Talent rises to the top
By TONY WHITE
WHILE Clarence Valley senior rugby league clubs are struggling for wins, South Grafton High's (SGH) junior football stocks are on the rise.
Three talented SGH players ? Daniel Bligh, Rhys Walters and Todd Cameron ? have made teams for the CHS State trials at Toronto, Newcastle, starting this weekend.
Bligh, 17, has been named in the Open Northern team; Walters, 16, in the Open Presidents team; and Cameron, 14, in the Under-15 Presidents team to contest the final trial before the NSW CHS teams are selected to contest the Australian titles scheduled for July.
The Northern and the invitational Presidents teams, selected from players who were either injured or unlucky not to be picked in the top squads, involve players from CHS schools north of Sydney through to the Queensland border and Great Dividing Range.
Walters and Cameron missed one of eight selection trials leading up to the final series of trials that attracted 240 players from various regions which were conducted in Port Macquarie last weekend.
"Just about every talent scout from NSW and Queensland have been at the trials looking for kids to sign up to play NRL," South High coach and CHS selector Matt McKee said.
"There was the best of the best at the trials and some very talented kids among them."
SGH's Under-16 team have qualified for the final of the Northern Rivers-Northern Star Rugby League competition against Tweed Heads at a date to be fixed.
SGH, captained by Rohan Hardy, walloped Kyogle 50-6 in the semi final to remain undefeated.
The SGH Open team, captained by Bligh, are scheduled to play Mullumbimby in South Grafton on Thursday in the regional final of the State-wide Arrive Alive competition.
The opens are also through to the third round of the University Shield and one game away from making the regional final.
"In school football teams you usually get 10 or so footballers and 10 fill in kids," McKee said.
"The depth at South Grafton High this year in incredible. We've got 40-odd full time footballers who train full time and if someone is missing through injury or commitments, there are able replacements to fill in.
"We've got six players from the Under-16s including 14-year-old Todd Cameron, who also play in the opens."