Gridiron: juggling sports no barrier to national selection for Bennett Springs teen

Former John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School student Mitchell Cavanagh.
Former John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School student Mitchell Cavanagh.

JUGGLING between gridiron and Australian Rules football has not stopped a Bennett Springs resident from reaching the national junior gridiron team for the second time.

Mitchell Cavanagh plays gridiron for Perth Blitz and football for Noranda Hawks.

The 19-year-old was selected in the Australian under-19 team for the International Federation of American Football World Championships qualifying round against American Samoa and New Zealand in August.

He also helped WA score a third place finish at the Junior National Gridiron competition in April, where he was awarded the defensive most valuable player.

Cavanagh said it was a great honour to play for his country and he would draw from the experience he gained at nationals.

“I have been training close to four nights a week and gym (sessions) everyday,” he said,

“The skills were a lot better and I have been able to lift my game now to play better.

“Hopefully we will come away with the win.”

Cavanagh said he was aiming to make the Australian men’s team next year.

He said he was thankful for his family’s support.

Australia under-19s team manager Michael Kerr said four other Perth Blitz players were selected in the team.

“The World Championship qualifying round is a tournament that we have got to win,” he said.

“If we win that tournament, we are off to the world championships next year.

“Mitchell has only got one year left but most of the others have two to three years with the Australian team if they keep up with their hard work.”