Whether it was from the strong performance in their second year or the players expectations for 2015, the Dragons were looking forward to its third year.
The club said goodbye to the majority of its committee and welcomed all but one new face to administration roles. It also welcomed Mike Hughes into the Head Coach role. With the club refocusing on up-skilling its local players, it sort to recruit stronger from local sources and to take a step back to Division 2 to ensure stronger sustainable player development.
Although the Dragons started the season with a tough loss against Monash, they went on win every other regular season game seeing the team finish with a 9-1 win/loss record. Quarterback Lucas Elliston and Running Back Callum Kirkpatrick both recorded 1,000 yard seasons which helped reflect the dominance and top of the ladder position the Dragons held in the Division Two Championship. Unfortunately, the Dragons were unable to continue its regular season form in the Semi Final suffering a shock loss against the would be Champions, the Pakenham Silverbacks.
Awards flowed thick and fast at the Gridiron Victoria Awards Night seeing 9 Dragons receiving Division 2 All State honours. Congratulations to Bryan Greenwood, Joseph Hughes, Daniel Fawkner, Lucas Elliston, Callum Kirkpatrick, Johnny Washbourne, Daniel Siddons, Jarrod Kean and Bruce Fu. Mike Hughes was named the Coach of the year while the club achieved for the third year in a row the Most Disciplined Club Award. On top of these great achievements Callum Kirkpatrick also manage to take out the Officials Player of the Year and the Division 2 MVP award.
With falling just short of ultimate glory, the Club looks forward to taking it the next step in 2016!
After the success of their first year in the competition, the Dragons had big plans for Gridiron Victoria and their second year in the competition. Little did they know what was in store for them in Gridiron Victoria’s 30th year.
It was identified early into 2014 that we could take the necessary steps that were required to compete on a Division 1 level. With the majority of the players staying on for a second year and the same with the coaches, the club sought out avenues that could accelerate the teams development and success.
At the beginning of the 2014 pre season, the committee and coaches unveiled the clubs first International program to its players. The program welcomed Robert Norris Junior, Demontrez Simington and Luke Rosengarthen haflway through pre season and their impact was immediately felt. Their leadership and knowledge had the desired affect and found the playing group build in confidence.
As pre season continued and the season begun, the club welcomed the arrival of additional players David Bozza, Korben Boaz, Talon Roggasch and Paul Rotering. The Dragons great work even spread across the border to South Australia where they welcomed South Australian State players Hugh and Andrew Stevens.
The Dragons managed to have a successful year that saw a record of 6-6 and fifth position on the ladder. This afforded the Dragons a place in the Semi Finals where they achieved their first playoff win in their short time in Gridiron Victoria, defeating Croydon Rangers. Again, the Dragons faced up against the eventual 2014 champions, Monash Warriors (reigning champions) in the Conference Championship and couldn’t find a win.
Not all the clubs success in 2014 was found on field. Alongside with the City of Greater Bendigo, the Dragons hosted the 2014 VicBowl with great success! With a strong crowd, pyrotechnics, live HD webcasting and Big Screen with live replays, its safe to say that Gridiron Victoria’s 30th year was it’s biggest and best VicBowl to date.
The Dragons enjoyed success on the state level with Talon Roggasch, John Whittle and David Bozza being named in the Division 1 all state team (Returner/Wide Reciever, Fullback, Free Safety respectively) and another 7 players being invited to the State Representative team Honors. For the second consecutive year, the Dragons also claimed the Officials Club of the year award from the Victorian Gridiron Officials Association (VGOA).
The group that would come to be known as ‘the Dragons’ started with a Facebook page and interest for a team grew quickly. After gaining support by then President of Gridiron Victoria Dan Levin, an expression of interest meeting was organized at Tom Flood Sports Centre. With approximately 25 novices and a few with an experienced background showing up, work then began with the aim to play in the Gridiron Victoria 2013 Season.
Trainings began in late September of 2012 with an initial 20 players beginning with learning fundamentals and gaining fitness. Under the guidance of Jethro Lamb and Robert James Hunter IV, understanding of the game and playing group grew to 35 before the Christmas break.
A Committee was formed with initial visionaries Darren Maher (President) and David Barker (Vice President) driving the club forward. Dennis Barnett, Robert James Hunter IV, David Goodwin, Jodie Hunter and Thomas Prince filled out the rest of the Committee and helped oversee the direction of the club in its inaugural year.
At the beginning of the 2013 Pre season, the Dragons Committee appointed Robert James Hunter IV as Head Coach with Mike Hughes (Offensive Coordinator), Shane Franklin (Defensive Coordinator), Dave Goodwin (Special Teams Coach), John Freestone (Special Team Coordinator) and Mark Reid (Offensive Line Coach) being installed to ensure the Dragons would have the experience that it would require to have a successful first year.
The 2013 season witnessed the Dragons finish fourth in Gridiron Victoria’s Division Two competition and they reached finals only to be beaten in the Semi Finals by the eventual Champions, Monash Barbarians. The 2013 campaign was met with many other successes as well. The Dragons claimed the first ever Goldfields Bowl against fellow newcomers the Ballarat Falcons, they enjoyed great support from the Bendigo community with game attendances exceeding 1,500 and they also claimed the Officials Club of the year award from the Victorian Gridiron Officials Association (VGOA).