Henry Jones is unmissable.
With his long surfer hair, he would stand out on a hockey field, especially on the run.
The 18-year-old has been selected in the NSW Combined High Schools (NSWCHS) team for the second year running after a stand-out performance at the regional carnival two weeks ago.
It’s going to be a tough competition, just want to do what I did last year, play my best and get some more experience out of it.Henry Jones
Having been around before, Jones knows what to expect from the NSWCHS tri-series, which sees the High Schools take on the combined Catholic Schools side and the combined Independent Schools outfit.
“It’s going to be a tough competition, just want to do what I did last year, play my best and get some more experience out of it,” Jones said.
“I’m excited and nervous at the same time, even though it’s second year it’s still the same competition.”
However, after Logan Hunter and Dalton Medcalf were selected in on the NSWCHS team sheet last year and fellow OHS student Bailey Ferguson was named a back-up player, Jones is the only Central West player to don a CHS jumper this year.
But Jones said there hasn’t been too large a turnover in the side, but the new names added will be a positive impact on the quality of the team.
“It pretty much the same people as last year, a few people have moved on, a few new faces, it’ll be interesting,” he said.
“Last year was pretty good, fast and slick hockey.
“I’m expecting the same sort of thing, if not even quicker as there are a few people selected who weren’t picked last year because they weren’t at the tournament, so they couldn’t get picked.”
The tri-series will take place at Moorebank Oval in Sydney next term, and Jones is expecting the opposition to be just as difficult.
“They’ll be just as strong, even if they don’t have the regional competitions, they just have the state trials.”
“I prefer the competition, you get to go away, get to know the people you’re going to play with, play some more hockey.”
The western side didn’t do as well in this year’s CHS tournament as they did last year, coming in eighth this year compared to their thrilling 3-2 win in the final over Canobolas Rural Technology High School.
However, the gun striker said it was part of growing the team and helping build up some of the younger players in the side.
“We didn’t do well compared to what we did last year, got a lot of new people and lost a few faces so they’re just going to develop and grow in future years,” Jones said.
It’s not the only competition Jones has been involved in, with the Wanderers jet heading away to the 2018 Open Field State Championships with the men’s side.
He said the results of the competition “wasn’t great” to look at, but said he took a lot out of the opens tournament.
“Opens is like what we’re going to be doing, just not the same pace or skill level, so when I was playing that it was against the same sort of people I’m going to be playing against once we go away,” Jones said.
He said he wanted to shout out to Wanderers “for helping me develop my hockey” and also to all the opens players he played alongside over the long weekend.
The NSWCHS side will take on the Anglican and Independent squads in July.