Whitgift School hockey players have made history with their U18 and U14 teams winning the England Hockey National Schools Championship in Cannock in April. The South Croydon School reached the finals, having previously retained the National U18 Indoor Hockey title in January, while the U14 team were defending the National Schools cup which they won in 2011.
In order to reach the national finals stage, both teams had to win a run of over 10 games against the toughest opposition England has to offer. The U14s, fresh from a tour to South Africa, progressed confidently through their pool stage. The final, against RGS High Wycombe, proved to be a tough encounter, but a 2 - 0 win saw the Whitgift team raise the national title for the second year running.
The U18 tournament was a high quality affair with some emphatic wins against Altringham GS 4 - 0, Trent College 2 - 1 and Watford GS 8 - 0. This meant Whitgift played Surrey rivals, Kingston GS, in the final. Whitgift had already beaten KGS 5 - 1 in the divisional final, yet this game drew upon all of Whitgift's talent and resources. A wonder goal from captain Rob Farrington, and a penalty stroke from Harrison Sellers, gave Whitgift the edge, winning two goals to one.
Whitgift’s Director of Hockey, Karl Stagno, was delighted with his boys’ success in his first season in charge, and commented, 'I am so proud of the boys’ achievements. They all worked so hard to achieve their goals and they deserve their triumphs. It is not only down to the teams’ talents and dedication, but also the very high quality of coaching support they have had from my colleagues.’
Whitgift has high hopes of breaking yet more records next year, as 10 of the squad will be returning for next season. For now the boys can enjoy their 2012 triumphs and take a well-earned break from hockey over the next few months.