Westlake Boys High School retained their New Zealand Secondary Schools Squash national title for the third consecutive year. This year’s championship held in Palmerston North was attended by 32 boys teams and 19 teams of girls, making it the biggest secondary schools squash event in the country.
The earlier rounds saw the team consisting of Matthew Lucente, Gabe Yam, Akil Afghan, Jien Lim, Tom Taylor, Zonal Ali and Jono Beazley comfortably defeat Hawera High School, Wairarapa College, Hutt International Boys School and Tauranga Boys College.
In a repeat of last year’s finals, Westlake faced Waikato’s St. Pauls Collegiate A for the title. The scenario this time around was different as the team had to fight their way back from a 0-2 deficit and complete a remarkable comeback through sheer determination and focus.
The finals did not start well for the reigning champions when the first two matches did not go Westlake’s way. It meant that St. Pauls needed just one more win to wrest the title away whilst Westlake was put in a high pressure situation of having to win all three remaining matches.
In his debut as team captain, Matthew Lucente was however in total control and unfazed with the huge task of putting Westlake on the comeback trail. Matthew lived up to his New Zealand No.1 ranking and powered his way to a straight set win over his opponent. Matthew’s emphatic win proved to be the much needed rallying point and the shift of momentum for the rest of the team.
Next on court was Tom Taylor who fittingly played the game of his life in his last Nationals, staying calm and composed through tense moments in his match. Showing grit and tenacity, Tom stunningly bounced back after losing the second game to take the much needed win in four games and put the finalists deadlocked at two wins each.
Westlake’s shot at achieving a hat-trick then depended on New Zealand’s current U17 No.1 Gabe Yam. It was all business for Gabe from the onset and he was never really in trouble during the match, taking out a clinical 3-0 win and along with it the national title for Westlake for the third year in a row.
The team looks forward to defending their title and make it four in a row for Westlake next year.
Squash Team: (Captain) Matthew Lucente, Gabe Yam, Akil Afghan, Jien Lim, Zonal Ali and Jono Beazley,
(Coach/Manager) Manu Yam
Last Friday morning grandparents arrived at school in their droves, many eager to be here in plenty of time, arriving up to an hour early. This didn’t worry the amazing event team with prefects helping out wherever needed, meeting and greeting our visitors and making them feel welcome.
Symphonic band entertained our special guests during assembly and both Acting Headmaster Mr Cachopa and Head Boy Blake Nicholson officially welcomed the grandparents to school. A normal assembly followed and then a delicious Morning Tea was laid on in the PTA Conference Room and gallery upstairs in the new gym. A big thank you to the ladies on the PTA who helped with this. Everyone squeezed in and found something to eat and drink whilst listening to one of our Barbershop groups. Mr Cachopa addressed all the guests before they headed off with their grandsons on a tour around the school.
We were blessed with amazing weather for the occasion and it was such a treat to have nearly 200 grandparents visiting. Amongst the many grandparents, we had a few old boys and some former Westlake parents. It was great to see students having the opportunity to share their school life with their grandparents.
Thank you to our photographers, Tracey McKay and students Cris Tan and Eric Jang, who captured as many family groups as possible. The photos can now be viewed in our Flickr album here.
We hope that all the grandparents arrived home safely and that they and their grandsons will have fond memories of today.
Rainforest, coral reefs, culture and conservation – the July holidays Biology Conservation trip to Fiji had it all. On July 1st a group of ten students, ranging from Year 11 to Year 13, departed on their two-week adventure. They spent the first two nights in traditional homestays in a village called Vusuratu, on the Eastern side of Vanua Levu island. Here they were privileged to be invited to participate in many traditional activities, from coconut milk and oil preparations to mat weaving, Earth oven (lovo) cooking to Copra cutting and the traditional kava ceremony.
After this immersion into the local culture, the group trekked from the village for two and a half hours uphill through the jungle to a camp in the heart of the rainforest, which would be home for the next five days and nights. Here they worked with a host of dedicated scientists on a vast array of projects, including setting pit-fall traps to catch lizards and skinks, erecting mist nets to catch and monitor birds, surveying plots of rainforest and surveying rivers for tiny water mites.
The next stop was a marine site, where the group spent the next seven days learning how to identify a wide range of marine species on a reef ecology course and spotting as many of these as possible while surveying the ocean on scuba diving adventures every day. At both the terrestrial and marine sites, the students received lectures from dedicated and passionate scientists in their fields of expertise. They also learned about the conservation efforts being undertaken and the threats to the flora and fauna in the area. The last days of the trip were spent on the island of Viti Levu, experiencing a range of cultural activities and seeing some of the wonderful sites that Fiji has to offer.
Our thanks is extended to Miss El-Libany and Dr Holden for giving the boys a wonderful experience.
1st XI Hockey v Kristin
On Wednesday 26 July, the 1st XI played Kristin 1st XI in a SuperCity match at Harbour. This was the first time we had come up against Kristin, who had qualified for the SuperCity competition. Westlake were dominant from the start, with Charl Ulrich scoring in the first five minutes and Peter Morris scoring soon after. The goals kept coming, with Ulrich scoring a first half hat-trick and Morris scoring a second, giving Westlake a comfortable 5-0 lead at half time. In the second half Oscar Worrall, Nohan Hensman and Netesh Sukha all scored to bring the tally to 8-0.
This weekend the 1st XI travel to Tauranga for a quadrangular tournament with Tauranga Boys College, Palmerston North Boys High and King’s College.
1st XIII Rugby League v Western Springs
The 1st XIII Rugby League team returned to their Auckland campaign on Wednesday, 26th July with a match against Western Springs College. Despite no rainfall, the field became more and more of a mud track as the game progressed. Westlake went away from the basics in the first half, with a number of handling errors which resulted in a low completion rate. Although they seemed to dominate the contact through the middle, they were trailing 4-0 at the half. The team looked to fire up in the second half, with a quick try to Josh Hughes following a strong defensive set. Completed sets were the key to success in this match and the team had a 90% completion through the second half. This had a significant influence on the result, as the majority of the half was spent inside Western Springs’ zone. Westlake ran away with game, with Lotu Inisi crossing the chalk for a double, resulting in a 16-10 win.
Try scorers: Josh Hughes, Lotu Inisi (2) – Conversions: John Tulloch (2/3)
The 2017 Distance Running Trip to Kenya and South Africa was a great success, with so many memorable moments that it was difficult to pick ‘highlights’. Possibly the moments that will remain with the students the most are when they met some of the most prominent distance runners and coaches in the world in the Kenyan town of Iten, known as ‘Home of Champions’. These included runners Dennis Kimetto, (current World Marathon Record Holder), Abel Kirui, (Double World Marathon Champion, Chicago Marathon Champion and Olympic Silver Medallist), and Helah Kiprop, (winner of the Tokyo Marathon), who each signed a Westlake running vest.
The team visited St. Patrick’s High School in Iten, a school that has produced 26 World Champions, and were honoured to spend an hour with the legendary coach, Brother Colm O’Connell, and observe him running a coaching session. Among the famous runners Brother O’Connell has coached is Olympic and World Champion, David Rudisha and the students were thrilled to receive a pair of his spikes and a Kenyan running singlet that he wore at the Olympic Games in Rio. These will be proudly displayed in the Westlake Running Office. The Westlake students had fun racing Kenyan school students in Iten, which sits at 2,450m above sea level.
In South Africa the group enjoyed three days in the Kruger National Park, spotting the Big Five,and visited the Elephant Sanctuary and Lion and Rhino Park near Hartbeespoort Dam, where they were able to interact with elephants, lions and cheetah cubs. They also visited the Langa Township, Robben Island and Table Mountain in Cape Town.
There was more racing in Johannesburg and Pretoria, where Murdoch McIntyre won a race over 9km with Westlake having the first six runners in.
This was the trip of a lifetime for these young athletes. They all gained an enormous amount from the experience of running at altitude, meeting some of the biggest names in World distance running, and seeing some of the sights and wildlife of Africa. They are greatly indebted to their coach, Mr Theuns Strydom, for organising the trip and for his unwavering commitment to Westlake running.
A cheery crowd of 450 fathers and their sons gathered on a chilly Thursday winter’s morning this week for the Schnauer and Co-sponsored 2017 Westlake Father Son Breakfast. Students Sam Baker and Blake Nicholson remarked on this event being a favourite among students, who have the opportunity to bring their fathers into school for a morning and enjoy a scrumptious breakfast.
Guests enjoyed an inspiring presentation by local North Shore identity Cam Calkoen who spoke to the audience on the benefits of living with a positive attitude and the impact this has made on his life as a person born with cerebral palsy. Sam and Blake thought that Cam was truly inspirational. He shared stories of how growing up with cerebral palsy has affected his life, but also how he has not let it get in his way of achieving his dreams. Cam has represented New Zealand in athletics and found success as a professional speaker, and spoke to those attending about how they can all achieve excellence and take pride in what they do, no matter what the circumstances.
Cam lives by Robert Schuller’s quote “Build a dream and the dream will build you”. AWESOME is his favourite word and clearly it has rubbed off on the life he has chosen to live – he thinks positive thoughts, builds dreams, embraces opportunities, embraces his uniqueness and, as a result, exceeds his expectations. Cam encourages us all to “Dream Big, Achieve More to Live an Awesome Life”.
As well as inspiring the audience, Cam also entertained everyone with his funny stories, including how his Dad helped him out with a piece of chewing gum which enabled him to participate successfully in an egg and spoon race; his egg defying gravity as it ended up underneath the spoon at the finish line. He had us all trying to picture a pole vaulter with no arms until he said “only joking”!
Our sincere thanks to event sponsor, Westlaker Nick Kearney and the team at Schnauer and Co Barristers and Solicitors, and to event supporters Sanitarium, Yummy Apples, The Spencer on Byron Hotel, Lone Star Restaurants, Stirling Sport Takapuna and TyreTech Archers Road. Thanks too to Mr Butler, Mrs Jorgenson and members of the Westlake Distance Running group who did a great job with event set up, serving and waiting duties. Thank you to those fathers and sons who attended, and Cam, for his motivational words; we hope to continue the success of this unique event in years to come.
If you are involved with any group or organisation who would benefit from Cam’s inspiring presentation, he can be contacted via his website at www.camcalkoen.com
To view all the event photos please go to our school Flickr album via the Flickr logo (Blue circle with two white spots) at the top of the school website. Thank you to Tracey McKay and Year 13 student Hyunsang Lim for capturing the event with these great shots.
1st XV vs Rangitoto on Saturday 1 July
The Woodhouse Shield was up for grabs as well as semi-final placings for this encounter in wet weather on Saturday. From the kick off, Rangitoto kept possession of the ball for lengthy periods of time. Their forwards were committed and turned over ball at regular intervals throughout the match. Although Rangitoto had long periods of possession they did not threaten the Westlake line largely due to an organised and resolute defence.
Markku Venter opened the scoring after the backs showed how dangerous they can be with ball in hand. Johnny Cooper added the second and converted both tries despite the windy and wet conditions, in helping Westlake take a half time lead of 14-0.
Westlake continued to look threatening in the second half and left a number of scoring opportunities on the field in both halves. Tristan Shepherd added the third try after continued pressure and a number of phases. However, Rangitoto spotted a gap and after a quick tap penalty, ran in a try from 50 metres. Tiennan Costley, who had a great game in defence, went crashing over for a deserved try and a convincing victory.
The Woodhouse Shield is still safe in the cabinet and will be defended against Massey on 29 July to earn the right to put our name on the shield again. This week Westlake play Birkenhead and then Takapuna in the holidays, followed by an exchange with New Plymouth Boys High on 22 July.
Scoreboard: Westlake 28 Rangitoto 5
Tries: Markku Venter, Johnny Cooper, Tristan Shepherd, Tiennan Costley
Conversions: Johnny Cooper (4)
1st XI v Auckland Grammar School
The first game of round two welcomed perennial rivals Auckland Grammar School. The game started brightly for Westlake and after some good build-up play the ball fell to Jackson Woods, who shot goal-wards, only for the ball to strike the legs of a defender and deflect away from the goal, with the Grammar keeper seemingly beaten. However, the first goal was not far away, with Matt Conroy winning the ball in the box and a clumsy tackle from the Grammar defender resulting in a penalty. Matt scored from the spot and Westlake went deservedly 1-0 up. Unfortunately, soon afterwards Westlake conceded a free kick just outside the penalty area and a direct shot hit the underneath of the crossbar and bounced down towards the goal line. After consulting the assistant referee, a goal was given and the scores were even.
The second half started with both teams pressing on attack to break the deadlock. It took a shot wide out from Dylan Hobson to regain the lead. With the score at 2-1, Westlake started to show more enterprise and shortly thereafter, a Westlake goal was ruled offside by the referee. Thus, the game ended with Westlake winning both the away and home games against Grammar this season, a double that has been achieved for the first time for a number of years.
Dear Parents and Caregivers of 2017 Leavers,
Sales of 2017 Leavers’ gear will begin tomorrow, Tuesday, 4th July. We are pleased to offer a hoodie, which can be personalised with the student’s nickname, priced at $65, and a silver 2017 Graduation ring, priced at $95. Your son will be able to purchase these items provided all his compulsory school fees have been paid. You can see the items here:
and you can print the order form here:
Your son will have the opportunity to try different sizes of the hoodie and ring at lunchtime on the following dates:
Tuesday 4th, Wednesday 5th, Thursday 6th, Tuesday 25th, Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th July.
Once he has confirmed with the school cashier that his fees are paid, he will be able to place an order at the uniform shop. Orders will be available for collection later in Term 3 (dates to be confirmed).
Ist XI v St Kentigern College – 24th June 2017
The last game of the first round found the 1st X1 playing the unbeaten and top of the table St Kentigern College. The game started in heavy fog, which rolled in even more during the early part of the game but lifted enough for the game to continue. Befitting their position on the table, St Kentigern created a number of opportunities which a hesitant Westlake defence could not cope with, resulting in Westlake being 3-0 down at half time. Neil Emblen, the Westlake coach, had a positive discussion with his team at half time and what a difference it made.
At the start of the second half, Westlake started to win the 50/50 contests and from one of these challenges, the ball was played deep into the St Kentigern half and they failed to clear it. The energetic and skilful Matt Conroy latched onto it and fed Ronan Wynne on the left, who hit a first time shot across the keeper into the far corner of the goal. Very quickly afterwards, a long ball found Conroy and as quick as a flash he went past two defenders and another shot across the keeper into the net and Westlake were well back into the game. Within minutes the score was 3-3. Matt Conroy was tormenting the St Kentigern defence with his pace and incisive running and it came as no surprise when another ball found him just outside the box, where he drove it past the keeper and into the net.
Unfortunately, Westlake could not quite grab another goal and it was against the run of play when a square ball in defence was intercepted and St Kentigern took the lead again at 4-3. Shortly afterwards another error at the back made it 5-3 to seal the match for St Kent’s.
It was a brave performance by the 1st X1 who had an outstanding second half against the top team and they now go into the second round knowing how well they can play.
1st XV vs Whangarei Boys – 24th June 2017
Westlake opened the scoring early against their Northern visitors with a try from Johnny Cooper, his first of three tries on the day. Markku Venter soon dotted down thereafter and within 10 minutes the score had stretched to more than 20 points. The referee, Ryan Borthwick allowed the game to flow and despite the wet weather, Westlake continued to play an expansive game.
The backs scored 11 of the 12 tries on the day and the second half was a steady procession of points. David Toia, the only forward to score, barged over just on full time. The 1st XV stuck to their structure and game plan, and showed what they are capable of.
Next week, Westlake will face a much improved Rangitoto and will have to defend the shield. This promises to be a big game and the team are looking forward to the challenge.
Scoreboard: Westlake 78-0 (Half time 31 – 0)
Tries: Johnny Cooper (3); Arikitoia Hood-Kaitapu (2); Nikau Graham (2) Baylee Katipa; Nikau Drage; Markku Venter; Spencer McDowell; David Toia
Conversions: Johnny Cooper (9)
Westlake Boys Retain their Auckland Title
The Premier Squash team have retained their Auckland Team Championships title for the fourth consecutive year after defeating Auckland Grammar School in the finals, 5 matches to nil. Prior to the finals, the formidable Westlake team reached the finals without dropping a game in all the rounds against Pukekohe College, Rangitoto College and Takapuna Grammar School.
The team hopes to carry on this strong performance as they aim to defend their 2-year reign at the National Secondary Schools Championships, to be held in Palmerston North this August.
Team members: Matthew Lucente (Captain), Gabe Yam, Akil Afghan, Tom Taylor, Jien Lim & Zonal Ali
1st XI v Rosmini College – June 21st 2017
On Wednesday 21 June the 1st XI faced North Shore rivals, Rosmini College 1st XI in the Supercity round-robin. Rosmini had been the victors earlier in the season and claimed the North Harbour title, so the boys knew they had to be clinical if they were to upset the league leaders. Westlake started strongly and were awarded a stroke in the first minute, but a close miss let the pressure off Rosmini, who found the net from distance ten minutes later. Charl Ulrich responded with a goal to even the match, but a defensive lapse saw Rosmini regain the lead before the end of the half.
Rosmini never relinquished their lead and, despite several chances with the wind behind Westlake, it was the opposition who closed out the match better. The final result was a disappointing 1-4 loss. Next week the 1st XI play Auckland champions Auckland Grammar at home.
WBHS 1st XIII vs Manurewa 1st XIII – June 21st 2017
This week’s Rugby League fixture took place on Westlake’s home turf as the 1st XIII went to battle against Manurewa High School. Westlake got off to a slow start, conceding two tries in the first 10 minutes. However, they managed to fight back into the back end of the first half with a great try by Jayden Atkinson-Dagg out of dummy half. Manurewa then struck back to lead the scoreboard 18 points to 6 at the half. Westlake seemed enthused from their half-time chat and came out firing in the second half, when they appeared to dominate the middle. A try to David Toia and a double to Lotu Inisi had the team back in the hunt. Westlake seemed to carry all the momentum but were unfortunately beaten by the clock with a narrow defeat 22-18. The team look to regroup for another big clash against Avondale at home next week.
Two combined teams of Westlake Boys and Girls travelled to Rotorua to compete in a 6 hour Adventure Racing Hillary Challenge on 17th – 18th June. This competition was extremely important, as the top 4 teams (out of 21 schools) qualify for Nationals in May 2018.
The following Westlake Boys’ students competed in Westlake RED and came in 2nd place behind Trident College:
- Brahm Erdmann
- Ryan Zent
- Andreas Hamschmidt
- Taylor Haynes
Westlake GREEN came in 6th. Although they didn’t qualify for Nationals, they had an outstanding result as they were one of the last teams to come in on their first run leg but made up for it hugely in the mountain biking. The Westlake Boys in the team were:
As is typical with winter adventure races it was wet, muddy and cold but very picturesque and adventurous, with events in Redwoods Forest and alongside the Blue Lake. The effort and determination of the students to qualify for the 2018 Nationals was evident in their performance. The training now begins for the big event which is a five-day competition held in Tongariro National Park next year. Well done to all of those that competed.
1st XI v Mt Albert Grammar School – June 20th 2017
On Tuesday the 1st X1 played Mt Albert Grammar School in the knockout cup. Westlake entered the game with a number of players unavailable and MAGS capitalised on this and went ahead early in the game to a penalty. Soon afterwards Westlake was awarded a penalty but unfortunately missed it. Despite some very good attacking play the equalising goal was not there and MAGs went 2-0 up after a quick break. Westlake were very quickly back in the game with a successful penalty from Matt Conroy but this was soon cancelled out by a third from MAGS, who ended up with a 3-1 win.