Parkes High squash teams make history winning NSW championships

The NSW Combined High School champion squash players are, back from left - Campbell Earsman, Kristen Nightingale, Mitch Helm, Jordan Sloane; front - Kacey Nightingale, Shanna Nock, Jesse Brown and Ashleigh Tolhurst. Photo: Denis Howard 0914phsquash_0286.jpg
The NSW Combined High School champion squash players are, back from left - Campbell Earsman, Kristen Nightingale, Mitch Helm, Jordan Sloane; front - Kacey Nightingale, Shanna Nock, Jesse Brown and Ashleigh Tolhurst. Photo: Denis Howard 0914phsquash_0286.jpg

Parkes High School girls and boys squash teams have created history by both winning the NSW Combined High Schools championships at the same time.

Dominant wins over Dunedoo and Bega respectively saw the teams secure their state final wins.

They nearly completed the historic double last year when the girls won the state title and the boys finished runners-up.

Winning one title is hard enough, making the girls achievement all the more impressive.

Ashleigh Tolhurst, Kristen Nightingale and Shanna Nock were members of last year’s team that was named Parkes’ Junior Team of the Year at the Australia Day festivities earlier this year.

They were joined this year by Kristen’s sister Kacey, a Year 7 student at the school.

Ashleigh and Kristen are in Year 12 and made the most of their final state challenge.

The girls defeated Dunedoo in the Western Region final before moving on to the state semi-finals against Tenterfield.

They only dropped two sets over the four matches on their way to the final.

The girls met Dunedoo again in the final where they had to work hard but didn’t drop a single set.

The boys team that finished runners-up last year was the same that won this year, the extra experience making the difference.

Campbell Earsman, Jordan Sloane, Mitch Helm and Jesse Brown lost their Western region final to Orange High.

As the second placed Western team, they were drawn against Heathcote - a team they defeated convincingly.

The boys met Bega in the final, and like the girls, they didn’t drop a single set in the win.

Parkes High School teacher and coach of the two teams, Mel Olney, was full of praise for both teams.

“All eight students were a pleasure to be associated with,” Miss Olney said.

“They have displayed excellent sportsmanship while showing great determination,” she said.

Parkes High School principle Sandra Carter heaped praise upon her students.

“I am extremely proud of both teams,” principal Carter said.

“They have been wonderful representatives of Parkes High School and the town in general.

“To create history by both winning the state titles in an amazing achievement.

“Both Miss Olney and Ms Glenda Morgan have done a fantastic job with the teams,” she said.

All eight players have been associated with Parkes Squash Centre under the tutelage of Faye Blackstock and Gaylene Nightingale for many years.