After taking a clean sweep of all the trophies on offer at the Wimmera Hockey Association grand finals on Saturday afternoon, including three premierships and best on ground medallions, members of the Yanac club also earned a majority of the awards presented at the gala end of season celebrations that evening.
Their haul included three of the four Best and Fairest awards and the trophies for the leading goal scorers in both the Open and Under 16 Girls.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of two Life Memberships, to Helen Cannell of the Nhill club and Clint Beattie from Kaniva, both of whom have contributed significantly to the life of both their clubs and the association as players, umpires, executive members and are keen supporters of the sport and particularly younger players and officials.
Helen Cannell has been involved with the Wimmera Hockey Association for over 25 years, having begun her hockey career as a junior at the Yanac club and has played most of her senior hockey with the Nhill club.
Over the last seven years Helen has served on the executive of the Association, having held the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary and most recently Umpires’ Convenor, and was recently voted in for another term as Vice President.
Along with being a regular player, Helen is also a senior umpire, has represented the Wimmera at the Victorian Country Championships as both a player and umpire and is a very keen supporter of the next generation of hockey players particularly through the Under 12 Development program.
Clint Beattie also played his junior hockey with the Yanac club but moved to bolster the numbers for the new Kaniva Men’s team where he has now played since 2007.
Nine years on the executive of the association has seen Clint serve as President, Vice President and Umpires Convenor, and at the recent AGM was voted in for this second two year term as President.
Clint is well known for his contribution to umpiring, having won the Association’s Golden Whistle award three times before humbly taking his name off the eligible list to allow for other talented umpires to be recognised. He has also umpires sell over twenty games in most recent seasons at more than one per week.
As a player, Clint won the association’s highest individual honour, the Best and Fairest award in 2011, after having also been runners up two years previously.
He was also the recipient of the Association’s Junior Encouragement Award in 2006.
Open Best and Fairest
The voting for the Best and Fairest is done by the two umpires for each game who issue 3 votes, 2 votes and 1 vote to the three players they judge to be the best and fairest in that game. This means that the maximum number of votes available is six per game over fifteen rounds giving a maximum total of 90 votes.
By round eight, Bradley Alexander (Yanac Tigers) had polled 41 out of a possible 48 votes almost twice as many the next best.
Although he did not poll as prolifically in the closing rounds of the season, Alexander still finished with 58, an impressive 16 ahead of Paul Mackereth (Horsham Hurricanes) who finished as runner up with 42 votes.
Next was Lachlan Mills (Kaniva Cobra) who finished third with 33 votes ahead of fourth placed Talor Dent (Dimboola Burras) with 27.
Open Best and Fairest Leaders
Brad Alexander (Yanac Tigers) 58 votes
Paul Mackereth (Horsham Hurricanes) 42
Lachlan Mills (Kaniva Cobras) 33
Talor Dent (Dimboola Burras) 27
Todd Alexander (Yanac Tigers) 25
Brett Tischler (Dimboola Burras) 24
Sam Bone (Nhill Rangers) 23
Cameron Bardell (Warrack Hoops) 22
David Reichelt (Nhill Rangers) 21
Sandon Schultz (Warrack Hoops) 20
Women’s Best and Fairest
The Women’s vote count was much closer at the top, with winner Erin Alexander (Yanac) finishing just one vote ahead of Elizabeth Klinge (Dimboola Roos).
After round nine these two players were tied on 21 votes each, and the lead changed four times in the last six rounds, with Alexander polling five votes in the last round in which Klinge did not earn any, to finish with 37 votes to 36.
Shanaye Alexander (Yanac), and Ellie Morrow (Horsham Jets) both tied for third place with 26 votes.
Women’s Best and Fairest Leaders
Erin Alexander (Yanac) 37 votes
Elizabeth Klinge (Dimboola Roos) 36
Shanaye Alexander (Yanac) 26
Ellie Morrow (Horsham Jets) 26
Grace McLeod (Thunderbirds) 25
Kelly Krahe (Warracknabeal) 24
Sophie Robinson (Horsham Jets) 23
Kellie Farquharson (Thunderbirds) 21
Olivia Williams (Kaniva) 21
Rebecca Lovett (Dimboola Roos) 20
Under 16 Girls Best and Fairest
In the mixed Under 16 competition, separate Best and Fairest awards are given to the Boys and Girls.
Yanac Warrior’s Mikayla Farmers won her third Under 16 Girls Best and Fairest trophy when she finished with 63 votes, only four ahead of Olivia Williams (Kaniva Raiders) who finished on 59.
The Nhill Leopards’ pair of Ellie Murden with 20 and Kendra Clark with 12 finished third and fourth respectively.
Under 16 Girls Best and Fairest Leaders
Mikayla Farmers (Yanac Warriors) 63 votes
Olivia Williams (Kaniva Raiders) 59
Ellie Murden (Nhill Leopards) 20
Kendra Clark (Nhill Leopards) 12
Faith Eilola (Warrack Revengers) 6
Alexis Farmers (Yanac Warriors) 4
Ruby Simpson (Dimboola Kangaroos) 4
Chloe Baker (Dimboola Kangaroos) 2
Skye Braisby (Kaniva Raiders) 2
Under 16 Boys Best and Fairest
Polling in all but one game, Oskar Bennett (Warrack Revengers) comfortably won the Boy’s Best and Fairest with 68 votes from Jason Reichelt (Nhill Leopards) who polled 52.
Tom Krelle (Dimboola Kangaroos) and Cade Dodson (Horsham Bombers) filled the next two places with 35 and 33 votes respectively.
Under 16 Boys Best and Fairest Leaders
Oskar Bennett (Warrack Revengers) 68 votes
Jason Reichelt (Nhill Leopards) 52
Tom Krelle (Dimboola Kangaroos) 35
Cade Dodson (Horsham Bombers) 33
Ben Williamson (Warrack Revengers) 22
Jimmy Mitchell (Kaniva Raiders) 18
Koby Bamford (Dimboola Kangaroos) 16
Jasper Croot (Yanac Warriors) 15
Noah Krelle (Dimboola Kangaroos) 12
Kai Dodson (Horsham Bombers) 9
Leading Goal Scorers
The Yanac Tigers provided the two leading goal scorers in the Open division with Todd Alexander scoring 12 and Bradley Alexander scoring 11.
In the Women’s competition it was Ellie Morrow (Horsham Jets) with 13 who led the goal scoring, which was made all the more impressive considering that she had an injury interrupted season, and scored these goals from only seven of a possible fifteen games, at almost two goals a game.
Kelly Smithyman (Dimboola Roos) with eleven and Shanaye Alexander and Susan Hedt, both from Yanac, with nine each filled the next three places.
Oskar Bennett added the Under 16 Boys goal scoring trophy to his Best and Fairest, with 26 goals, well ahead of second placed Matthew Reichelt (Nhill Leopards) with 11.
Mikayla Farmers also collected another trophy after she finished the season with the most goals of any of the Under 16 Girls, with 12.
Ellie Murden (Nhill Leopards) scored 9 and Faith Eilola (Warrack Revengers) and Olivia Williams (Kaniva Raiders) both scored five each.
Open Leading Goal Scorers
Todd Alexander (Yanac Tigers) 12 goals
Bradley Alexander (Yanac Tigers) 11
Caleb Halsall (Dimboola Burras) 9
Shaun Alexander (Yanac Tigers) 8
Lachlan Schultz (Dimboola Burras) 8
Jamie Harding (Yanac Tigers) 7
Trevor Krelle (Dimboola Burras) 6
Lachlan Mills (Kaniva Cobras) 6
Zack Slater-Collard (Dimboola Burras) 6
Marcus Williamson (Warrack Hoops) 6
Women’s Leading Goal Scorers
Ellie Morrow (Horsham Jets) 13 votes
Kelly Smithyman (Dimboola Roos) 11
Shanaye Alexander (Yanac) 9
Susan Hedt (Yanac) 9
Donna Rigby (Warracknabeal) 8
Erin Alexander (Yanac) 7
Carmel Beattie (Yanac) 7
Jennie Hauselberger (Dimboola Roos) 7
Elizabeth Klinge (Dimboola Roos) 6
Launa Schilling (Horsham Jets) 6
Under 16 Girls Leading Goal Scorers
Mikayla Farmers (Yanac Warriors) 12 goals
Ellie Murden (Nhill Leopards) 9
Faith Eilola (Warrack Revengers) 5
Olivia Williams (Kaniva Raiders) 5
Sophie Allen (Nhill Leopards) 2
Elizabeth Dixon (Kaniva Raiders) 2
Nadia White (Kaniva Raiders) 2
Imogen Williams (Kaniva Raiders) 2
Under 16 Boys Leading Goal Scorers
Oskar Bennett (Warrack Revengers) 26 goals
Matthew Reichelt (Nhill Leopards) 1
Jason Reichelt (Nhill Leopards) 9
Lachlan Geary (Dimboola Kangaroos) 8
Caleb Zanker (Yanac Warriors) 8
Isaac Deckert (Nhill Leopards) 5
Ben Williamson (Warrack Revengers) 5
Goalkeepers of the Year
For the first time the Wimmera Hockey Association created an award for the leading goalkeepers in the competition, with a trophy given to the leading Open, Women’s and Under 16 goalkeepers, based on votes awarded by the umpires.
Ellie Woods (Dimboola Burras) won the inaugural award in the Open division, finishing ahead of Ethan Mellor (Horsham Jets) and Shannon Mitchell (Kaniva Cobras).
The voting for the Women’s award was close with Rebecca Batchelor (Horsham Jets) polling four more than Melanie Bentley (Warracknabeal).
Only one award was given in the Under 16 competition with Kai Dodson (Horsham Bombers) edging out Noah Krelle (Dimboola Kangaroos) by two votes.
Open Goalkeeper of the Year
Ellie Woods (Dimboola Burras) 66 votes
Ethan Mellor (Horsham Hurricanes) 52
Shannon Mitchell (Kaniva Cobras) 50
Murray Miller (Nhill Rangers) 40
Craig Magrath (Yanac Tigers) 38
Russell Brown (Warrack Hoops) 36
Kayden Rowe (Nhill Rangers) 24
Jordan Williamson (Warrack Hoops) 24
Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year
Rebecca Batchelor (Horsham Jets) 68 votes
Melanie Bentley (Warracknabeal) 64
Symone Mitchell (Kaniva) 59
Erin Wallace (Thunderbirds) 59
Donna Krelle (Dimboola Roos) 38
Natalie Farmers (Yanac) 36
Hanna Braisby (Kaniva) 18
Under 16 Goalkeeper of the Year
Kai Dodson (Horsham Bombers) 72 votes
Noah Krelle (Dimboola Kangaroos) 70
Kayden Rowe (Nhill Leopards) 52
Hannah White (Kaniva Raiders) 48
Alister Dickinson (Yanac Warriors) 38
Sam Goodwin (Warrack Revengers) 38
Umpiring is often a thankless task, but it is vital for the conducting of any sporting competition, and the Wimmera Hockey Association is proud of the quality of the local umpires.
Throughout the season all teams are given the opportunity to vote for the officials that they consider to be the best, based on their knowledge of the rules, their interactions with the players and other officials, and their general professionalism in their roles controlling games.
The best umpires are recognised with the Wimmera Hockey Association’s Golden Whistle awards.
For the third season in a row, Caleb Halsall from the Dimboola club was a run away winner of the Golden Whistle, which is a fitting reward for the time and effort that he has put in to constantly improve not only his own umpiring, but he has also presented himself as an ideal role model for the younger and less experienced officials within the association.
Bradley Alexander (Yanac) and Barry Schilling (Warracknabeal) were awarded the Silver and Bronze Whistle trophies respectively, both also for the second year in a row.
The Umpires’ encouragement award was given to Jason Reichelt (Nhill) for his commitment and improvement he showed during the season.
The Wimmera Hockey Association also has a category of award that covers a much wider scope of contributions to the organisation beyond just the contributions on the field.
This year the Senior Encouragement Award was presented to Kayla White of the Kaniva club.
Kayla has been playing hockey for a number of years with Kaniva, starting with the Kaniva Raiders and now progressing to the Kaniva Women’s team.
Having represented the Wimmera Hockey Association at the Senior Country Championships for the past two years, she has spoken highly of the experiences she has gained playing in this competition.
Her willingly undertaken the enormous task of learning to umpire and her positive and passionate attitude towards the game has made her a great role model for our younger players.