The most skilled and sportsmanlike individuals and teams of the Wimmera league were recognised on Saturday, with the Blue Ribbon Spirit of Football and Netball awards announced.
Under 17 players in both the Wimmera Football League and Wimmera Netball Association received votes from the umpires throughout the season. Votes were handed out based on the player’s ability as well as sportsmanship and respect.
The player receiving the most votes won the player of the year award, while the team of the year would be awarded to the team with the highest aggregate amount of votes. The coach of the year comes from the team of the year.
UNDER 17 FOOTBALL
Dimboola’s Mitchell Jorgenson has had an outstanding season of skill and sportsmanship recognised, winning the 2018 Blue Ribbon Spirit of Football award.
Jorgenson played 15 games for the Roos’ under 17 side in 2018, missing out on being named in his team’s top six players on just three occasions.
The Roos narrowly missed out on finals, edged out by Horsham Saints.
The Saints were named as the under 17 team of the year, with their side accruing the highest aggregate of votes.
The Saints finished fifth on the under 17 football ladder, but bowed out of the finals in the first week to Nhill.
Saints joint coaches Gary Davidson Shane Bryan were also winners of the coach award.
“We we only had three or four top age boys so it was a small, young group,” Bryan said.
“To get to the finals was a good achievement.
“There has been great development in the group which is a credit to Gary who is the main coach and a great development coach, he got the best out of the boys.”
Bryan said he can see big things ahead for his group.
“Next year they will be even stronger and the club is looking really good moving forward,” he said.
17 AND UNDER NETBALL
Ararat player Delaney McLoughlan was named the Blue Ribbon player of the year for 17 and Under netball.
It capped off a stellar year for McLoughlan, who was runner-up in the league best and fairest a few weeks earlier.
This season was her first in the 17 and Under competition, where she played predominantly as a goaler.
She also played several A Grade games during the year and was an association representative player.
Team of the year went to the Southern Mallee Giants, with their coaches Anna Lake and Debbie Rignall winning the coach of the year awards.
This year was the Giants' first in the Wimmera Netball Association.
They made the 17 and Under finals, where they narrowly lost in an elimination final to Ararat.
Lake said she was thrilled with her team and the year they had produced.
"For them to win this award really shows just what they've done this season," she said.
"It's a credit to them, and Deb and I couldn't have wished for a better bunch of girls."