At the end of a gruelling day on Wednesday 31 August 2022, Oakleigh Grammar’s Years 5 and 6 Boys Soccer team came home triumphant having won the Schools Sport Victoria State Championships Football Primary Boys at the Darebin International Sports Centre in Thornbury.
Yesterday at the State Championships, Oakleigh Grammar played against other Region winners in two pools winning against Alfredton Primary School (1-0), St Gabriel’s Primary School Traralgon (7-0), and Bundoora Primary School (7-0), to go through to the Grand Final against the winners from the other pool, St Vincent de Paul Strathmore winning (1-0), and conceding not a single goal.
The Grand Final was a thrilling mix of near misses, and was shaping up to be a nil all draw until in extra time, George Filis (Year 5) scored the winning goal.
Throughout the day Mani Ikonompoulos (Year 6), with his incredible speed and strength, ran the ball out of the backline making it extremely difficult for worthy opponents St Vincent’s, who tried valiantly, but couldn’t find the back of the net with Oakleigh Grammar goal keeper George Vlahos (Year 5) defending with skill and precision. Mani was ably supported by Oliver Cooney and Nikitas Kourdoulos (both Year 6). Luca Yates (Year 6) demonstrated exceptional skills and ball control making it near impossible for any counterattack. He had some great support from Pavlos Pavlou (Year 5), Paul Makris and Jasper Bombos (both Year 6).
Other team members who also contributed included from Frank Kotzapanagiotis, Andreas Charalambous, Johnny Kakaras and Eddie Keoylion (all Year 6).
The path to get to this point started at District level where Oakleigh Grammar competed against local schools (for a season in Term 2). The team went on to win the Division day against other District winners in a round robin, and then, just last week, took out the Region win at Casey Fields in Cranbourne. The Oakleigh Grammar Champions conceded only four goals throughout the entire season, exemplifying the school’s 2022 theme of ‘Success is ours to achieve’.
Peter Schuwalow, Head of Sport at Oakleigh Grammar reflects, “Unlike secondary schools, at primary school level every primary school in the State including private schools are included – so our team really is the best in the State”!
Brooke Busuttil, Sport Teacher and Coach said she was very nervous for her team but it ultimately payed off with the boys holding up the Primary School Sport State Champions in Soccer trophy at the end of the day. “I’m so proud of the boys, they have shown grit and determination to achieve this monumental success, and I’m happy to say that they have been gracious in their success,” said Brooke.
“Parent support and enthusiasm at the Championships was outstanding and I’m sure it went a long way to boost the boys who wanted to do their parents proud. The most thrilling aspect was how close the game was and seeing the technical ability and teamwork of both teams which, bar for the final score, was an even match. I congratulate St Vincent’s in challenging our team to the very end. It was a sensational game”! concluded Oakleigh Grammar Principal, Mark Robertson.