Junior Panthers live the dream
A GROUP of under-11 boys got to live every young rugby league player's dream last month.
The Biloela Panther Cubs travelled to Townsville to compete in the state's biggest junior league carnival, running out onto 1300 Smiles stadium during the Cowboys/Sea Eagles NRL game and meeting some of the Cowboys stars.
Sixty-four teams from all over north, central and western Queensland competed in the carnival, playing six games over two days with Monday afternoon set aside for the quarter and semi finals.
The Biloela boys were very competitive during the pool stage and went close to winning a couple of matches, but found the opposition a little too strong.
Coach Michelle McCrohon said she was extremely proud of the way the boys played and the way they conducted themselves off the field.
"They truly are a credit to their parents and to the club," she said.
"They played against some really good teams, including Mackay Magpies, who went onto win the Laurie Spina Shield.
"But they never gave up and have improved an enormous amount, both as individuals and as a team as a result of the experience.
"It is nice to win, but that is not what this is all about.
"It's about giving the players the opportunity to play the greatest game of all and providing them all with the chance to develop their skills and then gel together as a team.
"This young team have several players who never played rugby league until this year, in fact the majority of the team only have one year's experience behind them.
"They will return to the Gladstone competition a much better outfit as a result of this experience," she said.