Meet the 19 Gympie Players of the Week
THROUGH the year The Gympie Times celebrated the sporting achievements by athletes each week who were dubbed the Player of the Week.
Individuals were profiled to showcase their successes on the sporting fields and on Wednesday we asked you, our loyal readers, to vote for who should be the 2019 Athlete of the year.
So if you know somebody you believe is worthy of winning that titles, jump on to our online poll at gympietimes .com.au right now and cast your vote.
Voting will close at midnight tomorrow night, December 15, and the winner will be announced on our website on Monday, December 16, and in Tuesday’s printed Gympie Times.
In case you missed some of athletes, we will go through the 19.
1. Patrick Harris (AFL)
HE WAS the first Player of the Week earning the title after he kicked five goals in the Gympie Cats’ round 1 match against Jindalee Jaguars.
The forward played 10 games this season and bagged 51 goals and won six best player nominations.
2. Rohan Polley (Football)
FROM struggling to cope with everyday life with autism as a youngster, the 15-year-old Gympie United player has “blossomed” through his love of football, especially since becoming a striker last season.
Polley scored almost half of his team’s 29 goals through five games this season, helping them sit atop the Sunshine Coast Football under-15 Division 2 ladder.
3. Josh Hunt (League)
HE FACED health challenges hard enough to take the smile off any 12-year-old’s face, but the inspirational Gympie boy has tackled it all with the same toughness he shows on the footy field every week.
A critical operation to remove the infection which had eaten through muscle and bone followed, but Hunt’s remarkable determination to get back on the field with the odds stacked against him meant he was playing rep football in early 2018.
4. Matt Pearce (League)
THE co-captain lead his team St Patrick’s College, Gympie, and St Mary’s College, Maryborough, to victory in the Division 3 grand final in the Confraternity Carnival in Bundaberg in July.
This was not the only honour during the carnival. Pearce bagged four Man of the Match awards from the six games and was handed the Best and Fairest player award.
5. Sam Bradshaw (Football)
GYMPIE’S answer to Matildas World Cup ace Sam Kerr.
It was a landmark debut season for Bradshaw and she was the Gympie United Gladiators women’s senior female golden boot winner.
Since starting the season on the wing, Bradshaw found frightening form in front of goal for the Gympie United Gladiators women’s Division 1 team.
She kicked nine goals from 10 games in the season to help the Gladiators control their own destiny in the finals race.
6. Jess Wilcox (Hockey, athletics and squash)
IS THERE anything Gympie athlete Jess Wilcox cannot do?
The 15-year-old is known in hockey circles but it is one of three sports (also athletics and squash) she excels in.
Wilcox has trained with the Queensland under-16s squad and has represented Wide Bay school sport in triathlon, squash and hockey.
Her most recent achievement was playing in the Queensland Championships held in Gladstone in September, where she won gold.
7. Sophia Fisher (League)
IS WAS an incredible inaugural season for the Gympie Devils and Fisher lead the charge for the side.
Despite going down to Maroochydore in the grand final, there was plenty on Fisher’s highlight reel.
She finished on top of the table as leading try scorer and point scorer and was on the list of The Gympie Times rugby league Team of the Year.
8. Emily Larsen (Equestrian)
THE James Nash State High School student represented Queensland at the 2019 Australian Interschool Championships – Equestrian in September.
She competed in secondary senior preliminary dressage and was the only competitor in this division that will ride a pony.
9. Fred Hamilton (AFL)
GYMPIE Cats under-12s young gun centre Fred Hamilton has fought his way to the top, taking out the 2019 AFL Queensland Sunshine Coast juniors best and fairest award.
He also capped off his season winning his second consecutive grand final.
10. Breanna Pearce (Netball)
PEARCE spent this year improving her overall game and played for the Wide Bay under-16 Thundercats side in September and has aspirations to play for the Sunshine Coast Lightning.
The netballer travels to Nambour to play as Gympie does not have a rep team in the hopes of making it as a future professional player.
11. Allie Salter (Union)
THE “Blonde Flash”, as she is known in rugby circles, has donned the Queensland Reds jersey in the National Youth 7s competition on the Sunshine Coast in November.
She had a stint with the Sunshine Coast Stingrays this season and hopes to represent her country one pay playing for the women’s national rugby side.
12. Andrew “Chappy” Mallett (Cricket)
GYMPIE’S own version of Warnie took a five wicket haul against Kenilworth in the season opener.
From 12 games this year he has taken 25 wickets. It is not just with the ball where Chappy shines, he has backed up with the bat this season. His highest score is 54 against Wests.
13. William “Bill” Davies (AFL)
HE IS only 12 years of age, but talented young Gympie athlete Bill is already a triple premiership winner – and that is in just one of the sports he loves.
The Year 7 Kilkivan State School student captained the under-12 Gympie Cats to a dramatic overtime flag triumph against Kawana last month, winning best-on-ground honours on the day. It capped off a season in which he also came third in the league best and fairest and claimed MVP honours for Wide Bay at the Queensland State Schools AFL Championships.
14 Brad “Briggsy” Brigg (Cricket)
IT WAS a champion effort by Valleys president and all-rounder Brad Brigg who dominated at the crease with the bat and ball when his side took on Kenilworth last month. Briggsy and opener and captain Shane Walker combined to give Valleys a chance as they lost four quick wickets.
Despite only playing a handful of games, Briggsy’s presence in the squad certainly lifts the team.
15. Jessie Dale (Barrel racing)
THE Widgee rider was left stranded at Goomeri while travelling down to Tamworth in September but she managed to win the junior 3D title for the Australian Barrel Horse Association national championships.
It is a title Dale will never forget.
She managed to get to the title after a fellow competitor saw her plea on Facebook for a lift.
16. Andy Batten (Cricket)
NOT many players have the ability to take a few wickets and then pad up and make more than 50 with the bat, but Harlequins all-rounder Andy Batten is one of the few.
Playing in wet conditions against Colts in October, Batten took two wickets and scored an unbeaten 50 to steer his team to victory after the two openers were out for ducks.
The medium-pace bowler is a wicketkeeper for Wide Bay but is selflessly slotting in wherever the team needs.
17. Finlay Franz (Cricket)
GYMPIE cricketer Finlay Franz has made the most of his debut in junior cricket, notching his first century for the junior Heat against the junior Thunder.
The 13-year-old has been knocking the door down with runs for Wide Bay and zone cricket, but his impressive performance at One Mile Oval was his maiden century.
18. Libby Corbet (Equestrian)
AFTER 12 months of placing her fate in the hands of a judging panel, Gympie’s Libby Corbet has been crowned a National Rodeo Association Junior Rodeo Princess 2020.
The 12-year-old won the quest final last Saturday at the Caboolture rodeo, capping off a tough process.
19. Alex Nethercott and Kobe Lodder (Basketball)
He shares a first name with the legendary Los Angeles Laker, and the “Mamba mentality” is there whenever 14-year-old Gympie basketball star Lodder steps on court.
Nethercott, leaning on his strengths driving inside and finishing contested lay-ups on top of a strong passing game, also did the double in scoring MVP honours for the season and the decider.