It's been one big year for Lake Albert Public School's top age students, with four of the school's sporting teams making state level competitions. In what may be the school's biggest sporting year yet, young athletes were selected in Riverina and state teams across a range of sports. Representing the school in swimming, athletics, Australian rules, netball, touch football, and softball at some of the highest levels, the year six cohort have left their marks. Principal Damien Eyles said it's been an outstanding year of sports for the school, with students participating in competitions from local to national level. "We're really proud and it's really, really impressive as well because they've put their hearts all into it, and it's really just paid off for them," Eyles said. "It's been great because it's been across a variety of sports, boys and girls, a variety of levels, they've exceeded probably lots of their own expectations. "Whenever someone gets that little bit further, it's always a really great thing, they're all excited for each other, which is a great attribute as well because they find it really special and they find it really exciting and they really get behind them as well." With touch football, netball, Australian rules, and softball teams all making it to state level knockouts, the young athletes found themselves unable to keep track of how successful their year had been. Netball captain Mace Burgess said it was exciting to compete at the state competition with her team. With players coming from a range of weekend netball clubs, she was impressed with how well the group were able to gel on court. "It was a great experience, all the girls had lots of fun, even if we lost some games we still held our heads up and we were a really good team," Burgess said. "We had some bonding sessions and we sort of already knew each other because we played with each other at lunch time." Softball captains Ray Schneider and Mason Hoare were incredibly impressed at their team's achievements, with not one player coming into the side from the Saturday competition. "Nobody in the team has played Saturday softball prior to this knockout team," Hoare said. "Four of our boys represented the Riverina in Cronulla this year, we rarely miss a Tuesday afternoon training session, and we have trained together since February at the start of this year," Schneider added. The pair said the team's best strength is their speed and game smarts, with the side well versed in sneaking bases. "We love to make double played, slide, and catch big hits," Schnieder said. With the softball season far from over, the team is due to travel to Sydney next week for the semi-finals alongside the best schools in the state. Touch footballers Olivia Bailey and Te-Wai Kahuroa shared captaincy this year, and were stoked to take out third in the state. "There was a lot of tough games, we have played some in the rain, it was a really good experience but tough as well," Kahuroa said. "I thought our team had pretty good potential, and it turns out it did." Bailey, who was selected in the PSSA NSW state team, travelled to Darwin to play touch and said it was a huge learning experience. "I did not expect to be selected, I got picked as a winger on the NSW team and I was very surprised," Bailey said. "I met a lot of new friends from all over NSW and they were all very good at touch, it was pretty exciting to play in Darwin in the hot." While there was ample team success, there were also plenty of students making their way through the ranks in traditionally individual sports. Nate Schofield travelled to Tasmania for the national athletics championships where he jumped a personal best of 4.95m in the long jump. Securing fourth place, he said he had great fun. "I did a little bit of training and I felt very happy when I jumped the same as my PB," Schofield said. Wrapping up some of the top team sports were footy players Darcy Crittenden, Mason Carey, and Chett O'Mara. Winning at the local Paul Kelly Cup, they travelled to GIANTS Stadium to play against some of the best schools in NSW. "We won two or one games and it was very fun, it was a very good atmosphere," Crittenden said. The Tony Lockett Shield side made it through to the grand final but fell just short, though Carey didn't mind, and was proud of how they came together from different clubs. "We grew a bit as a team and we went to the grand final but we ended up losing, but second is pretty good," Carey said. "It was real fun, it was pretty different to play with people than trying to verse against them on a Saturday." O'Mara was selected in the state football side, his first selection at such a high level. "It was a really fun experience to go play for NSW, because you never get these chances really, it's only a couple times you might get these chances," he said. "It was fun playing with some boys I didn't know, and I made some new friends." Whether playing near or far away, the student body has gone from strength to strength this year, with many athletes playing across several teams at the school.