The youngest player in Sunday's preliminary final says his Year 11 exams have been a welcome distraction.
Lavington's Macca Hallows turned 17 on Wednesday and will play his 12th senior game against Myrtleford at Wodonga's John Flower Oval.
Hallows finished his final exams on Thursday, ahead of starting Year 12 next term.
"I found that the exams have been a good way to take my mind off the footy," he said.
"I've found that I've been a little bit stressed out by exams, that's been taking away the stress from maybe thinking of what's going to happen when I play footy, it saves me from playing the game over in my head."
Hallows debuted as a 15-year-old against Wangaratta Rovers last year after admitting he was only thinking about playing under 16s at the start of the year.
"The toughest part was probably getting used to the bigger bodies, the physical aspect went up another notch and the pace of the game increased," he said.
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But a pre-season with the Murray Bushrangers and more games at senior level this year have helped the 74kg teenager adapt to open-age football.
"I just need to play my role, which has been one of the small forwards and use my pace and pressure to cause turnovers and try and sneak a couple of goals, if I can," he said.
Hallows has kicked five goals this season, including a ripper in the first quarter of Saturday's second semi against Wangaratta.
Aidan Johnson provided a contest and when the ball fell to ground, Hallows swooped and dribbled the ball through from 15m on a tight angle.
Lavington has won both games against Myrtleford, starting with a 61-point hiding in round eight.
However, the Panthers only pipped the Saints in an eight-point thriller last month.
"They were unbelievable, their forward line, Tom Ellard and Lachie Dale both kicked three and also their supporters, that's one of the loudest games I've played in," he said excitedly.
In a crackerjack last quarter, Myrtleford led by a goal with just under five minutes left when Morris Medal fancy Shaun Mannagh broke free and found Johnson, who levelled the score.
A Luke Garland point with two minutes left handed the visitors the lead and he nailed the win with only 18 seconds left with a left foot snap.
Myrtleford's top three hopes realistically were over, but it was a finals-type game in front of a bumper and loud crowd.
Given the Saints' charge from just four wins last year, there's every chance of another top crowd.