Grade of Origin: Tale of the Underdogs

Naman V (Year 11)

Tale of The Underdogs

The beautiful night of the 10th of May was when the tale of the underdogs began. 6:34 PM was when we received out very first email regarding our game against the strong and powerful Year 12 side, who were on the track to beat us. The email contained a powerful message from our Captain Tom F. This message contained all the details and the mindsets that were needed for the “Big Game”. This was then followed on with an extremely necessary 28-email chain, to discuss every bit of strategies we needed for the game. With the email chain slowing down and, as the sun rose, we were all set…


Game Day 1

We were woken up by the hurting sound of raindrops falling onto every part of ground that existed. Reaching school, we were shocked to see that the Morris Grove Oval (Groval) was in a very playable condition. But our dreams were shattered when in Period 1B the rain started to pour down on every bit of WCC land. Soon enough, wet weather was called, further crushing our dreams…


Reschedule Day

It was quite the night when we received our next date for the ‘Big Game’ – we were given the auspicious date of 1st June to go to battle with the Year 12s. The email chain had sprung back to life. Contributions from each and every one, including strategies, tactics, and inspirational quotes. This, for us, was bigger than the “State of Origin” itself. This was our chance to put our name down in Golden Letters in the history of Grade of Origin.


Game Day 2

This time, we were woken up by the soft chirping of the birds and the bright sun rays staring us down. This was it; the big moment for us to prove what we were capable of.

During the day, in person conversation with teammates were discussed by each player to offer strategies and knowledge for the beautiful game of Football. Pregame, we had a year assembly in which we were informed that Year 11 had never beaten the Year 12 in ‘Grade of Origin’ history. During the assembly were give the wise and inspiring words of Mrs Van’t Spyker, telling us: “Be the Difference”. Keeping this in the back of our minds, we headed to the change rooms to get prepared for the battle. After getting changed, we were positioned inside the small hallway under the library where everyone was pumped up by our fellow Year 11’s using chants and inspirational quotes preparing us for this WAR. As we ran onto the field, there was a big roar created by our fellow Year 11 crowd cheering us from the Branwhite Center side of the field.




As the referee blew his whistle, the sacred game begun. We started off strong as in the first 15 minutes, being full of back-and-forth hoofing of the ball, strong physical contests and few chances created for both teams, but still maintaining a clean sheet for both. This was changed, however, when Hugh C received the ball from Alex W, striking the ball with his left foot and slotting it perfectly into the top corner of the goal. The Year 11 crowd was up and about running in from the sideline absolutely silencing the Year 12 crowd and supporters. The goal followed by the celebrations, led us into the halftime break with our heads high.

Half Time

Year 11   1:0   Year 12

Moving into the second half, there were a few good glimpses of football from the enemy, yet, building even more tension. In fact, we did have a slight scare, when Luka S played the ball to Joel D, and he turned and shot. Everyone’s heart was in their mouths as time seem to slow down like a Hollywood movie.

GOAL! by the Year 12 team.

As we were picking the ball out of the back of the net, we heard the whistle blow. A late call. A FOUL. The goal had been overturned and, instead, a free kick was awarded to the Year 12 players. This was a game-changing call by the referee; the Year 11 players and support could finally take a breath.

Then, with only one minute left in the second half a fantastic run was made by beating not one, not two but three of the opponent players. This amazing run came to an end when a foul was called, with a penalty kick being award to us – Brendan A was to take the shot.

After we cleared out of the 18-yard box, it was all up to him. The high-pitched whistle sounded. 1…2…3…4 steps.


The ball perfectly sliced its way into the side netting. The Year 12’s knew it was all over. We had done it.

That feeling was better than winning the World Cup itself. That, for us, was the absolute peak of William Clarke College. We were on top of the world. Coming into the match destined to lose to a strong opponent, we proved everyone wrong and turned the tide our way.  As they say, “Know the enemy, know yourself; your victory will never be endangered. Know the ground, know the weather; your victory will then be total.”

The Year 12’s might have been physically stronger than us, but we were mentally stronger and came in the match with a positive mindset as we wanted to “Be the Difference”.


PS: Special Thanks to Mr Padget for managing our group of Fine Gentlemen, and to all who believed in us from the start and came out to support us!