Students prove themselves against state's top league players
RUGBY LEAGUE: A number of Lockyer District High School students have tested themselves against some of the best players in the state this season as the school's rugby league program continues to blossom.
The program boasted about 100 players across its five sides this year with the school's league subject now being taught to Year 10, 11 and 12 students.
Eight of those players took part in state carnivals this year and school coaches Matthew Schulze and Sarah Ryan served as coaches of two of the Darling Downs representative sides.
Year 10 student Nathan Kleidon was picked for Queensland after leading the Darling Downs U15 team to their first state title in 25 years and Lockyer High's U15 side secured their premiership.
Schulze, who also serves as the school's rugby league co-ordinator, said he was proud of the progress of the program.
"It's really good to get so many kids playing at state carnivals and getting exposed to that high level of footy,” Schulze said.
"It's quite a high number, higher than we've probably ever had at the school.”
The Gatton Hawks serve as a bastion for league in the Lockyer Valley but the school wanted to provide another avenue for players to develop their game.
"It's such a big sport within the community,” Schulze said.
"The people in Gatton and the Lockyer Valley are very passionate about rugby league so it's good that this school follows up on that and has a pathway for them to go through the school system as well as the club system.”
Although a strong number of representative players being picked from the school's ranks was a positive, Schulze said the total number of players was where he judged success.
"If you're getting kids in rep programs and you're winning competitions... that's a good judgment of success,” he said.
"But I think kids' willingness to play year after year is a really good judge as well.”
2018 Lockyer District High School representative players
Chris Mann (U12 Darling Downs at state carnival held in Brisbane)
Nathan Kleidon (U15 Darling Downs at state carnival in Townsville)
Brandon Clarke (President 13 Opens at state carnival in Toowoomba)
Dylan Flanagan (President 13 Opens at state carnival in Toowoomba)
Courtney Nolan (U15 Darling Downs at state carnival held in Maroochydore)
Kyha Black (Opens Darling Downs at state carnival in Brisbane)
Natalie Huggins (Opens Darling Downs at state carnival in Brisbane)
Jess Fedrick (Opens Darling Downs at state carnival in Brisbane)