Major milestones for Stephen Geister, Simon McCormack

Southern Saints forward Stephen Geister, 43, played his 416th senior game for his foundation club, after debuting in 1990.

Southern Saints forward Stephen Geister, 43, played his 416th senior game for his foundation club, after debuting in 1990.

In the B Grade clash at Eudunda Oval on Saturday, Southern Saints forward Stephen Geister etched his name into the local sporting history books.

Geister, 43, played his 416th senior game for his foundation club, after debuting back in 1990.

The effort breaks the record he held with fellow Eudunda great Greg Post.

“I didn’t think I’d get to 300 yet to break Posty’s record,” he said.

‘It’s fair to say if I didn’t enjoy it so much, I wouldn’t be doing it.

Geister said Post had a few words and a beer with him after the game.

“After playing in over 300 A grade games it took a year to adjust to the B grade footy, we now have three flags,” he said.

“Having a win was the best thing and despite playing over 400 games each, I never played a match with Posty.”

His first game was in the Barossa, Light and Gawler association, playing in a B grade match for the Eudunda Roosters in a clash against Freeling, while still eligible for senior colts.

Geister has won six A grade club best and fairest awards with the Roosters, including four in a row from 1996.

He was a member of the famous Mid North’s Country Championships victory at Football Park under the late Barry Stringer in 2001 and also captained the Roosters for four successive years from 2000. When the Eudunda Roosters amalgamated with Robertstown in 2010 and became the Southern Saints, fittingly Geister kicked the first goal at A grade level for the new entity and played his 300th game the following week.

“It’s fair to say if I didn’t enjoy it so much, I wouldn’t be doing it.”

             Stephen Geister

                                                                                                                      He played his 350th senior game in the 2012 North Eastern Football League grand final, his first senior flag.

Longevity is a gene in the family as Stephen’s late father, Maurice, played 230 games for Eudunda and upwards of 100 matches for Julia.

Maurice’s sister, Valda, had her husband, John Daniels, play upwards of 400 games with Tarlee and Kapunda as well. 

Also on Saturday 35-year-old Simon "Rat" McCormack became just the second player in the Blyth-Snowtown Cats’ proud history to reach the 300-senior game milestone, and the first in the club history to play them all at A grade level.

McCormack joined his brother-in-law, Robert Wandel, at the club after he achieved the milestone in the 2016 NEFL preliminary final last year.

Unfortunately for the Cats, they went down to long-time nemesis and grand final opponent on a number of occasions, Mintaro-Manoora, by four points in a low scoring thriller.

For McCormack the milestone was tainted and he ended up in the Clare hospital on Saturday night after receiving a depressed fracture of the cheekbone.

“I clashed heads with Ryan McDermid at the beginning of the third quarter and knew straight away,” McCormack said.

“Actually I was lucky as a inch the other way, I could have broken my jaw and been drinking out of a straw.”

Simon McCormack is a four-time best and fairest at the Cats, winning his first when he was a Year 12 student in Port Pirie.

He was also a member of all four premierships - 2006-07, 2010 and 2013.

He also missed 18 months of football after breaking his leg in mid 2003.

“We haven’t missed finals in over a decade,” McCormack said.

“I was lucky to be around when that strong group can through at the same time.

Football and farming are integral to the McCormack clan.

Younger sibling Nick – known throughout the NEFL as Mouse – played his milestone 250th match last year.

Paul McCormack, the passionate family patriarch, who couldn't tell what crop was planted in paddocks last winter, but has an encyclopedic memory on all matters football, played in 260 games for Snowtown including both the 1974 and 1976 flags.

He won the 1977 Mail Medal in the Broughton League and played 32 games with Bute Roosters, along with two games, that he reckon shouldn't have with the Cats.

Paul's brother, Noel, played 51 SANFL league games over four years as well, three seasons with the Woodville club and one with South Adelaide.

GRAND FINAL BOUND

Three of the exciting under 16 talents from this district, Min-Man’s Harry Schoenberg, BSR Tiger Josh Slade and South Clare’s Lachie McNeil are expected to play in this weekend’s SANFL Under 16 grand final at Football Park against Glenelg.

Despite engineering an impressive and fighting 15-point triumph against Sturt in the semi-final on Thursday night, Woodville West Torrens will enter the decider as distinct underdogs.

“Harry Schoenberg, Josh Slade and Lachie McNeil will be taking on Glenelg’s best in this weeks SANFL under 16 grand final”

In the 10.5 (65) to 7.8 (50) win over the Double Blues, Schoenberg had 16 disposals, kicked 1.1 and laid five tackles, while McNeil, who had a late start to the campaign, had 10 touches and seven tackles.  

Slade chimed in with a goal as well.

It was a significant turnaround, as in the round six clash at Peter Motley Oval, Unley, the Eagles were defeated by Sturt by a whopping 130-point margin. 

South Clare’s Lachie McNeil takes possession of the ball for Woodville West Torrens.

South Clare’s Lachie McNeil takes possession of the ball for Woodville West Torrens.

Min-Man’s Harry Schoenberg concentrates as he lines up with the ball for Woodville West Torrens.

Min-Man’s Harry Schoenberg concentrates as he lines up with the ball for Woodville West Torrens.