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Top players honoured

Best and fairest players for their respective divisions, Craig Rathbone (C grade), Paul Schultz (B grade) and Alice Henschke (w
Best and fairest players for their respective divisions, Craig Rathbone (C grade), Paul Schultz (B grade) and Alice Henschke (w

By JACQUI LUMB

COFFS HARBOUR District Hockey Association honoured their top players for the 2005 season following the grand finals.

Best and fairest awards resulted from points allocated by umpires in each game.

Alice Henschke, from Norths Tigers was awarded best and fairest for the women's A Division, her first year playing in the Coffs competition after moving from Sydney last year.

Her team were also runners-up in the Grand Final going down 1-0 to the Bellingen Angels.

A striker, Alice has been playing for about 15 years and looks forward to next year's competition.

The Women's A Reserve award was presente to Jessica Sharkey from the Urunga Taylors, who is only 12 years of age and plays in two other teams.

She also received most improved from her club and rookie of the year in the women's team.

In her Under 13 team, the Urunga Cyclones, she also won the most improved award.

Jessica has only been playing for three years and has been in the local representaive side for the past two.

These awards have capped off a brilliant year for the young player who was the only girl in the district picked for the State training camp in Bathurst earlier in the year.

Jessica thanked her coach Rhonda Smith for her support in the two Urunga sides, Smith winning the coach of the year award at the district level.

Ellen Barry was not only the best and fairest player trophy recipient for women's B division and the under 13's, she was also won other club awards from her club.

She was given two players player awards for the under 15 side and the under 13s, also winning the Grand Final 3-0 with her team the Bellingen Hopefuls U13s.

The men's B grade award went to Paul Schultz from Sawtell.

He is a veteran of the game having played for 20 seasons and receiving the award for the first time after plenty of hard work.

His team also made it to the Grand Final this year, and the title was looking promising for them, up 2-1 at halftime, however they finally went down to the Southside Redbacks 4-2.

The award wasn't the only first for Schultz this year.

Normally playing in the halves, he was moved back into a fullback position for a game early on in the year, and didn't move from there.

In the men's C grade division, Craig Rathbone, 18 was adjudged best and fairest player.

Craig's Northern Beaches side won the Grand Final this year 4-2 against Southside Huntsmen and he played an instrumental role in the win with a fantastic game at centre-half scoring two goals.

The Year 12 Christian Community student is one of the youngest players in the team and has won best and fairest six years in a row missing out last only last year when he was out for the entire season due to injury.

All recipients wish to thank the umpires involved in the District and also the Association's committee for their hard work.