79 Gympie athletes have been recognised as the best and fairest players in their sports this year.
79 Gympie athletes have been recognised as the best and fairest players in their sports this year.

FULL LIST: Gympie’s 79 best and fairest athletes of 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic threw sporting schedules all over Australia into chaos earlier this year, and the Gympie region was no exception.

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Some teams faced heavy delays before they were able to return to the field, while others saw their entire seasons wiped out as officiators struggled under the weight of mounting pandemic-related difficulties.

As a mark of congratulations to those who did endeavour to honour their sporting commitments despite the unprecedented pressures Season 2020 brought, The Gympie Times has compiled a list of the region’s best and fairest players for their respective teams.

Here’s a look at Gympie’s 79 best and fairest female athletes of this year:

FOOTBALL

Gympie United Gladiators

Premier Women – Jaidyn Dennien (forward)

Jaidyn Dennien has been a consistent performer for United.
Jaidyn Dennien has been a consistent performer for United.

The super boot forward was on fire this year, hitting the scoresheet 11 times to finish equal first on top of the club’s goalscoring list alongside Sam Bradshaw.

Dennien managed her 11 goals despite making three less appearances than Bradshaw. Sammie Sutton, Tiahni Webber, Courtney Cross and Zoe Morrison were also standouts for the Premier Women in their delayed season.

Reserve Women – Brooke Grima (GK, Striker)

Coach Joel Albion said: “She was the captain of the team. It was her second year playing for the Gympie ladies, and this year she really stepped up when we needed her to. She was really important for us.”

Brooke Grima.
Brooke Grima.

Under 16 Girls – Emma Anderson (GK)

Coach Jim Ambrose said: “She’s an exceptional goalkeeper for her age, she’s got a good future ahead of her. She’s also a very good player on the field. In the modern game goalkeepers need to be field players. Really steady in the box. She’s confident in her own abilities and has a great willingness to learn.”

Gympie United Gladiators goalkeeper Emma Anderson.
Gympie United Gladiators goalkeeper Emma Anderson.

“Emma will be moving up into the women’s next year.”

Gympie United Premier Men – Jayden Davey (striker)

The dynamic striker was a matchwinner for the Gladiators in 2020, scoring an incredible 14 goals from 16 appearances that included five doubles.

Gympie United Gladiators vs Coolum FC – #9 Jayden Davey
Gympie United Gladiators vs Coolum FC – #9 Jayden Davey

His best stretch came between September 26 and October 17, when he bagged eight goals in five games on a run that included three braces.

Davey’s season tally was good enough for equal forth in the competition and fell just one short of his career best mark of 15 in 2018, though he appeared in two more matches that year.

HOCKEY

Cooloola Heat player/coach Dominic Stephens was immensely proud of his squad’s efforts once the Sunshine Coast hockey competition resumed.

Cooloola Heat keeper Harrison Parker.
Cooloola Heat keeper Harrison Parker.

The Heat fell agonisingly short of a grand final berth, going down to Caloundra 3-0 in a battle for a spot in the decider.

Stephens touted Harrison Parker and Ben Hyde as two of the Heat’s most consistent performers throughout 2020, and said an impressive young brigade were a sign of strong seasons ahead.

“Everyone really stepped up to the mark, we had some young guys like Connor Innes really step up, and then some other young guys having some breakout seasons,” Stephens said.

BASKETBALL

Gympie Amateur Basketball Association

Primary School Competition

Luke Hauser goes up for a shot. Photo: Miguel Galy
Luke Hauser goes up for a shot. Photo: Miguel Galy

Cavaliers MVP: Caitlin Killian

Comets MVP: Sophie Davies

Thunder Most Improved: Amy Weston

High School Juniors Competition

Season Sportsperson Award and Sparks MVP: Ashlyn Steele

Gympie basketball star Ashlyn Steele was a standout this year.
Gympie basketball star Ashlyn Steele was a standout this year.

Cavaliers MVP: Breanna Thornely-Erikson

Raptors Most Improved: Elouise Decker

Sparks Most Improved: Tessa Krogh

High School Seniors Competition

Season Jake Hulskamp Memorial Sportsperson Award: Katie Mckenzie

Thunder Most Improved: Taleisha Tydings

Senior Women’s Competition

Grand Final Winning Team: Fever

Grand Final MVP: Chloe Sellin

Tanzi Smith (left).
Tanzi Smith (left).

Season MVP: (tie) Chloe Sellin & Tanzi Smith

Season Player’s Player Award: Lori Hoffmann

Primary School Competition

Grand Final Winning Team: Celtics

Seth Cotter was a star on the court this year.
Seth Cotter was a star on the court this year.

Grand Final MVP: Seth Cotter Season Best Defensive Player: Benjamin Dibsdale-Godwin

Season Sportsperson Award: Connor Cork

Cavaliers Most Improved: Ryan Bell

Celtics MVP: Reuben Klein Most Improved: Max Decker

Comets Most Improved: Ben Chubb

Saints MVP: Max Ketterer Most Improved: Jensen Fryer

Thunder MVP: Jacob Savage

Wildcats MVP: Jayden Eastwood Most Improved: Jake Hudson

High School Juniors Competition

Grand Final Winning Team: Thunder Grand Final MVP: Daniel Dighton Season Best Defensive Player: Daniel Dighton

Daniel Dighton was a standout performer in the Gympie Basketball season this year.
Daniel Dighton was a standout performer in the Gympie Basketball season this year.

Cavaliers Most Improved: Joshua Bound

Raptors MVP: Beau Mayne

Saints MVP: Tarkyn Sanders Most Improved: Bali Pamenter

Thunder MVP: Brodie Brown Most Improved: Jesse Fryer

Warriors MVP: Chris Kross Most Improved: Jordan Polley

High School Seniors Competition

Grand Final Winning Team: Raptors Grand Final MVP: Flynn McDermott Season MVP: Brandon Albrecht Season Best Defensive Player: Liam Paterson

Brandon Albrecht is a standout of Gympie basketball and Gympie sport. Photo: Bec Singh
Brandon Albrecht is a standout of Gympie basketball and Gympie sport. Photo: Bec Singh

Cavaliers MVP: Brandon Albrecht Most Improved: Ryan Nelson

Celtics MVP: Julian Brown Most Improved: Caleb Lethem

Dragons MVP: Slayter Murray Most Improved: Jeremy Jensen

Reptors MVP: Liam Paterson Most Improved: Xander Cooke

Thunder MVP: Alex Nethercott

Wildcats MVP: Isaac Emery Most Improved: Harrison Muller

Senior Men’s Competition

Gympie Basketball Senior Men's Grand Final MVP Luke Hauser.
Gympie Basketball Senior Men's Grand Final MVP Luke Hauser.

Grand Final Winning Team: Kings Grand Final MVP: Luke Hauser Season MVP: Brandon Albrecht Season Player’s Player Award: Luke Hauser

RUGBY LEAGUE

The Gympie Devils senior teams may have had their 2020 campaigns cancelled, but the juniors made it back onto the turf and managed to complete admirable seasons.

Congratulations to these young Devils, who won the best and fairest awards for their respective teams:

Under 12 Blue: Marshal Taylor

Under 12 Gold: Thomas Cranston

Under 13 Blue: Jesse Hunt

Under 13 Gold: Jordan Brown

Under 14 Boys: Kevin Langton

Under 15 Boys: Callum Pearce

Under 16 Boys: Bailey Cavanagh

Under 14 Girls: Moondara Mason

Under 16 Girls: Keeley Jackson

RUGBY UNION

The Gympie Hammers made leaps and bounds despite the challenges this year brought, with four squads taking part in finals action by October.

Electric Gympie Devils and Gympie Hammers talent Caitlin Urwin.
Electric Gympie Devils and Gympie Hammers talent Caitlin Urwin.

The Under 15 girls, Under 17 girls, and senior men’s and women’s sides were all contenders, with the men heading to a Preliminary final for the first time “in a very long time”.

The Hammers have not yet held their presentations for Season 2020, but the following names are all in contention for best and fairest awards:

WOMENS: Ella Findlay, Caitlin Urwin, Joelene Scott

Gympie Hammers Allie Salter
Gympie Hammers Allie Salter

WOMENS UNDER 17: Allie Salter, Kenisha Finch, Lilli Finger

WOMENS UNDER 15: Kiara Hawkins, Emilia Chambers

Kiara Hawkins starred for the Gympie Hammers this year.
Kiara Hawkins starred for the Gympie Hammers this year.

MENS: Riley Spencer (second rower), Owen Dugdale (fullback) Henry Maudsley (Number 8)

Coach Brent Dickfos said:

Gympie Hammers gun Owen Dugdale.
Gympie Hammers gun Owen Dugdale.

“There was a big change in attitude from the boys this year, they were learning to win games and wanting to win games.

Henry Maudsley was one of the Gympie Hammers' best assets this year.
Henry Maudsley was one of the Gympie Hammers' best assets this year.

“We were mixing it with the better sides on the coast, beating Noosa twice in the season and one of them in a finals knockout.”

CRICKET

The Gympie Gold are in the thick of their 2020 season, currently sitting just outside the top four of the Sunshine Coast Cricket Association table.

The unquestionable standout for the Gold so far in 2020/21 is Lewis Waugh, who has made a mighty contribution with bat and ball.

Lewis Waugh is in cracking form for the Gympie Gold this year. Photo: Zahner Photography
Lewis Waugh is in cracking form for the Gympie Gold this year. Photo: Zahner Photography

Waugh has blasted 511 runs to this point, including a top score of 105 not out, to sit sixth in the competition’s leading run scorers.

Waugh has also picked up 20 wickets at an average of 14.70 with best figures of 3/17, sitting 13th in the league.

NETBALL

Gympie and Districts Netball Club – Matilda Gook, Breanna Pearce and Hannah Ward. Photo: Bec Singh
Gympie and Districts Netball Club – Matilda Gook, Breanna Pearce and Hannah Ward. Photo: Bec Singh

Gympie and Districts Netball Association

Matilda Gook – A-grade, Ladies (GS, GA)

Brianna Pierce – Junior A-grade, Ladies

Hannah Ward – Junior A-Grade, Ladies (GD)

Gympie and District Netball Association President Colleen Miller said:

“All three girls were chosen for the USC Thunder academy emerging talent program. It was an outstanding year all round. COVID didn’t seem to affect them.

“That academy is chosen at the start of the year, this year’s the first year we’ve had any athletes make it.

“It was a fantastic result for the girls and for us.”

Gympie Times


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