This year has been a year of highs for Palm Beach Currumbin captain Tom Weaver.
Leading the Tweed Seagulls to victory with a heroic player of the grand final performance in the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup decider kick-started the year of success for the 18-year-old, before going on to claim back-to-back Allan Langer Trophy titles with a win over Marsden State High School.
And now the Gold Coast playmaker has only one more challenge to overcome... winning the NRL Schoolboy Cup state final against a gallant St Brendan's College to claim the Phil Hall Cup.
The year of triumph though hasn't come easily for the Cudgen Hornets junior.
In fact, he almost had the illustrious piece of silverware in the cabinet last season, until a heartbreaking loss to Kirwan State High School shattered the dream in what was a rollercoaster of emotions in 2020.
But now as a senior member of the Reds outfit, the Palm Beach skipper has used the defeat as motivation to this year go one better.
"It’s been something that has been in the back of our minds pretty much the whole year you know, last year getting done in the state final," Weaver said.
"Most of us are backing up from that team last year and we definitely want to get it done when we play given how much the loss meant to us last year.
"It would awesome to just cap off the year with a good win."
Coming from behind to win last fortnight's Allan Langer Trophy clash against Schoolboy powerhouse Marsden State High School, the Palm Beach halfback knew they were in for a contest after defeating the Makos earlier in the season.
"It was a tough game. We knew Marsden were going to be up for it," Weaver said.
"Having us beat them in the round games, we knew they were going to come out and want to get one back on us and beat us.
"They were a tough team to beat and showed throughout the game. They were leading through most of the game but we fought back and got there in the end."
After the South East Queensland victory, the team have been able to prepare for their next challenge against the Aaron Payne Cup champions despite a number of challenges, including exams; and Weaver believes they are in the best possible position to get the job done.
"We’ve had a couple of training sessions but it’s kind of been hard because we’ve all had exams during this period, but our coaching staff have worked around it with our school and all our teachers," Weaver said.
"We’ve been able to fit in a heap of training sessions before this game so our preparation has been probably been the best we’ve had since we’ve been here."
Facing off against a relatively unknown team due to being in two different parts of the states and not coming up against each other in the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup competition earlier this year, the Palm Beach captain said whilst it will be a challenge not seeing them play in the flesh, they know what to expect.
"We’ve done a little bit of video on them… not too much," Weaver said.
"We’ve sort of focused on ourselves but we’ve done a little bit of prep and they’re a tough team. They don’t go away. They love to stay in it right to the final whistle and that’s what we’re expecting from them.
"They’re going to stick at it right till the final whistle and rip in, so we’ve just got to try and match it and try to be better than what they’re throwing at us.
"We don’t know too much about their players, more just from watching video on their footy, so we’ve never really versed them or seen them play in person as such, so it does change the dynamic a little bit but they’re probably in the same boat.
"They haven’t seen many of us play or seen us play in-person. They would’ve only seen us play in video footage so it’s going to be different but we’re prepared for it and we’ve prepared the best we can and that’s putting us in the best position to win the game."
The clash will be the last in Palm Beach colours for Weaver who is looking forward to his opportunity with the Gold Coast Titans when he finishes school.
"I start pre-season November 1 with the Titans on a development contract so that’s my next step and play for the Tweed Seagulls," Weaver said.
"So I'll play Colts and hopefully get a crack at playing Cup and just try and learn as much as possible at the top level with the Titans and then hopefully one day push forward into NRL.
"That’s the goal anyway."
The Phil Hall Cup clash between St Brendan's College and Palm Beach Currumbin kicks off at 3.30pm on Wednesday, September 15, at Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe.