Marooons dream comes true for Lockyer teen
RUGBY LEAGUE: Lockyer District State High School student Nathan Kleidon has achieved a childhood dream upon being picked for the Queensland 15 Years Maroons side.
His selection came after leading the Darling Downs to their first title in 25 years at the Queensland Schools Under 15s Championships in Townsville at the start of May.
The 15-year-old second rower from Gatton was a key figure as the Darling Downs went through the carnival undefeated on their way to knocking off Metropolitan West 28-18 in the final.
The deciding win came after victories over North West (74-0), Sunshine Coast (18-0) and Metropolitan North (42-10).
Games were held across four days with 12 school sporting regions playing each day, with Darling Downs coming out on top for the first time since 1993.
In a first for the championships in 2018, all games were live streamed.
"It means absolutely everything for me to be a part of this team as it was a dream growing up as a little kid and now that dream has come true,” Nathan said.
"But none of it would have happened if it wasn't for my mum doing all the running around for me.”
Nathan will go on to represent Queensland at the National Championships in Mackay in July.
"I just want to play to my full potential and give it my all and make my family proud and make friends along the way,” he said.
He had a familiar face alongside him at the state titles, with Lockyer High teacher and rugby league co-ordinator Matthew Schulze serving as coach of Darling Downs.
Schulze said the teenager stood out at the state carnival due to his high work ethic, strong defence and strong carries and the step up to compete at the national championships next month would be a valuable experience.
"It's great for his development as he will play against players of a high level,” Schulze said.