Cricket. The Circular Head Colts is producing state level players.
Cooper Mallinson, Zac Spinks, Eli Bellinger and Jotham Saward will feature in the North West Lightning side in the Under 13 Hurricanes Academy State Championships starting next week.
Zac, 12, started with the Marrawah Cricket Club Under 16 team when he was only seven years old.
He has since gone on to star in the Cricket North West competition with the Colts Under 13 squad and North West Hurricanes Academy.
“This is the first time I have been part of a north west team,” he says.
“I expect it will be a higher performance competition, competing against the best in the state.”
Dedicated to the game, Zac spends his spare time perfecting his ball skills in the backyard.
“I think my bowling and fielding skills will help the team on game days,” he says.
An all-rounder for the Circular Head Colts, Cooper, 12, is also in his first year with the Hurricanes Academy.
“It will be pretty hard because the other teams have a lot of people to choose from,” he says of the selection process for the state tournament.
Taking every opportunity to train, he is rarely without a bat or ball in hand.
“I can be flexible with the bat and ball and I can catch the ball in the field well,” he says.
Cooper proved this point last year when he caught out Jotham while playing as a fill-in for Burnie, a fact he reminds his teammate of often.
Jotham, 13, is in his fifth year of the game and will represent the region for a third time at the Hurricanes Academy State Championships.
Starting out at Marrawah Cricket Club, the spin bowler and batsman naturally progressed to the Colts.
“[It will be] fairly tough, we only won one game in each of the last two years,” he says.
With his experience, Jotham will this year step up to be a leader on the team.
“I want to be a good encourager in the field and keep the boys up, and hope I can make some more runs this year.”
For Eli, 13, a fourth year player who started with Forest Stanley Cricket Club, this is his second year in the state competition.
A skilled batsman and wicket keeper, he has high expectations of the tournament.
“I’m expecting the competition to be quite tough and competitive,” he says.
Taking to the nets with his teammates to prepare, Eli has concentrated his attention to improving his keeping skills.
“I would like to make an impact by scoring a few runs, keeping well and encouraging my teammates, and just helping the side out where I can.”
STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS FIXTURE
North West Lightning will take on Northern Force in round one of the Hurricanes Academy State Championships next Friday (October 12) at Acton Recreation Ground from 11am.
Round two will be played at Churchill Park Sports Complex against Southern Storm Purple on Saturday November 17 followed by round three on Saturday December 8 at Richmond Oval against Southern Storm Black.
Round four will take place on Wednesday January 9 at Acton Recreation Ground against Northern Force.
Round five will be played at Scotch Oakburn on Tuesday January 15 against Southern Storm Purple before the last round is played later that day against Southern Storm Black ahead of the Grand Final on Saturday February 16.