Kory Beard has become the first Marble Range player since 2008 to win the Port Lincoln Football League’s biggest individual prize after being announced as the 2020 Mail Medallist on Wednesday evening.
The league did not have a ceremony this year, instead streaming the counts for all junior and senior grades directly to the clubs.
For the Mail Medal count, Beard finished with 10 votes, polling in six out of eight matches, to finish one vote ahead of Wayback’s Shaun Maxfield.
Teammates Lance Appleby and Luke Harder finished equal third with Wayback’s Sam Heinjus on eight votes.
Maxfield polled three first preference votes in rounds two, four and six but with five votes in the last three rounds, Beard came home to claim the medal.
Beard said he was humbled to take out the 2020 medal.
He becomes the first Marble Range player to win the medal since Hayden Parker in 2008.
Beard came to Marble Range after retiring from Sturt in the SANFL in 2017.
He said his focus this year had been on enjoying his football and the camaraderie of his Marble Range teammates.
“In the first couple of years I put alot of pressure on myself and didn’t enjoy my footy as much as I should have,” he said.
“This year I’ve ejoyed playing footy, the camaraderie and everything that comes with footy.
“I enjoy being on the Eyre Peninsula and playing footy in Port Lincoln.”
Marble Range coach Boyd West said the club anticipated he would win the Mail Medal after the fantastic season he had in 2020.
“I think he elevates players around his through his leadership, his commitment to football and his passion for it,” he said.
“He embodies everything that Marble Range is.”
For Marble Range attention turns to this Saturday’s preliminary final against Tasman for a chance to face Wayback in the grand final on September 26.
Beard said Tasman were a very good side but the Rangers were confident going into the weekend’s game.
In other A grade awards Best Team Man was a tie with Wayback’s Xavier Watson and Tasman’s Brodie White winning with seven votes, while Best Under 21 was also a tie with Lincoln South’s Waylon Miller and Tasman’s Jacob Collins winning with 11 votes.
Wayback’s Jonty Seal was named Leading Goalkicker, finishing the minor rounds with 38 goals.
In the reserves the Earl Family Medal had an interesting result with the winners determined on a countback.
Four players finished with seven votes, however Lincoln South’s Greg Rowley and Wayback’s Josh Spurling were the equal winners as they had polled the most first preference votes.
Marble Range’s Guy Hutchinson and Tasman’s Dom Denton also finished with seven votes.
In the junior awards Wayback’s Dannen Blacker finished six votes clear to win the Under 17 Best and Fairest, ahead of Tasman players Jaiden Jude, Toby Casanova and Daniel Gobin.
Marble Range’s Henry Turnbull won the Under 15 Best and Fairest by two votes from Boston’s Bodhi Fauser and Tasman’s Ashton Hartwig dominated the polling to win the Under 13 Best and Fairest by seven votes.
Polling – League
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Mail Medal: Kory Beard (Marble Range) – 10 votes
Runner up: Shaun Maxfield (Wayback) – 9 votes
Best Team Man: Xavier Watson (Wayback) and Brodie White (Tasman) – 7 votes
Best Under 21: Waylon Miller (Lincoln South) and Jacob Collins (Tasman) – 11 votes
Leading Goalkicker: Jonty Seal (Wayback) – 38 goals