When Nathan Grose and Marco Gentle took to the field against St David’s last weekend, they both earned their 50th caps for the Jeppe 1st hockey team – a remarkable achievement, and a vital ingredient in the success story of Jeppe hockey in the past few years.
There are now five members of the current first team who have played 50 or more games and it’s that experience and continuity that has made Jeppe one of the top boys hockey teams in the country.
Nathan Grose is still in grade 11, and he has his sights set on the 80 or 90-cap mark. “I don’t know if that’s possible,” he said. “There’s still the rest of this year and I guess it depends on how far we go in the tournaments and on which festivals we play in next year.”
Nathan’s bother, Duncan, played over 50 games for the 1st team before he left school. The record number of caps belongs to Keegan Smith who played more than 100 games.
“It’s all gone past so quickly,” Nathan said. “I haven’t really been able to keep track of it, but I do know that being chosen to play for Jeppe so many times is an incredible honour. Having so many of us who have played together for so long has led to an incredible family atmosphere and team spirit. That’s the secret of our success.”
The five players who have earned 50 or more caps are: