Raiders celebrate 2012 season
A RESURGENT 2012 season was celebrated by the Whitsunday Raiders at the PCYC on Saturday night with both the seniors and juniors honoured at the end of season presentation.
It was a fitting end to one of the strongest club seasons on record, led by hard-working and committed club presidents Bruce Spannagle (seniors) and Sharron Pratt (juniors).The junior Raiders club was stronger than ever this year and the Raiders' seniors were one of the great success stories of the senior competition following a year of mostly forfeits in 2011.The Raiders have helped re-build rugby union in the region with a strong showing on the field with both seniors and juniors registering their highest numbers in years.
In the juniors Trish and Bruce Hoerlein won the volunteer's award after devoting countless hours to helping the juniors throughout their season. Coach of the year in the juniors went to Dave Cornish and Graham Wyatt received a special contribution award honouring his lifetime of involvement in rugby administration with the Raiders. Club veteran Bill Pratt took out the Raider of the year in the seniors after leading the club with fierce determination and energy right throughout the season. Hard-working second rower Sean Condon was named the club's best forward for 2012 and Argentinean fullback Martin Roveda took out back of the year and the award for scoring the most points.
Most improved went to Matt Sammutt after his strong campaign this season and Cal Richardson took out the nutter of the year award.
A special award was also presented to Darryn 'Kiwi' Gempton for his decades of contribution to the club, receiving a passionate standing ovation as he accepted his life membership. Special guests for the evening were Queensland Reds player Jono Lance and Reds Coaching director Tyrell Barker and strength and conditioning assistant Henry Gilbert. One of the loudest applauds of the evening came from president Spannagle when he announced the coach for 2012 would remain the popular Hemi Taukiri, who has worked wonders for the club on the field.There is still rugby to be played this year with the Whitsunday Whales Golden Oldies touring Japan for the World Golden Oldies festival in a few weeks time and the annual Whitsunday Sevens tournament on October 27 at the Whitsunday Sports Park.
Volunteers Award - Trish and Bruce Hoerlein
Coach of the Year - Dave Cornish
Special Contribution - Graham Wyatt
Best Forward - Sean Condon
Best Back - Martin Roveda
Most Points - Martin Roveda
Most Improved - Matt Sammutt
Nutter of the Year - Cal Richardson
Raider of the Year - Bill Pratt