REGRETTABLY, there are insufficient resources to operate Junior Gridiron for 2018.
The continued scheduling of all divisions at the same time of year has meant that coaching resources in particular are stretched too thinly to properly operate all levels to a satisfactory standard.
Junior gridiron has been extremely successful for the club over the last 5 years with numerous players and coaches rising through the ranks and into our successful Colts program. The choice unfortunately has to be made that without proper coaching resources the season cannot be run as desired.
The Junior program will be re-visited as an option in 2019.
The Sutherland Seahawks Colts team won their 5th straight and 10th overall GNSW Colts championship on saturday with a 28-26 victory over the Sydney University Colts team. Quaterback Justin Whiting had a career high rushing day with 208 yards including touchdowns of 52 and 39 yards; Nick Predkowski joined him with additional two touchdowns, one each in the air and on the ground. The Cubs scored first which started a series of exchanges of the lead. Up 14-12 the Seahawks twice had a touchdown taken away via penalty. Starting with the ball in the second half though, the Seahawks were able to score then get an interception from safety Ned Rickard followed by another score and 28-12 lead. The Cubs were able to close to 28-26 before a 3rd touchdown was brought back via penalty; the Seahawks finished down on the penalty count 10-1.
Pleasing to note is that no player has played in these 5 straight Colts Championships and only 1 player Justin Whiting has played in 4. Colts football by rule turns over the playing roster demanding the coaching and team culture be tasking with replacing talent every year.
With the Colts team off for the week, the Division One team made the trek to the Central Coast to take on the Sharks.
2017 has been a poor year so far for takeaways but the Sharks gifted 2 turnovers in the first quarter which allowed an early 16-0 lead, both Zach Hughes and Aaron Beyer scoring in the air.
The Sharks did not run the ball well but their passing game was fierce by comparison. With 50 pass attempts, a very high number for a GNSW game, they ended up with over 300 yards in the air and 4 passing touchdowns. After a 16-8 deficit, the Sharks closed to 30-22 after an on side kick recovery. Seahawk Safety Tony Nghiem however made a timely interception (his 2nd of the game) and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown which quelled the Sharks comeback.
The 36-28 final score gave the Seahawks Division One team a much needed 2nd win for the year and prepares for next week’s vital game against the Nepean Ducks.
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Coupled with a better defensive performance in the second half, it was the Seahawks Colts’ team best win of the 2017 season.
In Division One, the poor opening quarters continued. Rallying to being down 27-14 at the half, the Seahawks were not able to score first and draw closer; poor tackling constantly keep the Pirates several steps ahead.
Receiver Mitchell Read hauled in a career high 3 touchdowns from QB Tristan Whiting, LB Kurt Pepper had his first career interception.
Next week (October 14th) the Seahawks Colts team will play The Northern Rebels 11am at Melwood Oval, the Division One team will also play the Northern Rebels at Melwood Oval, kick off will be 6pm.
After the Round #2 bye week for the Seahawks, Saturday’s second games of the season for the Colts and Division One teams against the UNSW Raiders displayed the full spectrum of football emotions.
The Colts team allowed fumbles to hamper their first half; with turnovers in the red zone, the Seahawks would only go in to the half time break up 12-6 after touchdowns to DJ Mauga-Hall and Justin Whiting.
An Ethan Fishburn sack and forced fumble and a Cooper Sly recovery made up for some of the poor field position from turnovers. The continued tightening of the defence in the second half set up Nick Predkowski’s 16 yard catch and run to the end zone. 2 of Predkowski’s last 3 receptions converted on 3rd down, finally allowing Whiting to add a 2nd rushing TD and 26-12 final score.
In Division One, the Seahawks started atrociously, giving up field position on special teams and going 12 points down at the half. Rallying through improved play in all 3 phases, H-back Trent Mamacan scored his maiden TD in just his 2nd career game and receiver Mitchell Read had a 28 yard catch and run for touchdown to grab a 16-12 lead.
When defensive lineman Blake Zumot blocked a punt and recovered the ball on the 1 yard line it set up a 24-12 Seahawk lead, 24 unanswered points. The Raiders would go on to score twice themselves and with less than 2 minutes on the clock drove the ball into field goal range before slotting over the game winner and quashing the comeback attempt.
In Week #4 the Seahawks will play at Neptune Oval Revesby. The Colts team kicking off against the Predators at 11am whilst the Division One team plays at 3pm.
Round one of the GNSW 2017 season at Robert Ziems Park in Corrimal resulted in just a 4 point difference combined between UTS and the Seahawks Division One and Colts teams but it resulted in just a draw and a loss.
The Colts team started out with a deep strike to receiver Cory Dean and short rushing touchdown to Quarterback Justin Whiting. Still finding its feet with 5 new starters from the 2016 championship team, the defence leaked some points. The 16-14 half time deficit was stretched to an 8 point UTS lead before a Steven Gamu run for 60yards resulted in a touchdown, the 2 point PAT tied it up at 22 with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Down 28-22, a fade pass to Cory Dean again found the end zone, the unfortunate PAT hitting the ground left the Colts team stranded with a rare tie.
The Division One team also had a solid start, a near length of the field run back by Mitch Read set up QB Tristan Whiting for a short rushing touchdown and 6-0 lead.
The game turned however, from that point on the game was characterised by UTS scrambling for first down after first down and the Seahawks largely stalled. Down 20-6 in the third quarter and with some better gradual field position through adjustments the Seahawks first forced a safety from a bad punt snap. On the ensuing drive Jordan Holman’s 3 yard rushing TD narrowed the score to 20-16 and a chance for a late comeback. Stopping UTS late the 4th quarter set up a final drive but the final passes fell incomplete and notched a first round loss for Sutherland.
Next week both the Colts and Division One team will have a bye week.