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Billy Hayes, Emma Koschitzke win Wimmera best-and-fairest honours

2017 Toohey Medallist Billy Hayes and Hatcher Medallist Emma Koschitzke.

2017 Toohey Medallist Billy Hayes and Hatcher Medallist Emma Koschitzke.

By DEAN LAWSON
Nhill on-ball star Billy Hayes remained undecided on Monday night whether he would play in Wimmera Football League next year despite winning the competition’s most prestigious individual award.
Hayes, 23, who clinched the P. J. Toohey Medal with 18 votes, said he adored the Tigers, but travelling from South Australia to play each week had been taxing.
“I only played seven games last year so I stayed on,” he said.
“Nhill is such a great club but travelling has been difficult. I thought I would poll alright – I only missed one game with injury this year, which was a welcome change.”
Hayes joined in celebrations at Horsham’s Lutheran school hall, with Warracknabeal centre-wing attack Emma Koschitzke, 29, who had earlier clinched Wimmera Netball Association’s Hatcher Medal.
Koschitzke, who grew up playing netball with older sister and three-time Hatcher medallist Sarah Spicer at Warracknabeal, won with 25 votes ahead of Dimboola’s Jodie Hayes, Dimboola, 24, and Stefanie Cooper, Minyip-Murtoa, 23. Next in line were Horsham’s Emma Buwalda, 22, who also snared an under-21 player of the year award, Abbie Avery, Horsham, 19, and Maggie Caris, Horsham Saints and Kirby Knight, both finished with 18.
Koschitzke said the result took her completely by surprise and was overwhelming.
“It’s been a great competition this year and the culture we are building at our club is getting better and better,” she said.
Hayes, an industrial electrician who rose through the football ranks at Bordertown before joining SANFL club Glenelg, where he played 12 senior games, joined Nhill with his brother Matty and friend Tom Whelan last year.
His parents Adrian and Tina travelled from Bordertown to join the Nhill table at the count.
His win by a vote from last year’s winner Sam Clyne reflected an outstanding individual season considering Nhill won only three games for the year.
He also collected a champion player award, based on a combination of club and opposition votes and a star player award on votes from opposition clubs.
The count was close and involved a talented crop of players who left an impression on a relatively even and hard-fought season.
Another previous winner Kieran Delahunty, from Minyip-Murtoa, was third, only two votes off the pace, and Horsham’s Tyler Blake and Warrack Eagles coach Ryan McKenzie were next with 14 votes.
Horsham assistant coach Deek Roberts polled 13 votes ahead of Minyip-Murtoa coach Damian Cameron, 12.
Other awards
Officials announced several other major netball and football awards during the night, including a netball life-membership for long-time Warracknabeal, Warrack Eagles, Wimmera and regional coach and official Donna McKenzie.
In a tribute to the past, football officials also elevated one of Wimmera league’s most celebrated footballers, Arnie McIntyre, who won three Toohey trophies from 1948 to 1950, to Legend status.
Minyip-Murtoa club’s best and fairest medal is named in honour of McIntyre and president Andrew Delahunty accepted the award.
“Arnie was a great of the game – at a time when the game was huge in the Wimmera,” he said.
Wimmera netball’s volunteer of the year went to Colleen Matthews of Stawell.
Wimmera Mallee Coaches Association used the occasion to announced Horsham Saints’ Mat Taylor as youth coach of the year for his efforts with the Saints’ girls team, Minyip-Murtoa’s Tony Baker as administrator of the year and Horsham’s Rod Dumesny as recipient of a distinguished service award. The presentation night also featured football reserves and netball B and C Grade vote counts.
Holly Ruwoldt from Horsham Saints was a runaway B Grade winner with 34 votes from Ararat’s Kate Bligh and Horsham’s Penelope Manserra, who were joint runners-up with 23 votes. Racquel Scott, Ararat, was next with 20 votes.
Kristin Starick of Minyip-Murtoa won C Grade with 23 votes from Michelle Beaton, Stawell, 22, and Maddison Batchelor, Ararat, 21.
Stawell veteran ruckman Shane Field later clinched Wimmera league’s Hank Neil Trophy as reserves best and fairest with 15 votes from joint runners-up Jordan Taylor, Warrack Eagles, and Jake Strafehl, Ararat 14. Gavin Kelm from Horsham Saints was third on 13.
Wimmera league’s senior goal-kicking award went to Horsham’s Joel Geue with 57, Stawell’s Mitchell King won the reserves trophy with 36 goals and a rising star award went to Warrack Eagles’ Josh Bibby.
The champion club of the year, based on all levels of football and netball, went to Horsham.

Donna McKenzie presented with Wimmera Netball Association Life Membership from Gayle Leith.

Donna McKenzie presented with Wimmera Netball Association Life Membership from Gayle Leith.

Stawell's Colleen Matthews is volunteer of the year. Presented by Donna Winfield.

Stawell’s Colleen Matthews is volunteer of the year. Presented by Donna Winfield.

Matt Talyor, Wimmera coaches Association Youth Coach of the Year.

Mat Taylor, Wimmera Mallee Coaches Association Youth Coach of the Year.

Minyip-Murtoa Football Netball Club's Kristin Starick, centre, is the WNA C Grade best and fairest. Michelle Beaton, right, is runner-up and Natasha Reading won an encouragement award. Third place-getter Maddison Batchelor was absent.

Minyip-Murtoa Football Netball Club’s Kristin Starick, centre, is the WNA C Grade best and fairest. Michelle Beaton, right, is runner-up and Natasha Reading won an encouragement award. Third place-getter Maddison Batchelor was absent.

Joel Geue, Horsham, WFL leading goal kicker.

Joel Geue, Horsham, WFL leading goal kicker.

Stawell big man Shane Field, absent, is the 2017 Hank Neil medallist. Gavin Kelm, third and runners-up Jake Strafehl and Jordan Taylor.

Stawell big man Shane Field, absent, is the 2017 Hank Neil medallist. Gavin Kelm, third and runners-up Jake Strafehl and Jordan Taylor.

Holly Ruwoldt, Horsham Saints Football Netball Club, second from left was a runaway winner of the WNA B Grade from Penelope Manserra and Kate Bligh. Raquel Scott won the encouragement award

Holly Ruwoldt, Horsham Saints Football Netball Club, second from left was a runaway winner of the WNA B Grade from Penelope Manserra and Kate Bligh. Raquel Scott won the encouragement award

WNA Heather Hatcher Medallist, Warrack Eagles Emma Koschitzke, right, with runner-up Jodie Hayes and best under-21 player Emma Buwalda. Third place-getter Stefanie Cooper is absent.

WNA Heather Hatcher Medallist, Warrack Eagles Emma Koschitzke, right, with runner-up Jodie Hayes and best under-21 player Emma Buwalda. Third place-getter Stefanie Cooper is absent.

2017 Toohey Medallist Billy Hayes from Nhill Tigers Football Netball Cricket & Hockey Club is pictured with runner-up Horsham Saints Football Netball Club's Sam Clyne and best under-21 player Ben Miller from Dimboola.

2017 Toohey Medallist Billy Hayes from Nhill Tigers Football Netball Cricket & Hockey Club is pictured with runner-up Horsham Saints Football Netball Club’s Sam Clyne and best under-21 player Ben Miller from Dimboola.

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Posted on Sep 20 2017

Posted by on Sep 20 2017. Filed under FEATURED, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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