Wangaratta youngsters dominate Ovens and Murray Rising Star nominations

Magpie youngster Riley Smart (left) is one of three Wangaratta nominations for the Rising Star of the Year award.
Magpie youngster Riley Smart (left) is one of three Wangaratta nominations for the Rising Star of the Year award.

THREE Wangaratta youngsters have been nominated for next week’s Ovens and Murray Rising Star of the Year awards.

Riley Smart has made 12 senior appearances for the Magpies while Ryan Holt and Joe Richards have played nine and three matches respectively in the top grade.

Richards enjoyed a strong season for the Murray Bushrangers with coach Leon Higgins praising his goalkicking and forward pressure at different stages during the home and away series.

The dangerous Richards looks set to be included in Wangaratta’s line-up to take on Yarrawonga at Bunton Park on Sunday after the Bushrangers bowed out of the TAC Cup premiership race by losing their elimination final against Sandringham at Ballarat on the weekend.

Myrtleford’s Ryan Crisp and William Quirk have also been nominated after being blooded by the Saints.

They played 18 and nine matches of senior football.

In the netball, Wodonga’s  Jess Miles and Claudia McKimmie, Wodonga Raiders’ pair Alyssa Donaldson and Georgia Thomas and ​Corowa-Rutherglen’s Emily Laracy will battle it out for the top honour.

Ovens and Murray general manager Sean Barrett said the league was pleased with the calibre of nominations.

“It’s strong in the football and netball again,” Barrett said.

The winners will be announced at the Morris Medal count at the SS&A Club on Monday night.

Last year’s awards were won by Wangaratta’s Brad Melville and North Albury’s Nakita Singe.