OXLEY High School and three of its boys’ hockey stars chase a second state title in the space of a week today but this time it’s one the school hasn’t held for a while.
It’s been about 20 years since Oxley last held the Proud Shield – the silverware for winning the State CHS Baseball Knockout.
They will be up against it though, with sporting school heavyweight Westfield Sports High their finals opponent.
The Sydney school beat Hunter Sports High in their semi-final.
Oxley accounted for Woolooware High 12-1 in theirs, but coach Robert Chandler is expecting a much tougher challenge today.
“They’ve won every game by the 10-run rule.
“But I don’t expect that to happen,” he said.
The boys travelled down yesterday morning so they could have a training run at the Blacktown International Stadium where they’ll play.
“We’ve organised for the boys to train on the field,” Chandler said.
“It’s more to take the mystique away.”
While they mightn’t get to play on the main diamond he said the second and third diamonds were still above anything they would have played on before.
The side is a mix of baseballers and cricketers, and a couple of other sports, with Luke Fox, George Harradine and Joey Holt all part of the hockey side that won in Newcastle last week.
The boys themselves made the approach to the school about entering a team.
They then got teacher Lyle Elston to help out, and roped Chandler and Jake Forsyth into coaching them.
It’s been a joy though for Chandler, and a huge effort to make the top two in the state.
“Whether they win, lose or draw it’s given them a bit of belief,” he said.
“They’ve realised they put the hard work in and it’s paid off.”
He said they just need to play as they have been, make sure they do the simple things right, and try not to get overawed by the situation.
Toby Bowen had five strike-outs against Woolooware and will lead from the pitcher’s mound with Holt, who hasn’t been needed yet.
Holt will also be a key with the bat together with Fox, Lachlan Ng and Cameron Reeves.