Junior Almanac: Sandgate Hawks Give Father and Son a Day to Remember

Brisbane Juniors Under-13 Grand Final
10.15am, Saturday 12th September
by Luke Smith (age 13)


Photo of junior football

Sandgate’s Luke Smith in action against Coorparoo

My dad has been in three grand finals in his life…and has not won any of them.

He told me about the excitement of making a grand final – the build-up, not being able to sleep the night before and then the disappointment of making it so far, only to be beaten.

Last week I experienced that build-up as my team, the Sandgate Hawks Under-13s made the grand final against Coorparoo on Saturday. This was my first grand final, as it was for all the players in the team. Running onto the field, AC/DC’s Thunderstruck was playing in the background. This had my adrenalin pumping even harder, added a few extra nerves and fired me up for the game.


After playing the best game of the season the week before to make the final, we started a bit slow in the first quarter of the biggest game of the year (and my footy career).

At quarter-time the coach said we needed a bit more speed up forward, so he moved me from my position as rover to full-forward. As one of the smaller players in the team, this was not a typical move and not a position I had played before.

The second quarter we were moving the ball a bit better and before long I had my opportunity when a long ball came up forward, was deflected off the pack and I pounced. What a feeling, kicking a goal in the grand final. I looked at my dad and he had a big smile.

Five minutes later I was under a high ball in a one-on-one contest with my opponent who had about a foot height advantage. I managed to get in the way enough to ensure the ball hit the deck and then pounced again. Woo hoo! How good is this? Two goals! Even bigger smile from dad.

At half-time I could tell the coach was pretty pleased. We were in front and I had kicked two goals, enough return for him to keep me there for the next quarter.


About half way through the third quarter, I seized another opportunity and banged through my third. I had never kicked three goals in a game before. Helping the team to a good lead was an unreal feeling.

Coorparoo came back at us in the last quarter but we managed to hold them out and take the game by 11 points. When the siren went to end the game I yelled at the top of my lungs and jumped for joy with my team mates. It was awesome, the best feeling I had ever experienced.

I looked across and saw my dad. He was beaming with a look of pride on his face. There was probably a bit of relief in there too at not having to experience the disappointment of another grand final loss – he had just won his first grand final too. My dad is the coach.


  1. Great story Luke, even though you beat my old club! I use to be terrified of Sandgate kids when I was your age … they use to beat us up … some of them were shaving!!

  2. Excellent story Luke, I felt like I was back there on the day re living that wonderful win with you all. I was sitting directly behind the goals when you kicked that first one for the team and I screamed so loudly I made myself hoarse. The wonderful thing about this story is that this team went from wooden spooners to Premiers in a year. Great example of what hard work, commitment, skill development, team cohesion and great coaching can accomplish. Well done Hawks!

  3. Great story Luke. I watched your game on the weekend. You’re writing is like you’re footy – clean, understated and very effective. Keep kicking goals like that and keep up with the writing. Well done.

  4. Excellent story Luke. Sorry i missed your game but spectators from our house said you played amazing footy. Well done. … and keep writing. :)

  5. Well done Luke…… you and boys/girl will forever be immortalised. It was truely a great year as a part time coach, spectator and volunteer watching the side develop into such a great unit.

  6. What a pleasure to be a part of this fantastic experience, our son is still flying high from a Premiership win, these boys have benefited from being mentored and coached by Luke’s father and Uncle!!! Bring on next season, Go the Hawks!!!! Archer will be back!!!

  7. what a wonderful story, Luke! I love how you worded it with the twist at the end! You write a lot like your dad too! I’m so glad you and team had such an amazing experience. Im so proud of you all, the team played a fantastic season and deserved to win your first grand final! And I’m so grateful I got to be part of it! Such a special thing for you and dad to experience together too! Bring on next year… Go the Hawks! Well done Luke

  8. Great game young man and a great read. Your goal kicking and writing skills are on par, a real wordsmith (pardon the pun). There will be a role for you in marketing and communications at the Hawks when your footy career has come to a close.

  9. Congratulations Luke, having watched your Grandfather, and then your father play football with such passion and excellent sportsmanship, it is great to see you enjoying your sport so much. Your great grandfathers would be looking down from Heaven and would also be so proud of you, as I am sure they are with all the Smith children and grandchildren. Long time family friend Barry Pyke would also be watching that game with interest, and would be so proud that you have inherited the gamemanship and joy in being part of a team that your father always displayed. Well done Luke, and well done Glenn, love you all. Cheryl and Darren Pyke

  10. What a magnificent comment Cheryl and Darren. JTH

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