SMILES all round for the girl’s netball team after a win against Northcote.

OPOTIKI College’s two winter tournament teams took top 10 positions at the tournament.

The girls’ netball team placed fourth out of 32 teams in the C grade of the Upper North Island Secondary Schools’ tournament in Auckland.

The team, along with coach Chops Howe and manager Catriona White, travelled to Auckland for the competition last week.

“Our team had a great week,” White said.
Playing two games a day, the girls’ netball team were in Auckland for the full week, winning seven of their 10 games.

“It was exciting for us; as the week progressed we realised we were in the top 16, then the top eight, then the top four,” White said. “We played off for third and fourth but were defeated by Te Awamutu.”

The top five teams in each grade are promoted up a grade for next year’s tournament, meaning Opotiki College will play in the B grade.

The team’s goal shooter, Wency Rewi, was named in the tournament team for her performance over the week.

Sports co-ordinator Sophia Takamore said the team would be aiming for a top-16 placement

IN spite of the wet conditions, the Opotiki netball team soldiers on against Paeroa during the tournament.
Photos supplied

in the B grade next year, and thanked Mr Howe and Mrs White for their help.

“Our girls would like to thank Chops and Catriona for all the amazing work they have done in getting us to tournament, and we would also like to mihi to Roimata Winiata, who came and umpired for us,” she said.

In the boys’ basketball, the team placed ninth out of 19 teams in the AA zone 2 Schick Championships, held in Rotorua.

The regional competition attracts more than 600 players annually, with five teams going on to the national competition in October.

“It feels good knowing that when we first started, we placed 22nd, the next year 16th and now ninth,” coach Kiwi Biddle said.

“This is the best result ever.”

In spite of losing two games on their first day, Biddle said the team’s spirits had not been dampened. “Instead, the boys gained experience to use for the following games,” he said.

Biddle said players had suffered injuries during the tournament, where the odds were against them, however, the team persevered for their placement.

“Next year will be even better with most players staying around and new talent coming through,” he said.

Biddle also thanked the organisations in Opotiki that had supported the team, as well as those who donated via the team’s fundraisers.