Young Emus rise to the Challenge in Proserpine
RUGBY LEAGUE: Emu Park Emus under-9 manager Maree Stacpoole could not have been happier with her young charges' performance at the recent Paul Bowman Challenge.
The Emus won four of the six games they played to finish third overall in their pool, with just one try denying them a place in the playoffs.
A host of clubs from across Central Queensland competed at the annual event in Proserpine, which attracted 72 teams from across the state.
Maree said the Emus produced some impressive football and their 24-16 win over the North Thuringowa Devils in their opening game really set the tone for the weekend.
"Their first game was a stand-out but they played well the whole way through,” she said.
Their other wins came against the Waterford Demons, South Mackay Sharks and Walkerston Wanderers.
Rugby league is a family affair for the Stacpooles. Maree's husband Jamie is the under-9 coach and their son Cooper is the captain.
Maree said they had coached this Emus side since they were under-six and had developed a strong bond with the players.
Jamie said he could not have been more proud of how every team member played at the carnival.
"It was a honour to coach them this year,” he said.
"The sportsmanship displayed over the course of the year was outstanding.
"I hope to be by their side again in 2019.”
Maree said despite the Emus starting the regular season slowly, they played their way into some good form to score a number of wins.
"We do have quite a few strong players but every member of the team puts their heart and soul into it,” she said.
"It couldn't happen without the incredible support of the parents and our team officials Renee Smits, Ashlee Christensen, Calum Ryan, Andrew Smits and Corey Christensen.”