End of an era in SPC football
author: Paul Nolan
A remarkable chapter in the history of the St Patrick’s College football program has come to a close with iconic 1st XVIII coach Howard Clark stepping down from the role after an incredible 18-year reign.
Mr Clark is widely regarded as the driving force behind the resurrection of the College as a powerful football force since he took over the role in 2002.
In that time he has coached his team to Ballarat Associated School Sport premiership wins in 2002 and 2003 and then 12 in a row from 2007-2018.
He has coached an incredible seven Herald Sun Shield Premiership wins including an unprecedented six in a row from 2010-2015.
Under his guidance SPC has competed in the past ten consecutive Herald Sun Shield grand finals – again, an unprecedented achievement.
Mr Clark also instigated the now-famous SPC Tour of Ireland which has played international rules games in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and will go again in 2019.
A production line of AFL stars have emerged from the College after benefitting from the guidance and support of Howard. Players such as Mitchell and Nathan Brown, Shaun Grigg, Dan Rioli, Dan Butler, Liam Duggan, Jacob Hopper, the Crouch and McDonald brothers have all learned from Mr Clark.
And it is not just within the boundaries of the College where Mr Clark has been venerated as a master coach.
Last month, Mr Clark became just the 10th person in Australian Football Coaches Association history to receive the Allan Jeans Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to the game. The award was presented at the AFL Victoria Community Awards night in Melbourne.
While Howard will be stepping down from the coaching role he was still have a very strong involvement with the football program in 2019 and will continue to serve the College as Director of Football.
The College is also thrilled that current Director of Sport Mr Gavin Webb, himself a very experienced senior football coach after guiding Lake Wendouree in the Ballarat Football League for several years, will take over as 1st XVIII coach in 2019.
Unfortunately, Mr Clark’s tenure did not end in victory as our 1st XVIII lost this year’s Herald Sun Shield Grand Final to a very strong St Bernard’s College team on the MCG in August. The match was played as a curtain raiser to the Collingwood v Port Adelaide game.
Following are the full list of scores for all 1st XVIII games in 2019:
St Kevin’s College 12.14 (86) d SPC 7.7. (49)
Goal Kickers: Josh Chatfield 2, Tom Clark 2, Riley Polkinghorne 2, Dean O’Brien
Best Players: Josh Chatfield, Tom Clark, Joel O’Connell, Elliott Lamb, Pat Glanford
St Patrick’s College 22.9 (141) d Ballarat Clarendon College 7.5 (47)
Goal Kickers: Izaac Grant 8, Scott Carlin 3, Dean O’Brien 3, Mitch Phillips 2
Best Players: Izaac Grant, Elliott Lamb, Scott Carlin, Tom Clark, Ben Dodd.
St Patrick’s College 24.15 (159) d Ballarat High School 2.1 (13)
Goal Kickers: Joel O’Connell 4, Adam Morrish 3, Izaac Grant 3, Angus McKinna 3.
Best Players: Joel O’Connell, Angus McKinna, Adam Morrish, Fletcher Loader, Kayne Councillor.
SPC 14.17 (101) d Ballarat Grammar 3.7 (25)
Goals Kickers: Dean O’Brien 4, Kane Counsellor, Adam Morrish, Izaac Grant
Best Players: Jack Tillig, Adrian Lawrence, Tom Clark, Matty Lloyd, Dean O’Brien
BAS Grand Final
SPC 13.11 (89) d Ballarat Clarendon College 2.1 (13)
Goals SPC: Fraser Marris, 4, Josh Chatfield , Dean O'Brien 2.
Best Players: Matty Lloyd, Josh Chatfield, Jacob Lohmann, Fraser Marris, Jack Tillig
Herald Sun Shield Semi Final
SPC 15.12 (102) d Aquinas College 2.3 (15)
Goal Kickers: Izaac Grant 5
Best Players: Scott Carlin, Izaac Grant, Pat Glanford, Jacob Lohmann, Matt Lloyd
SPC 16 – 11 – 107 Defeated Xavier 6 – 5 – 41
Goal Kickers: Scott Carlin 5
Best Players: Joel O’Connell, Scott Carlin, Lochie Dawson, Pat Glanford, Jack Tillig
Herald Sun Shield Grand Final
St Bernard’s College 10.10 (70) d SPC 5.9 (39)
Goal Kickers: Josh Chatfield 2
Best Players: Josh Chatfield, Scott Carlin, Elliott Lamb, Jack Tillig, Joel O’Connell