Noah's impressive feats draw praise
IPSWICH Grammar School student Noah Emmerson's efforts with the willow are drawing comparisons to an Australian Cricket Team legend and IGS Old Boy.
The 13-year-old has been in rare form, top-scoring in his A-grade debut for Mulgowie Cricket Club in the Lockyer Cricket Association competition.
But it was a stunning 117-run innings for the Ipswich/Logan Hornets' U16 Shane Watson Cup side in a pre-season hit out, reminiscent of the tournament's namesake, which had tongues wagging.
Like "Watto”, Noah bats right-handed and bowls "pretty handy medium pace” according to his dad Simon, who plays alongside Noah for Mulgowie and went to school with Watson in the late '90s.
"He started playing juniors when he was seven in under-12s, and then last year he started playing third-grade as a 12 year-old,” the IGS class of 1999 alum said of his son.
"He averaged a bit over 50 and won best batting average, so this year we've bumped him up to A-grade to see whether he can handle it.
"He made 24 in the first game, which was the highest score for the game on a pretty wet and dodgy wicket so he was pretty happy with himself.”
For father and son to take the field on the same team is a rare feat, and one Simon holds great fondness in achieving.
"It's very enjoyable playing with your kid, and it's also the best way for him to see a different side of cricket,” Simon said.
"Although some of the older cricketers might not have the best skills, they're pretty crafty and can help him continue to learn.
"Last season at one point we played with my father too; so there were three generations there, which is pretty rare.”
Simon said his that "claim to fame” was getting to train with Watson while the pair were at IGS together.
But he hopes and sees a bigger future for his son if he continues on his barnstorming path.
Noah was last week selected to represent Met West and the U15 state championships at the end of November.
"He's one of the younger kids in that team too, so it'll be a really good experience for him this year then next year hopefully he can have a red hot crack at making that Queensland team,” he said.
"I think all kids that enjoy the game probably dream of playing for Australia.
"Realistically that doesn't happen often, but so long as he keeps enjoying it he can hopefully play at a reasonable level as he gets older.”
Noah has played above his age for almost all of his time in the sport.
He played a key role for Queensland at the Under-12 National Championships, helping the side go unbeaten on their way to defeating New South Wales in the grand final.
"Going out and belting kids his own age was never going to help him (develop his game),” Simon said.
"We've introduced him to the higher levels and he handles it quite fine.
"He doesn't quite have the power of some of the older kids, but he certainly enjoys himself and is confident enough to throw his weight around.”
Able to bat anywhere in the top order, Noah was tapped by Queensland Cricket selectors to begin developing his off-spin bowling in a hope it can help separate him as an all-rounder.
And he will have plenty of opportunity to test his bowling wares in the coming months, with his cricketing calendar becoming increasingly full.
With his efforts in the opening round likely helping to secure a regular place in the Mulgowie A-grade side, Noah will also pad-up for the Hornets in the Shane Watson Cup beginning this month.
He will also trial for the IGS first grade team, but Simon again sees the opportunity as a learning experience.
"The school has been fantastic for him,” Simon said.
"It's a long shot for him to make (the first team), but just the exposure and influence of being around some really good cricketers there, hopefully the example they have set can rub off on him in the right way.
"It gives him something to aspire to, to be like some of those boys from the school that have gone on to do some good things.”