Blake Weymouth's no stranger to making a mountain of runs, and that's exactly what's necessary in his bid to earn much-coveted spots in the NSW Schoolboys side or the Combined High Schools (CHS) outfit to tour England next year - or both.
Weymouth's earned a crack at both after being named in the CHS' first XI for the NSW All Schools Championship at the end of the summer, an unexpected selection despite the 16-year-old playing a starring role in Western's state campaign.
The NSW Schoolboys side is named after the All Schools tournament, which is also the crucial factor in the selection process for CHS' overseas tour with both the first and second XI's performances coming into the equation.
"Given the choice I'm not sure which side I'd prefer to make," Weymouth, who skippered the Western side, said.
.I thought I might be a chance for the second XI, but not the top side.Blake Weymouth
"The NSW Schoolboys side would obviously be huge but the opportunity to tour England is too good to pass up, playing in different conditions overseas and that kind of thing, it's a two or three-week tour as well.
"Ideally, I'd love to make both sides but that'll be pretty tough, I'll have to score a lot of runs at the All Schools carnival and everywhere else.
"I'm just excited to have made the CHS side, I thought I might be a chance for the second XI, but not the top side."
Weymouth was the only Western product named in either outfit, the red and greens struggled through a tough NSWCHS Championship at Grafton, finishing ninth with one win from their four games.
That win came over Riverina on the third day of the carnival, last Wednesday, and was inspired by Weymouth's unbeaten ton from first drop, where he elected to bat despite usually tackling the new ball.
He finished 112 not out from 147 balls as Western posted 6-205, before his side rolled Riverina for 180 in reply to secure their only win of the carnival by 25 runs.
"I actually didn't hit them all that well that day, I've certainly batted a lot better," Weymouth laughed.
"I struggled early on, I think I was probably only on about 25 or 30 from my first 50 or 60 balls and was only on 40-odd at the second drinks break, I just couldn't get anything away. I went after it a bit after that, I had too.
"It was good to get that ton because I'd made a couple of starts on the first two days and not gone on."
Weymouth made 17 and 31 in Western's losses to Hunter and Sydney East on days one and two, defeats by eight and seven wickets respectively, with his side then dropping their fourth and final clash of the carnival against North West too.
"I only got four in that last game, that's why I wasn't expecting to make the top side, I only really made one score but I'm really excited I did get picked," he said.
"I wouldn't say we played badly as a side we just lost our way a bit in a few of the games, usually in the middle and last sessions when we were fielding."
Weymouth, who plies his trade for Orange City in the Bathurst-Orange Inter-District Cricket competition, was one of four Orange High School stars in the Western side.
Orange City teammate Harry McGregor spearheaded Western's attack while Cavaliers' Hugh Middleton and Cam Laird acted as the side's primary spin option and opening bat, respectively.
McGregor and Middleton both bowled without luck at Grafton while Laird made a couple of promising starts opening the batting, but didn't go on with them.
"It was good having those guys in the side, it's nice to play with the Orange guys at that level," Weymouth said.
"Cam batted well in his starts and Harry was unlucky, he had a few dropped chances and a couple of LBWs that didn't go his way. Hughy went for a few on the first couple of days but brought it back really well after that."
Incredibly Weymouth's only in year 10, so should he miss out on the Schoolboys side or CHS' touring squad, he'll have another chance the following year.
Between now and the carnival CHS won't have any training camps, or none that are set in stone yet anyway, but Weymouth explained he has been provided a number of specialised training programs to complete on his own.
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