Jeppe High School for Boys’ 5-0 win over Parktown Boys High School in the final 1st team hockey game of the season meant the team became the first 1st team from the school to go through the season without losing a game since 1991.
Also read: A win for St Benedict’s College soccer team
“They played 31 games, winning 22 and drawing nine in the process. The team beat just about all of the top hockey schools in the country. They also won the Aitken Trophy, Southern Gauteng’s Premier Knockout Tournament, for an unprecedented fourth year in a row,” said the school’s Athly Jarvis.
Jarvis said it’s a remarkable feat and one that could not have been achieved without a fair amount of mental strength.
The team captain, Justin Smith, explained how the team worked with mental-strength specialist Ryan Milella, who kept them focused on the objectives they had set for themselves at the beginning of the season to finish unbeaten and be ranked number one in the country and to win the Aitken Trophy.
“We had a great team spirit and really got on well with each other,” he said.
The team was coached by South African national player Lance Louw, assisted by Pete de Lange, the former Wanderers 1st team coach.
“Mr Louw has so much technical expertise and experience, and he has the ability to explain things in a way we understand,” said Smith.
Jeppe’s master in charge of hockey, Bryan Hillock, said they were blessed to have coaches of their calibre working with the boys.
“We also have to acknowledge the work done by coaches Manny Segale and Josh Arnott, who supplied technical support to the team.
“The team’s success came as a result of hard work. They were doing four training sessions a week from August last year, and one session a week with Ryan Milella. It’s been a long road, but worth it in the end,” he said.
All 16 squad members were selected for Southern Gauteng provincial teams this year, including five in the u-18A team: Akanyang Nkabinde, Dillan Kirkland, Duncan Grose, Ryan Mann and Athenkosi Lisa.