Kiama Knights’ halfback Cameron Vassoler has taken out the Roy Stewart Memorial Trophy for rookie of the year, at the Group 7 presentation night at the Kiama Leagues Club on Friday.
Shellharbour City’s Matt Carroll also topped off a great season after being awarded the Michael Cronin Medal at the presentation.
Carroll edged out Gerringong hooker Nathan Ford by one point, with Kiama lock Josh Toohey and Berry-Shoalhaven Heads hooker Blake Dryden filling the top four spots.
“I thought I was no chance - I thought I got invited because I was top point scorer not because I was in the running for the Michal Cronin Medal,” Carroll, who scored 204 points during the season, said.
“I was blown away especially because of the quality of players I was up against – I still cant believe it.”
Carroll was the model of consistency for the Sharks who narrowly failed to reach this year’s grand final, with his general play, including a brilliant kicking game, featuring for his side throughout their season.
“This is probably my greatest achievement of my career to date,” he said.
“Winning grand finals and playing Oztag for Australia are great but I love rugby league so much and to win an award like this is just amazing.
“I really pride myself on being consistent and if i have a bad game, I’m cranky all week, so to win this is unreal.
“Since 2014, we have had three winners now from the Sharks – it’s awesome for the club to be recognised.”
Albion Park Outlaws’ Mark McTiernan won the Athol Noble Medal as third grades’s best and fairest, Jamberoo’s Carly Ryan won the WLT player of the year, while Milton-Ulladulla’s Jayden Millard won the under 18 player of the year.
Both the Cronin Medal and Athol Noble Medal were judged by the referees on a 3-2-1 basis during the season.
League vice-president Syd Weller announced that Milton-Ulladulla’s Lleyton Roach had won the Kevin Walsh Scholarship Award, which was presented by the late Mr Walshs’ son Greg.
Other highlights included Albion Park-Oak Flats’ Ralph Clarke receiving the Harold Alcock Memorial Trophy for his contribution to league, while Kiama president Paul Atkins accepted the club’s first-ever club championship.
Premiership plaques were also presented to Jamberoo Superoos (first grade), Kiama Knights (reserve grade and WLT), Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs (under 18s) and Mt Warrigal Kooris (third grade).