Ararat Rats' A Grade netballer Racquel Scott topped off a brilliant 2021 season, winning the best under 21 netballer award and finishing equal second in the A Grade best and fairest in the Wimmera Football Netball League.
Scott finished the A Grade netball best and fairest vote count on 14 votes, one vote behind winner Jodie Hayes of Southern Mallee Giants.
Scott thought she was "not really" any chance of winning the best under 21 player award because of the depth of young talent in the league.
"I thought did not really cross my mind because there are a lot of young talented people in the league, so I didn't really think of it," she said.
She was even more surprised when she was only one vote away from being crowned A Grade best and fairest.
"I was very shocked, I didn't think I was going to get close at all", she said.
Scott said her love for netball started at a young age, watching her sisters play.
"My two older sisters play netball, I used to watch them when I was younger, that's what got me into it," she said.
"I started playing netball in under 9s, I started at the Rats when I was 11 years old, all of my years since then have been at the Rats."
"I played other sports but nothing could really compare to netball, I just ended up loving it."
Ararat Rats A Grade coach Rebecca Skrabl said, "it was super exciting to hear" about Scott's accomplishments.
"She had a huge year this year, she really settled into the team," she said.
"It was super exciting to hear that last night, she did so well."
"She has been playing A grade for a couple seasons, it was great to see her step up in terms of leadership for the team, considering she only turned eighteen this year."
Skrabl said Scott is a very versatile player who will continue to improve given her age.
"Racquel played goal defence all year, she's one of those players that you can pretty much play anywhere on the court. She can also shoot and is a great little centre," she said.
"Goal defence is where she absolutely excels, the sky's the limit for her, I think she has amazing athletic ability and ability to read the ball in the air. Her timing is absolutely exceptional."
"I think she can go anywhere she likes."
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Scott said she uses her height to her advantage because people underestimate her leap and reach.
"I think because I am one of the smaller defenders, people underestimate me with my jumping ability," Scott explained.
"Goal defence is my strongest position, I think I am stuck in that position for a while now."
Her favourite match of 2021 was round six when the Rats defeated the Horsham Saints 56-36 at Alexandra Oval.
"The match against Saints was the first game where we got momentum, we had a good win in that game, we were all pretty pumped, that's probably my favourite game," Scott said.
Scott believes the youthful Rats A Grade team will continue to rise the more matches they play together.
"We went pretty good, we were a brand new team basically, a lot of young people in it and with the stop and start season it kind of sucked," she said.
"I think we definitely can improve because we would have played together a bit more and we were so close this year."
"Hopefully, next year we have a really good year."
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