School pride and Bendigo bragging rights will be on the line when Catherine McAuley College and Bendigo Senior Secondary College clash in their annual School Sport Victoria Premier League Football game at the QEO on Wednesday.
The game is one of the highlights of the football calendar in Bendigo and Wednesday's game is expected to be another tight battle.
"I'm sure it will be very close,'' CMC coach Lee Coghlan said.
"These games are always tight and there's not much between the two sides."
CMC won its opening round clash impressively by 83 points against Horsham Secondary College, while BSSC is on the rebound from a 62-point defeat to Warrnambool's Emmanuel College.
CMC will have a different looking squad to the one that defeated Horsham.
"We've got a few players out, but that's good because it gives a few of the younger boys a go,'' Coghlan said.
"We'll play a few of the Year 10 boys which is exciting for them."
BSSC coach Dean Sheldrick confirmed his side would be without Bendigo Pioneers midfielder Bode Stevens.
"We have three inclusions from the team that lost to Emmanuel, so we think we'll be a bit stronger,'' he said.
Flashback: 2015 Battle of Bendigo between BSSC and CMC
Flashback: 2017 Battle of Bendigo between BSSC and CMC
"The boys are really keen to play well against CMC, they've had this game penciled in for a long time.
"The banter between the teams is really strong."
With school sport cancelled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sheldrick said the students valued the opportunity to play school football in 2021.
"School sport is an important part of the students' growth and development,'' Sheldrick said.
"Last year's group was shattered not to get the chance to play together, so this year's group is pumped to play some footy.
"I know they're really looking forward to this game."
Coghlan said the CMC-BSSC clash generally brings the best out of both schools.
"The boys enjoy school footy, but when it comes to the Bendigo game they really come together and try their best,'' Coghlan said.
Wednesday's game starts at 12.30pm.
Bendigo Senior Secondary College team: B: Aydan Hanley, Liam Thomas, Blake McGregor. Hb: Pat Murphy, Campbell Smith, Mitch Hallinan. C: Luke Salvador, Ricky Monti, Jackson Eadon. Hf: Noah Weihrauch, Evan Davie, Luke Ellings. F: Macey Eaton, Ryley Taylor, Dermott Bell. Foll: Zayne Pearce, Carson James, Mike Kiraly. Inter: Bailey McGee, Zac Tickell, Broden Plowright, Harrison Frischke, Isak O'Sullivan, Riley Paetow.
Catherine McAuley College team: B: Henry McCarthy, Rowan Fox, Matthew Wilkinson. Hb: Oliver Mayman, James Barri, Tom Bennett. C: Jack Keating, Harry Welch, Jack Craig. Hf: Fraser Bynon, Jacob Nihill, Jack Stewart. F: Fletcher White, Ethan Featherby, Coby Dunlop. Foll: James Worme, Harvey Gallagher, Lincoln White. Inter: Lachlan O'Brien, Wil Tuohey, Archer Patterson, Riley Mulquiny, Harrison Kelly. Emerg: Myles Livingston, Tait Poyser, Dylan Arnold.
Flashback: 2019 Battle of Bendigo between BSSC and CMC
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