Wodonga footballer Josh Mathey and North Albury netballer Nat Heagney are this year's Ovens and Murray Rising Stars.
Mathey doesn't turn 18 until December but the stocky midfielder was a key figure for the Bulldogs this season under coach Jordan Taylor.
He played all 13 games and featured in the best 11 times, including the first seven matches.
It was Mathey's outstanding work-rate which stood out in 2021, helping the teenager hold his own against some of the league's most experienced campaigners.
"It's an awesome moment," Mathey said.
"I'm proud of my first year but I couldn't have done it without everyone else helping me through and backing me in as a player.
"It means a lot. It feels good to know that you've put in all the work and to get the recognition but it's also humbling in knowing you have to keep working hard and the work's not done yet.
"There's still a lot to be done and I can keep improving.
"Having some older players, who have come from higher leagues, help and guide me through the seniors, was a huge help.
"Cody Szust took me under his wing and Jordan Taylor backed me in heavily."
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For Heagney, the award caps off a superb first full season of A-grade netball.
The 18-year-old scored 354 goals for the Hoppers, with only Corowa-Rutherglen shooter Grace Senior finishing ahead of her in the final standings.
Heagney's hours of practice are clearly paying off as the Xavier High School student shot at an accuracy of 76 percent, sharing the court at times with her sister Breanna.
Having won two junior flags with hometown club Brock-Burrum, Heagney claimed the under-16 premiership and Hot Shot Award in her first year at North Albury after switching clubs in 2018.
"It feels great," she said. "I've worked hard and this is an honour.
"It was a tough season, very challenging but we ended up going well.
"Everyone at the club motivated each other and that sense of community helped.
"Fiona Boyer, our coach, and Emily Browne, our team captain, they both really helped us and tried to keep everyone in good spirits."
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