Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

St Mary's takes aim at grand glory

Mooroopna's St Mary's Primary School football team is pulling on the boots today as it strives to be the best in Victoria.

GEORGINA CAHILL August 21, 2014 3:05am

St Mary’s Primary School’s year 5 and 6 football team will compete for a spot in the School Sport Victoria grand final today.

Size is no obstacle for Mooroopna’s St Mary’s Primary School.

The school’s year 5 and 6 football team has made it to the top four in Victoria and today has a semi-final showdown in Melbourne.

The team will travel to Heidelberg to battle it out against Glen Katherine Primary School, Eltham, for a place in the grand final.

The competition is open to all Victorian primary schools and no matter what happens this morning, St Mary’s has already gone one step further than its top eight finish last year.

St Mary’s won the Goulburn Valley and Hume regions then beat Templestowe Park Primary School in overtime to advance to the semi-final.

Principal and coach Anthony Butts said his school of about 350 students had done remarkably well to get this far.

‘‘We’ve been competing against schools of 500 to 600 students and sometimes even bigger, so we’ve done very well,’’ Butts said.

‘‘Usually the rural schools struggle a bit against the bigger schools, so it’s wonderful to beat one of the metro schools to get into the final four.

‘‘For a school of our size to go this far into the competition is a real achievement.’’

If Butts’ side beats Glen Katherine, it will advance to the grand final.

‘‘If we win the semi-final we get into the grand final which is later that day at 1.30pm,’’ Butts said.

‘‘If we can get past Glen Katherine, we’ll play the winner out of St Joseph’s (Warrnambool) and St Peter’s (East Bentleigh).’’

Year 6 student Isaac Dowling has shared the role of captain and said he loved competing against different schools.

‘‘It has been really fun and a good experience, but hard though, especially that last game (against Templestowe Park) that went into overtime,’’ Dowling said.

While Dowling said he played football on weekends with many of his classmates, he particularly enjoyed playing alongside some of his previous opponents.

‘‘I play with a lot of (my teammates) on the weekend, but then I have some friends that are on the (opposition) team, so it’s good to play with people that aren’t on my team,’’ he said.

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