10 May 2023

Cooktown players crack underwater gold in WA

| Sarah Martin
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The Queensland under-19 underwater hockey team.

GOLD medals are coming back to the Cape after stellar performances by Cooktown’s underwater hockey players at the National Championships in Western Australia last week.

Cooktown Crocs Underwater Hockey coach Scott Thomason said both the Queensland under-15 and under-19 teams, which include seven Cooktown players, won gold.

“It’s the first time Queensland has won gold in the U15s and U19s,” he said.

“The U15s just dominated the whole tournament, scoring over 100 goals in five days and only had three goals scored against them. The three kids from Cooktown played really, really well.”

Coached by Thomason, the gold medal-winning Queensland U15 side included local boys Ned Sail, Jett Ryder and Cruze Ryder.

Rocco and Sienna Thomason, Sam Ryder and Amber Frame were part of the U19 team.

“The U19s had a great tournament and won most of their games,” Thomason said.

“In the final they played Western Australia, who won the nationals last year, and beat them 4-nil, with heaps of people watching.

“It was a really gritty win, probably the game of the tournament. Rocco got most valuable player in the final, scoring two goals, and Sam scored one, so three of the four goals scored in that final match were by Cooktown players.”

The Queensland under-17 underwater hockey team.

Sienna and Amber also stepped up to join fellow Cooktown player Natalie James in the Queensland Elite Women’s side, while Thomason played for the Queensland Masters team.

“Sienna and Amber played a handful of games for the Elite Women’s side, but wanted to focus on bringing back the gold with the U19s,” he said.

“The Elite Women’s team didn’t get a medal placing, but only missed by a couple of goals.

“I played in the Masters A team and we got a bronze medal and played some really tough games.”

Thomason said the club was thankful to the community for supporting them.

“The kids really did Cooktown proud, and we are so thankful to the Cooktown RSL Memorial Club and Endeavour Lions Club, as well as the whole community for giving us the opportunity to compete and represent Cooktown.”

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