from 8 or 9 years of age are welcome to come and try out. Players then have the opportunity to look at the supporting programs and development squads for improvement. Players learn through active games each week and with improvement are given greater challenges to help them improve skills. The Development Squads and Friday Juniors are ideal for both boys and girls to learn and enjoy squash activities and for many taking up a fun sport or lead to a sporting career.
Competitions- Nominations for the new competitions are now invited. Spots are available for all standards and if you haven’t played for a while contact the centre who can help you get started on a way to better fitness with a regular good workout.
Enquires are welcome by contacting the centre on 66536523. Different formats of competition are available Tuesday to Thursday and new players are welcome.
Photo: Jemma Wratten gives some informative tips to budding players in Wednesday Development Squad.
State Championships outstanding displays
The NSW State Age Titles conducted at the weekend brought together players from five states to showcase the growing strength and talent of juniors squash. With ideal conditions players turned on some dazzling displays of agility and power as they battled for top spots and ranking points on offer in the Gold Ranking event.
There were some impressive performances from the local juniors with Jacob Ford narrowly missing the Under 15 Age Title when he went down in five thrilling games to his Tassie opponent Jamie Pattison. In a never say die approach Jacob clawed his way back from 5-8 in the fourth game to win a tight tie break 12/10 and level at two games each. A slow start in the deciding fifth game saw Jacob under pressure as he attempted to draw level. At 9-6 and a doubtful call Pattison only needed one chance at match ball to wrap up the final in style. Ford was pleased with his form overall and now will focus on preparations for the AJC in Perth in September. Ryan Marshall, Coffs Harbour was runner up in the Under 17 Boys after a solid win against Alexander Lock of the ACT to earn a finals spot against the number 1 seed from Forster Todd Riches. A brisk opening saw Riches take an early lead and first game with Ryan unable to pressure his opponent and get into the match. Riches proving his good form with top billing as he recorded a straight games win.
Other players to perform strongly included Brad Harrison 5th, Luke Bain 6th and Jakob Dillon 8th in this age division highlighting the strength of the Coffs Juniors. Dillon in particular achieved his best results to date to feature in the longest match of the tournament with a 10/12 8/11 16/14 19/17 14/12 upset victory to oust the U/17 No 5 seed on the opening day and enter the top 8 in the Under 17 Group.
In the Under 19 Age Group Keelan Birch Coffs Harbour had to settle for third position and was well pleased with his form making amends for some previous losses against opponents from Dunedoo and Maclean. In the Under 13 Age Group Jaden Herring found his opposition tough, finishing a creditable 10th and Jakson Greenaway was stepping up in class to put in a number of strong games to finish 12th overall in this group.
A special thankyou to sponsors who supported the event with The Edge Real Estate, IB Insurance, Bennell and Ass. Excel Property Agency and accommodation outlets Tropical Oasis, Paradise Palms for their support of squash in the Coffs Coast Region.
The Advocate has provided great support in promoting the game and the junior development here in Coffs is the real winner.
At completion of the tournament the NSW State Junior Team was announced and two Coffs Harbour players were selected to represent NSW Bluetongues in a state team of 21 players.
Congratulations to Ryan Marshall Under 17 Boys and Jacob Ford Under 15 Boys for their performances at the weekend.