Champion school: Why WestMAC cricketers best again
CRICKET: Twelve premierships in four years, back-to-back overall TAS champions and a Queensland Schoolboys representative.
West Moreton Anglican College must be doing something right.
And in the college's historic 25th year, that something is injecting more professionalism into the school's cricket program.
A combination of dedicated students and coaches, benefiting from work with the Australian Cricket Institute, has helped propel WestMAC to status as the top school in the TAS (The Associated Schools) competition.
WestMAC highlighted its outstanding progress by winning four premierships from the six teams the school had in finals. That included the WestMAC Firsts team which beat John Paul College in last Saturday's final.
After dismissing St Paul for 85 in the away final, WestMAC chased down the total only losing two wickets.
WestMAC's Firsts only had one loss from seven games during the TAS season. That was against their final opponents during the earlier rounds.
Among the key performers this season has been First XI captain Harry Blunn, who has been chosen in the Queensland Open Schoolboys team for a series of games against NSW later in the year.
The left-handed opening batsman has been a consistent run-getter since scoring a century in year eight and being promoted to higher age teams.
Head of Cricket and 1st XI coach Robert Hillier is among the WestMAC staff driving the improved cricket program.
The respected Ipswich cricketer was delighted to see WestMAC crowned overall champion TAS cricket school for the second year in a row.
The college's Senior Seconds, Intermediate Seconds and Intermediate Thirds were also premiership winners. WestMAC's Senior Thirds and Intermediate Firsts had to settle for second due to final washouts last weekend.
However, the combined effort across the program resulted in WestMAC scoring 46 out of a maximum 48 points to be crowned champion cricket school of the eight involved in the annual TAS competition.
Hillier, with the WestMAC program for five years, has seen the steady improvement. After winning three premierships last year, WestMAC added its fourth this year.
He said involvement of the Australian Cricket Institute with coaches like James Bazley had helped the young cricketers become better players.
"We've had a big change now with the culture in cricket at the school in terms of a more professional approach and getting some good young coaches in to help with our program,'' Hillier said.
WestMAC's top cricketers in years 10-12 have been receiving additional sessions at the Institute to sharpen their skills.
Hillier was delighted to see players like Blunn rise quickly up the ranks and be rewarded at higher level for their efforts.
"In his last year at school, it's very fitting that he's now accomplished a premiership and a feather in his cap in the Queensland team,'' Hillier said.
"He's a fantastic young kid from a good family.''
The premiership-winning WestMAC First XI team was Harry Blunn, Caleb Doyle, Markus Brits, Corey Flood, Ben Donnelly, Josiah Jensen, Baydn Pond, Joshua Boyle, Tom Evans, Nathan Dick, Lachlan Skull and William Johnstone.