Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Rookies Rule Awards Night

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Rookies Rule Awards Night

Article excerpt

Griffith Thomas



A-grade: Ashley O'Donnell and Darcy Horgan (coaches' award), David Hallman (best forward), Billy Stefaniuk (best back), Brock Eldridge (players' player), Joel Denduck (rookie of the year), Tom Freshwater (best and fairest), Sam Burns (MVP).

Reserve grade: Gry Togo (coach's award), Alan Miller (best forward), Joel Schiemer (best back), Ronald Fisher (most consistent), Bevan Page (player of the final), Victor Davis (players' player).

U18 (Fraser Coast): Jayden Johnson (coach's award), Dalton Harry (player of the final), Sam Burns (Seagulls' best and fairest), Nicholas Brown (Maryborough Brothers' best and fairest and players' player), James Brown (Most Valuable Player).

Club awards: Kurtis Everett (Spirit of Seagulls Old Boys award), Gry Togo (Sonny Johnson award), Andrew Staib (club person of the year).

WHAT was a football club's presentation dinner could have been mistaken for a school formal with rookies dominating the Hervey Bay Seagulls awards night.

More than 100 people flocked to the Hervey Bay RSL on Saturday night to celebrate the club's reserve grade premiership, thank their volunteers and coaches and recognise their most outstanding players in 2013.

But this night belonged to Hervey Bay's young brigade, with rookie players, most of whom are only a couple of years out of high school, picking up five of the eight A-grade awards handed out.

The youngest debutant Sam Burns capped a stunning season by collecting the Most Valuable Player trophy, while Tom Freshwater was voted best and fairest after a consistent season.

Other first-year players recognised were Joel Denduck (rookie of the year), Darcy Horgan (coaches' award) and Billy Stefaniuk (best back).

For Burns, the honour arrives two months before he moves to Sydney to embark on his quest to play in the NRL when he takes up a three-year youth contract with the Canterbury Bulldogs.

The 17-year-old rake scored in his A-grade debut for the Seagulls in Round 11 and was a pivotal part of his team's late-season charge towards the finals, winning six of their last eight games and beating Isis in the first week of the finals. …

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