Jack an ace with the bat
THREE Far North Coast players are celebrating after outshining some of the state's leading young cricketers.
Jack Cooper, Jai Slater and Max Bryant all bagged several awards at their respective recent cricket carnivals, which featured teams from across New South Wales.
Jack, of Corndale, impressed at the Lismore Under-12 carnival, taking the best batsman award and sharing two other leading titles.
Proud dad Barry said he hoped his son, who is a younger brother of Melbourne Renegades Big Bash League star Tom, may be heading for big things in cricket.
"A lot of strong cricketers have gone through this carnival over the years," Barry Cooper said.
"To do well is a real highlight.
"Obviously there is a long way to go, but I would like to think sport is a big part of Jack's life.
"If he keeps applying himself and his passion for the sport, he might do quite well."
The 11-year-old earned the top batsman title after starring for his Far North Coast Green side at the carnival last week.
Modanville Public School pupil Jack plundered 182 runs in five innings and was dismissed only once.
The Clunes Junior Cricket Club player, who also plays for Lismore in FNC junior interdistrict, was also a joint winner of the overall player of the carnival.
Mr Cooper said his son, who was also awarded the all-rounder of the carnival for his enthusiastic efforts in the field, was overjoyed with his silverware haul.
"As soon as we got home he was asking me to build a cabinet for his trophies," he said.
"Jack is a sociable kid. I think he just likes being able to hang around with his mates and play the game."
Mr Cooper thanked everyone who supported this year's carnivals.
Meanwhile, Kyogle's Jai Slater has demonstrated he is a player to watch.
The gloveman took six catches and played a part in three run outs to help snare the best wicketkeeper award for Far North Coast Under-14s at this year's Graeme Malcolm Shield in Newcastle.
It was also a memorable carnival for Kingscliff's Max Bryant, who won the carnival's best overall batsman and carnival's best player titles.
The promising all-rounder scor-ed 206 runs and took 11 wickets.
Their efforts helped Far North Coast reach the final of the tournament last week for the first time in more than 20 years.
"For them to do so well is huge for Far North Coast," team coach Ian Callan said.
"We had a couple of Sydney people come up and say how pleasing it was to watch the team and Max bat, which was great.
"It gives Far North Coast cricket a lot of kudos to have our kids do so well."