Last week's state PSSA touch championships were a learning experience for the North West boys' and girls' teams.
Wins were hard to come by, but both sides' respective managers referenced the way that they never gave up and improved over the carnival, which was played at Tuggerah from Wednesday to Friday.
"They kept their heads up the whole way through even after a couple of tough games," boys' manager Kristin Willis said.
"They stayed positive the whole time".
She said they really grew over the three days, having gone into the carnival without even a full training run together.
"From their first game to their last they were a completely different team," Willis said.
The highlight of their campaign was a 4-2 win over Sydney South West in their final game on day one.
Glen Innes Public's Rocco Eastwood was adjudged by the players as their best for the carnival.
Tamworth Public's Sienna Ferguson was the players' player for the girls while Ben Venue's Alynyah Moran was awarded the game ball for her sportsmanship.
Manager Heidi Bracken said she was really impressed with the resilience the side showed.
"They never gave up at any stage," she said.
"And they were consistently improving."
She said most of the team hadn't played a lot of touch before, although they had played similar sports.
It was the first opportunity for the majority of the side to represent North West, Bracken also noting that due to COVID, opportunities for kids to participate in inter-school sport has been limited in the last couple of years.
"They were really excited to go away," she said.
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