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Taylor gives Burkies the nod

Friday, 23rd September, 2011

RIDING HIGH: Burke Ward Public School football captain Rhys Mutch takes a speccy with the Taylor Walker Cup over the Adelaide Crows star. RIDING HIGH: Burke Ward Public School football captain Rhys Mutch takes a speccy with the Taylor Walker Cup over the Adelaide Crows star.

By John Casey 

Burke Ward has confirmed its status as the best primary school football team in Broken Hill and now holds the Taylor Walker Cup outright to prove it.

For the past two years Burke Ward has shared the local Primary Schools Sports Association (PSSA) football honours with students from Morgan Street, but this year the “Burkies” had overwhelming success.

“Both our senior (Years 5-6) and junior (Years 3-4) teams went through the competition undefeated so we are very proud of all the players,” senior coach and Year 4 teacher Anthony Pentecost said.

“In the past the senior team has had some very close battles with Morgan Street but this year we won that clash by about 30 points - which was the closest any team got to us.

“On a number of occasions we even had to lend players to the opposition teams and the boys showed great sportsmanship to do that,” Mr Pentecost added.

Adelaide Crows forward and former North Public School student Taylor Walker congratulated Burke Ward on their efforts and echoed the sentiments of coach Pentecost.

“At this level it is not about winning but everyone going out there and enjoying their sport,” 21-year-old Walker said.

“It’s pleasing to hear that Burke Ward showed a high level of sportsmanship toward the other teams which makes me feel even prouder to have this trophy named in my honour.

“Obviously Burke Ward has had a great run in the past three years so I might need to get down to North Public and take the boys through a few training drills and make sure my old school gets its name on the Taylor Walker Cup at some stage,” he added with a laugh.

Walker was also quick to mention the North A Grade premiership success which he attended earlier this month.

“It was great to see the boys get up, although I was getting a little nervous at the end when South closed to within one point.”

Walker can also take solace from the fact that Burke Ward captain Rhys Mutch plays his junior football with the Bulldogs and has shown a lot of potential.

“Rhys was clearly one of our best players this year and probably kicked more goals than anyone else in the competition,” coach Pentecost said.

“Vice-captain Darcy Blight also played very well, but our success really was built around a strong team effort and I am very proud of everyone who contributed.”

Burke Ward’s success has also earned Mr Pentecost the title of “Supercoach” as he had never played football nor knew much about the sport when he arrived in BH at the start of the year.

“I’m from Brunswick Heads on the NSW north coast near Byron Bay which is Rugby League territory,” Mr Pentecost explained.

“So the results are a credit to the team. During the short time I have been at Burke Ward I have noticed there is a lot of school pride here, which is great to see.”

Burke Ward’s success hasn’t been limited to the sports fields either, with the school also recently taking a clean sweep of the public speaking competition contested by most local primary schools.

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