Four Wimmera hockey players competed in last week's Junior State Championships in Melbourne.
The pinnacle of underage hockey competitions in Victoria, the championships involve teams representing four country and six metropolitan zones in both boys and girls divisions over three age groups.
Wimmera Hockey Association falls within the North West Lightning's zone, but there's also the opportunity for players who do not gain selection in this team to be available to represent other zones if a vacancy exists.
Kai Dodson was selected as one of two goalkeepers in the under 13 North West Lightning squad.
In the under 18 group, Tom Roberts represented the Lightning, Cade Dodson played for the South West Eagles and Stuart Hallett - who has been training in Melbourne - joined the metropolitan Southern Sharks. All four play locally with the Horsham club.
Each team played seven games over four days, starting with pool games and culminating with a final or playoff game to determine final placings.
The under 13 North West Lightning team finished in a credible fourth place after winning four of their first six games, which qualified them for the playoff for third place.
They narrowly lost this game to the North East Country Knights by two goals.
Teammates at the Horsham Hurricanes, Stuart Hallett and Cade Dodson became opponents for their opening game of the tournament when the Metro Sharks and South West Eagles clashed. Dodson's Eagles finished ahead with a 2-1 win.
The Eagles won two of their first six games, qualifying for the fifth place playoff game.
They played out a three-all draw in this encounter with the Central Metro Flames, who managed to claim fifth place overall courtesy of a better record earlier in the tournament.
The Metro Sharks' only victory for the week came in their playoff game for ninth and 10th places, where they defeated the Gippsland Bulls by six goals.
Tom Roberts' Lightning team finished the competition as the eighth ranked team after they lost the seventh place playoff to the North East Country Knights 3-1.
Roberts played in all seven games of the week-long tournament.
He converted a penalty corner in a six-goal win over the Gippsland Bulls to finish the tournament with one goal.
One of the Wimmera's leading umpires, Caleb Baldock from Dimboola, officiated in a number of games over the week.
Hallett also took up the opportunity to umpire around his playing commitments, gaining valuable experience at a higher level and receiving feedback from more senior umpires.