ONBALLER Jenna Bruton won last night’s Ballarat Football League youth girls best and fairest the same way she takes to the field – in dominant fashion.
The Golden Point ball magnet polled three votes for best afield in 11 of 12 matches in a near-perfect season for the Dragons.
Bruton was eclipsed only by Redan’s Sarah Hawkes in round eight, a match in which Bruton still picked up two votes.
The 16-year-old’s 35-vote tally almost tripled the efforts of runner-up Elizabeth Drake (Ballarat Swans), who polled 13 votes.
Hawkes was third with 12.
Bruton said she was still a bit shocked to hold the marquee trophy aloft in a presentation dinner at the Ballarat Leagues’ Club.
“It feels pretty good, but I’m kinda surprised,” Bruton said.
“It was a good season.
“We probably should’ve won a few more games.”
In a potent element of her game, Bruton also finished runner-up in the competition’s goal kicking with 27 goals.
Ballarat forward Abbey Cummings booted 36 goals to take back-to-back leading goal kicker titles.
Bruton felt her own game and competition overall had improved a lot this year in the second BFL youth girls season.
This was helped as one of the four Ballarat girls in the inaugural AFL Victoria country youth girls academy this year, hosted by North Ballarat Rebels.
A sporting all-rounder, Bruton started playing football with Trentham alongside the boys in under-11s and under-13.5s.
She was a year out of the game when her teacher at Daylesford Secondary College suggested she join the BFL in its first youth girls season.
Bruton also takes to the court for netball and is a promising cricketer for Trentham and in the Central Highlands Pathways girls squad.
BFL chief executive officer Rod Ward said he had not seen such dominance by a player in a football vote count since Essendon forward and former North Ballarat Rebels captain Nick O’Brien was
a junior playing for Carngham-Linton in the Lexton Plains.
Fittingly, O’Brien was guest speaker at last night’s presentations, talking on his progression through junior ranks about Ballarat through to his AFL debut against Richmond a fortnight ago.
O’Brien encouraged all the girls to keep aiming for their best and to know they could achieve their dreams if they worked at it.