Assumption College First XVIII captain Darcy Stewart, coach Barry Prendergast and vice captain Steele Simpson celebrate their Associated Grammar Schools Victoria premiership. The college's premier football team went through the season undefeated and were awarded the premiership after finals were abandoned due to COVID lockdown restrictions.

ASSUMPTION College’s First XVIII football team claimed the Associated Grammar Schools of Victoria, AGSV, premiership for 2021 with an undefeated season.

After beginning pre-season training in November 2020 and resuming in February this year, ACK played pre-season games against St Patrick’s College Ballarat and St Bernard’s College Essendon, followed by an intra-club match.

While the team’s preparation had been strong, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the season after a 64-point thumping of Peninsula Grammar and a 43-point away win against Ivanhoe

ACK stamped its mark on the competition with a comeback win against Marcellin. Trailing by three goals in the dying minutes, the team fought hard to win by a solidarity goal thanks to the heroic efforts of Steele Simpson.

Another close three-point win against Yarra Valley solidified top position on the ladder.

The team followed it up with its biggest win of the season against Camberwell Grammar, with a 20-goal performance to run out 74-point winners.

Rival Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School was no match, with Assumption running out 48-point winners in blistery conditions.

The final game of the season was against Trinity Grammar, which had already previously beaten second-placed Mentone Grammar.

It was a hard-fought match, with the game being within two kicks at three-quarter time, but ACK had fresher legs and finished strongly to win by 24 points, ensuring it remained on top and finished the season undefeated.

The 2021 First XVIII continued ACK’s tradition of having a stranglehold on the competition, winning the college’s 38th AGSV premiership out of a possible 64 since joining in 1958. The last premiership won by ACK was in 2014.

“Students, staff, coaches and volunteers have worked hard to play a season of excellent matches,” principal Kate Fogarty said.

“Although thwarted from playing the last two games, we are immensely proud to have had a perfect season and have been confirmed as the AGSV premiers. We finished one game clear on top of the table.

“It is unfortunate the First XVIII football trophy is in lockdown in Melbourne, but when it returns to Assumption College Kilmore it will definitely have pride of place within the Hall of Excellence in the new Neale Daniher Community and Sporting Pavilion.

“Congratulations to all the players led by captain Darcy Stewart and vice-captain Steele Simpson, coach Barry Prendergast, team manager Kerryn Katal and other all staff and trainers involved in the season.”

Captain Darcy Stewart said it had been a difficult season but he was proud of the team.

“It was very difficult … not knowing if we would play the next week or not. All of the team really pulled through when it mattered and the results showed that,” he said.

“Being 7-0 is an unreal feeling and it was about time ACK had some success again – had we not been in lockdown, we’re pretty confident we would have taken that cup too.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the boys and how far we’ve come. As a graduating year 12 student, I’m really going to miss pulling on the Assumption jersey, but this is great way to end my time with the team.”

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