Ipswich family's season of success
AS far as family sporting successes go, Ipswich's McCoombes clan have enjoyed a season that will take some matching.
Father Ken and sons Caleb and Zac have been part of multiple club, Ipswich and state teams that have seen them travelling around Australia in recent months.
Their remarkable year includes four state team selections and four club grand finals between them, ending with the recent national under-13 titles in Adelaide.
However, such is their love of hockey, it's easy to understand why the Pine Mountain-based family has achieved so much this year.
The long-time Ipswich-based former player and coach needed to be a mathematician to keep track of where his talented sons played this year, often captaining sides.
However, Ken is happy to list their achievements like any proud dad should.
Zac, 11, made the Queensland under-12 schoolboys team that played in Hobart and the state under-13 (club) Sabres side that lined up at the recent national championships in South Australia.
Both state sides came fourth.
Caleb, 15, was a Queensland under-15 representative in club hockey (played in Perth) and made the state under-16 schoolboys side (Adelaide). Both those Queensland teams also finished fourth.
Former Australian Country player and state senior representative Ken has a close bond with his boys.
"They are good kids,'' Ken said.
"They're well liked around the place. They have good attitudes on the hockey field.
"They're pretty level-headed.
"Caleb doesn't get overawed by too much.''
Ken McCoombes is delighted how his sons represented their city this season.
West Moreton Anglican College student Zac made the Ipswich under 11, under 13 and under-15 teams contesting Queensland championships around the state.
The striker was part of the Hancocks J1 grand final-winning team in the Ipswich competition.
St Edmund's College student Caleb played for Ipswich's under 15, under 18 and number two open men's sides.
He made his A-grade debut, lining up for Easts in the men's A-grade grand final.
Midfielder Caleb also played for Brisbane Commercial in the club's grand final-winning J1 and Division 2 men's sides.
Zac and Caleb played together in Ipswich's under-15 team that contested the state titles in Townsville.
While all that was happening, Ken was assistant Ipswich under-18 coach and mentored the Queensland under-13 Cutters side in Adelaide. He also coached the Commercial J1 side that won the premiership in Brisbane.
"It wasn't easy,'' Ken said of keeping up with the club and representative demands.
"It's probably just one of those years where it happened and that sort of thing won't happen again.''
Final day at hockey complex to cherish
A STANDOUT moment for hockey stalwart Ken McCoombes in a memorable season wasn't at state or national level. It came at Raceview on Ipswich Hockey's junior grand final day in September.
His sons Zac and Caleb were named player of the year finalists, with Hancocks J1 striker Zac being named Ipswich's top male junior.
Ken was a delighted father as he snapped photos of his boys.
It was magic moment on a day to treasure.
Even with so many representative successes between them, Ken said standing on Ipswich Hockey's main field watching his boys together was something special. "That was a major highlight,'' Ken said. "Not only seeing Zac win but just to see the pleasure and the happiness in Caleb's face for Zac as well.''
Ken is thrilled his boys enjoy their hockey so much after originally starting in soccer. A lot of that comes from the boys working together.
"Caleb is very good to Zac. He helps Zac in many ways,'' Ken said.
It's another fine example of why hockey is such a terrific family sport.