The February winners in the Mayo Young Sports Stars Awards.

February winners impressed in the pool and on the grass

The February Mayo Young Sports Stars winners impressed in the pool and on the grass of the football fields.

The Claremorris Boys National School Under 10 relay team ruled the waters in the National Aquatic Centre in Blanchardstown, Dublin, when they competed in the Irish Minor Schools swimming finals.

After many years of achievements, winning numerous silver and bronze medals, Claremorris finally came out on top, winning gold in the individual medley relay.

The team comprised of David Woolley, Sam Smyth, Darach Higgins, Conor Harte and Darragh Jennings. Team coach was Raymond Woolley. This same team also went on to win silver medals in the freestyle relay less than an hour after winning gold.

David Woolley, who was a member of the relay team, completed the set of medals with a fantastic individual swim in the 50-metre butterfly, claiming the bronze medal.

This was a well deserved award and recognises the work that continues to go on at the Claremorris club, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019.

Our second winner in February was Caolan Hopkins for his exploits in soccer. His school, St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Foxford, caused a major upset on the national soccer scene when they captured the All-Ireland John Murphy Cup at the expense of reigning champions and odds-on favourites Grennan College of Thomastown in the final. Beating Grennan College by three goals to two in the decider, was widely regarded as a major shock. However, the Foxford school were fully deserving winners.

While it was a great team achievement, Caolan Hopkins was the star on the day as he scored two wonderful goals.

Hopkins was again to the fore for his school in the Gaelic football championship as his school just lost out on another All-Ireland title when they narrowly lost the final. As the year progressed, this young rising star continued to shine on the football pitch and played a huge part in his club, Knockmore, winning the Mayo minor championship and league titles, along with helping his team to win the north Mayo minor and league titles.

To round it all off, Caolan was also to the fore in rugby and played for Ballina’s Under 19 team, where his talent for the oval ball was spotted by Connacht Rugby and he was selected at loose head for the interprovincial championship.