Although he readily admits Bathurst High are "absolutely" in the box seat to claim a third consecutive Astley Cup title, Orange High School captain Cain Selwood sent the two-time defending champions a simple message on Monday afternoon.
Selwood, who'll play rugby league, helped whip the Orange school into a frenzy at Monday's pep rally, stoking the Hornets' competitive fire ahead of this week's trip to Bathurst for the second leg of the 2019 edition, the competition's 97th.
If we bring our A game I think we'll be really hard to stop.OHS captain Cain Selwood
Bathurst claimed the opening leg over Dubbo last week and need only to secure victory in the second to claim a historic third straight title, a feat they've achieved just once before.
"They're absolutely in the box seat but we've got a strong team overall so I think they should be worried for sure, because if we bring our A game I think we'll be really hard to stop," Selwood fired, his school gunning for their first success since 2016.
As a 17-year-old, year 12 student 2019 is Selwood's last chance to get his hands on the trophy, something which would mean plenty considering the history his family has with the competition.
Selwood's mother Sheryll, of Orange Netball Association fame, competed in the Astley Cup during her years as a Hornet and his father Grant has stories of the competition too.
"Dad went to James Sheahan but he came and supported because he and mum were together by then," Selwood explained.
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"I started talking to my parents about it and they told me all the stories they had from the Astley Cup and the lasting impact it had on them, in a sporting sense and from all the friendships they made from it as well.
"There was already a foundation there before that though because all throughout my schooling at Orange High we've had great captains, and there was some real movement around the Astley Cup, so that build my passion for it.
"I couldn't be prouder to be a part of it, and I couldn't be prouder of the school being so behind it and helping make it such a big thing every year."
Bathurst was forced to overcome a 58-point, overnight deficit to take down Dubbo College last week, doing so by running through the second day undefeated, and Selwood said his Hornets' task is made all the more difficult considering they're on the road.
WATCH: Selwood leads Orange High in their traditional Barmy Army war cry...
But with Dubbo coming to the Hornets' nest the week after, he said the chance to claim the 2019 title on home soil is a massive dangling carrot for him and his troops.
"I can't wait for our home leg anyway but if we can get the job done against Bathurst this week, it'll be huge," he said.
"Having the chance to win the cup on home soil would be incredible."
As per usual Orange High will be a red-hot favourite in traditional strengths like netball and hockey, the latter especially considering the Hornets boast almost half of the Western Combined High Schools side that claimed a silver medal at last week's state championship.
But as Selwood said, across the board the Hornets are powerful, and he's hoping the school's Mulvey Cup debating side can get over the line too.
"We've already got one trophy in the cabinet with the Malynley Shield," Selwood said, the Hornets prevailing in their annual competition against Gosford High not long ago.
"So we want all three. We want the Astley Cup and the Mulvey Cup to put alongside it.
"Hockey is definitely the standout team this year I think, but every team has a really good opportunity, we can definitely go well in rugby league too if we play well."
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As she always does Orange High Astley Cup coordinator Tegan Dray, herself a former competitor too, impressed on her troops how important it is to fight for every available point, or goal, because they all matter under the competition's unique point-scoring system.
Points are awarded by a percentage of the scoreline.
Both teams are assumed to start with one score each, meaning there is never a 100-nil split. For example, if Bathurst were to beat Dubbo 12-6 in the rugby league, the former side would be awarded 67 points, based on their two-thirds split of the total points scored.
The second leg of the 2019 Astley Cup kicks off on Thursday and continues on Friday, Orange High will be chasing their 43rd title overall.
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