Orange High’s Hailey Prestwidge will have the chance to double on state selection over the next couple of months, she’s already been named in NSW Combined High Schools’ under-15 touch football side and will press her claims for the open equivalent as part of Western’s Girls’ Championship outfit too.
Pretwidge earned the nod for the under-15 side following a two-day trial in Wollongong, just days after inspiring OHS to the Western open title with a 6-1 win over Blayney and being named in the red and greens’ state championship side as a result.
She’ll be joined by fellow Hornets Savannah Moore and Caitlin Prestwidge – her sister – in Western’s open side, which heads to the NSWCHS Girls’ Championship at Fairy Meadow in June.
The latter selection is obviously exciting but she’s no stranger to Western colours, whereas her NSW under-15 nod is a first, and not one she saw coming.
In her own words, “I thought I played really badly” at the two-day trial.
“It was tough. My dad said it was the worst he’s ever seen me play too,” Prestwidge laughed, her father Glen having coached her sides all through juniors.
“So it’s really good. I’m a bit shocked, it was pretty surprising.”
Her CHS side heads into camp before the NSW All Schools trials at Narrabeen on August 3 and 4, where they’ll take on Combined Catholic Colleges and Combined Independent Schools.
From that, the NSW side to content the School Sport Australia Championship at Canberra in late October will be named.
“It’d be good if I made it, but I won’t be disappointed if I don’t,” Prestwidge said.
The young gun’s also just been named in the Orange Thunder’s side for this year’s Vawdon Cup, and that side’s coach Joel Begnell said all her recent rep honours are a result of the work she puts in off the field.
Her backed her to take the next step too, in terms of All Schools and potentially CHS open selection too.
“She’s been one of the standout players in her age group for a number of years and it’s fantastic to see her picked,” Begnell said.
“She’s a very dedicated player and a hard worker and it’s great to see that hard work paying off.”
While being named in these sides offer another chance for Prestwidge to continue forging her path in the sport, being able to meet and play with new people and players is another drawcard.
In fact, it’s one of the reasons she loves the sport.
“I met most of my best friends from playing sport,” she said.
She also went on to say the chance to play with Caitlin and their other sister Rebecca is a big factor as well.
They’re both in the Vawdon Cup squad too, and the trio have long been among Orange, Orange High and Western’s most dominant players, forming a lethal combination through their unmatched knowledge of each others’ games.
“It gets a bit annoying at times but it’s good, it’s just because we’re very hard on each other, we want each other to be the best we can,” Prestwidge said.