The Backpage Term 1 Week 2

We live in a culture where we are bombarded with quick fixes, easy solutions that will give us the results fast. Not a week goes by where I don’t receive and email from someone trying to sell the latest and greatest magic powder, magic training device, or magic clothing or equipment that will instantly make our boys faster, stronger and better without all the traditional training methods.

There is no secret to success in sport, no magic powder, no special training device and no type of clothing or equipment that will allow you to cut the corners, cut out the hard work and gain success quickly.

John Wooden is the most successful coach in American sports history and one of my favourites for good reason. He started his career as a High School English teacher, coaching basketball part-time. As he gained success as a high school coach he was quickly recruited to coach at a University level where he ultimately went on to win more National titles than any coach in history.

Wooden developed a philosophy of sport based on his Christian upbringing and the values that he was taught by his family as a boy. His philosophy is simple. First, focus on the process rather than the outcome – the outcome will follow. Second, develop a passion for hard work and third, commit over a long period of time.

If there is a secret to success of Sports at Scots it is: hard work and commitment over a long period of time. I would like to remind all boys that the Mind Body Heart program is now fully up and running for 2018. Unique to Scots, this program is available to all boys regardless of age, sport or ability. The gym is open every morning and every afternoon. It has exciting to see, already, a large group of new year 7’s already making the commitment to training. I have no doubt that if they continue, they will extremely successful.

For all information on Scots Sport and the Mind Body Heart Program, please have a good look through Schoolbox HERE. Please take the time to download the Schoolbox app for live notifications and updates.

I would like to Michelle Ferguson for organising and running a great house swimming final and Brent Wilsmore and the Prep team for their hard work in organising the Prep swimming carnival. This Saturday we have another full round of sport. Good luck to all of our boys.

Scots to the fore!

Mr Graham Pattison
Director of Sport

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From Ed White, Senior Sportsmaster

Last weekend we had our first game back from School holidays. Most fixtures were against Shore. Unfortunately the weather was wet and most games were cancelled. The Year 7 boys in Basketball, Cricket and Tennis all had trials cancelled and will continue trials this week before their first game vs St Josephs.

In Cricket both the 1sts and 2nds went down in games vs Shore. The 1sts were bowled out for a low score and then Shore passing the score with 6 wickets in hand. The 2nds also going down chasing 159 being bowled out for 121. The 14A's cricket having a very close win out at Shore and continuing there good run.

Basketball had mixed results in 1sts and 2nds with 2nds going down and the 1sts winning 68-57. The 14A's looking impressive with a 60-22 victory.

Rowers were out training hard in preparation for the Head of the River. GPS rowers competing in the Kings Regatta. Well done to the 3rd Four who won. Good to see the Year 7 boys with Fitness in the Gym.

Shooters were out at Malabar training and Volleyball had a bye and also trained in the Lions Den.

Waterpolo also had a bye. This weekend is a big game for Waterpolo vs Trinity who are one of the best teams in the CAS. A win will put Scots in a commanding position for the premiership

This weekend we have St Joseph’s in most fixtures away. We look forward to our new Year 7 boys having their first game vs another school in Scots colours.

From Daniel Markham, Director of The Mind Body Heart Pathway & Head of PDHPE

“Improvise Adapt Overcome” !(Bear Grylls)

This motto that has been taken from the Navy SEAL’s and is a way of life. It really is an attitude and a mindset that can carry you far if you choose to embrace it. It is certainly a mindset that we try to encourage and foster within the Mind Body Heart program. By challenging yourself physically and desensitizing yourself to discomfort you can learn to anchor yourself to this success and it is transferable into other aspects of life. By building a series of small wins and celebrating the process you can launch into larger scale wins!

The Mind Body Heart team are excited to launch a new look timetable that is now available on the MBH app. We are launching a new session that we call ‘MetCon’ aimed at improving both the aerobic and anaerobic pathways with sessions that are high intensity, functional and constantly changing! This session is not for the faint hearted! We are also introducing a Monday morning recovery ‘Regeneration’ session aimed at helping boys recover from the battles of competition.

I would encourage all boys to get serious about their journey of self improvement and start booking into your sessions now using the MBH app! We look forward to seeing you soon. Come and get “The STRONG advantage”!

Senior Sports News




Rifle Shooting





Table Tennis


Water Polo

Sports Fishing

Prep News

From Brent Wilsmore, Prep Sportsmaster

Congratulations to the Captains of the Summer Sports who will lead the various sports for 2018: Basketball – Max Soepono; Cricket – Harry Gianoutsis; Sailing – Ben Crafoord; Swimming – Lucas Mitchelmore; Tennis – Finley Dyer; Water Polo – Felix Pal

Summer Sport Competition commences on Saturday 10 February and runs for six rounds concluding on Saturday 17 March.

Summer sport trials  have been conducted in Weeks 1 and 2. The initial selection of boys in teams is determined by the respective Directors and MIC’s and combined with the assistance of additional coaching staff. Teams are selected on merit and the decisions taken are not subject to negotiation. Selections are based on performance demonstrated in the trials only. Teams will remain fluid up to Rd3 and boys may be moved up and/or down based on performance demonstrated in games and at practice until this time and then they will be fixed for the remainder of the Term.

Additional Skills Sessions (summer sports): commence in Week 2. These sessions are run in the morning and are not compulsory, however are highly recommended to improve your skills. These are cancelled if it is raining as there is wet weather alternative.

IPSHA Sport - With the first round of Sport this Saturday it is appropriate to reiterate the fundamental aim of IPSHA Junior School Sport: ‘enjoyment for children and sportsmanship is to be emphasised at all times’. I encourage all to remember this aim as they approach the forthcoming season. I commend all boys on their efforts to date and wish them well for the season ahead.

Some useful reminders for the first round of sport:

  1. Wet Weather (9391 7753) –The number should be rung after 6.45am to ascertain wet weather arrangements.

  2. Boys should have the correct uniform (College Handbook p.57), although some leniency is appropriate for first round matches. Note - all cricket players wear whites.

  3. Boys need to arrive at the venue 20 minutes prior to the scheduled starting time.

  4. Boys should be reminded of the ‘codes of behavior for sport’ (College Handbook p.50).

  5. Teams are fluid for the first three rounds of the year and some movement is to be expected.

  6. Always check the Clansman/Schoolbox each week for confirmation of team list, venues and times.

  7. If you have any questions regarding sport the information pathway is generally Coach, MIC, and then Coordinator of Sport.

The  Prep Basketball season commences this Saturday with the first of twelve rounds of the IPSHA competition. The Prep Basketball Program has 22 teams involved in weekly games and training. This includes 10 Junior Prep (Year 3 and 4) teams and 12 Senior Prep (Year 5 and 6) teams. In total, there are approximately 200 boys involved in Prep Basketball.  Good luck to all involved in Round 1 on Saturday.

Congratulations to Max Soepono, who has been announced as the Prep Basketball Captain for 2018. I am certain that Max will set a great example for all boys involved in the program this year.

Mr James Tracey

Preparatory Basketball Coordinator

Leading in to the Prep House Cross Country Carnival on Wednesday 21 March 2018, all boys years 3 to 6 are invited to morning trainings. Training is available for all boys of all abilities on Monday and Wednesday mornings 7.15am to 8.15am.

Where: Scots Senior School Main Oval.

When: Monday & Wednesday mornings 7.15 am to 8.15 am.

What to bring: PE uniform, water bottle, breakfast and school uniform to change into.

Coaches: Mr Ben Thomas & Mr Byron Crimmins.

Boys are to meet at the bottom of the quadrangle stairs on the Senior School Main Oval. Boys will be given time to change in the changerooms and buy breakfast before returning to school. At the conclusion of training, boys will be walked back to both the Ginaghulla and Mansion Road campuses by the coaches.

Mr Ben Thomas

Preparatory Cross Country Coordinator

After a disrupted start to the Season due to the inclement weather the 2018 Prep Tennis Season gets under way this Saturday with the first of twelve rounds of the IPSHA competition. This year for the first time the Prep Tennis program has entered five teams, a testament to the ongoing strength of Tennis in the Prep School. Good luck to all involved on Saturday.

Finally, congratulations to Finley Dyer who has been announced as Tennis Captain for 2018, I am confident that Finley will set a great example for all boys involved in the program to follow.

Mr James Bruce

Preparatory Tennis Coordinator

Story of the week -

Thomas Yassmin - Old Boy (2017), Playing College Football.

(Below article is courtesy of Foxs Sport)

Meet Thomas Yassmin: Australian Schoolboys winger turned college football tight end

THOMAS Yassmin has still never played a game of American football in his life.

He put on a helmet for the first time over the weekend. It felt “weird”; the 18-year-old had never even worn a cricket helmet, let alone the football equivalent he put over his head while in Salt Lake City.

Yassmin’s foremost athletic experience came in the form of rugby, with the product of The Scots College earning a spot in the Australian Schoolboys team, dominating the wing with his impressive combination of size and speed. He was also a member of his school’s firsts basketball team, with his main exposure to football coming from what he saw on television, and video games.

Still, despite having as little actual interaction with football as one could get, Yassmin’s future looks as bright as ever.

He’s now a tight end, just signed to the University of Utah.


“I’ve never played football in my life,” Yassmin told “I’ve watched it. I’ve played Madden, but I’ve never played it.”

That didn’t stop the Utah coaching staff from getting in touch with him. The intrigue: Yassmin’s 6’5” frame, as he closes in on 250 lbs.

It didn’t take long for head coach, Kyle Whittingham, to get involved in his recruitment, and, after an official visit to the Salt Lake City campus, he committed to Utah’s esteemed program.

“Firstly, the academic program,” Yassmin said, when asked why he decided to accept the scholarship and sign with the school.

“Their business and math department are ninth in the nation, so academics were the biggest part for me.

“Then, there’s the sporting side; they’re very well-respected, and have the second highest draft rate in the NFL. The last two years, all of their seniors have been drafted, and they have the most successful bowl record.

“The football program was top notch, and also the people treated you like family. They were really warm; I felt like I’d known them for a long time when I was there.”

Yassmin’s lack of experience playing football is something he’s chosen to attack head on, arriving on campus much earlier than usual, in order to get accustomed to the new game. With his sort of body, the versatile athlete boasts a frame perfectly suited for the positional flexibility college coaches desire in less-seasoned prospects.

“He’s a big, fast, raw, twitchy athlete who could play multiple positions once he learns the game, projecting as a defensive end or outside linebacker on defence, or a tight end on offence,” one scout told

Those explosive traits at his size will make Yassmin mouldable as he learns the game and finds a positional home, and his academic background only enhances the belief he can make the transition from rugby to football, developing on the go.

“He’s very smart and a fundamental overachiever in the classroom,” the scout said.

While Yassmin excels in the classroom, and has an incredibly high ceiling with regard to his future in football, a lot of his success will come down to how well, and how quickly he’s able to grasp the game.

The part of the learning process that most scares the Sydneysider?

“The plays,” Yassmin said, without hesitation. “100 percent.”

“Memorising the plays. They bloody name plays after combinations of fruits and colours. Honestly, ‘red book this’.

“It’s learning that, then also if they call an audible, knowing what the audible is. Hearing it, seeing it. I think that’s gonna be the hardest bit.”


Before beginning his final year of high school, Yassmin had no idea that a future in football was even plausible.

It wasn’t until his basketball coach, David Todd, threw the question into the atmosphere: “why not football?”

The sentiment coming from his coach was simple, according to Yassmin: “I thought, I had nothing to lose. I watch it. He knows I love it. So I thought, yeah, alright.”

They attempted to contact schools, in order to gauge the potential interest in a raw product like Yassmin, but there weren’t any takers. However, when the University of Hawaii’s football team toured Australia — that team, featuring fellow Scots boy, Max Hendrie — the interest in Yassmin began to grow, thanks to the efforts of then-offensive line coach, Chris Naeole.

Through Naeole, Hawaii was the first school to contact Yassmin, running him through a quick trial, before rewarding him with his first offer. Interest then began to come from multiple schools, with Oregon and Washington taking a close look at the then-17-year-old, before Utah got involved in December of 2017.

The late hype was solidified when, after Yassmin had completed a visit to Utah, while on a flight back to Sydney, his father received a call from Chip Kelly, the new UCLA head coach, who wanted to extend an offer. Unfortunately for the former Eagles head coach, Yassmin — who’s a self-described Eagles fan, and has been ‘for about five years’ — had decided on becoming a Ute.

Kelly called Yassmin once more, on Wednesday (AEDT) - the early hours of signing day - and though the now-highly touted recruit gave it thought, “there’s just something about Utah,” he said.

Yassmin sees himself as a tight end, and, while there’s a chance he may redshirt his first season at the program, there’s still a real possibility that he learns the craft well enough that he might not have to.

“Tight end was my ideal position,” Yassmin said. “The coaches said tight end or defensive end, but they were leaning more toward tight end because of my speed and my catching. Plus, they’ve lost their two senior tight ends, so that spot has opened.”

The speed Yassmin talks about is his the 4.5 40-yard dash, which he says he did after two rugby training sessions.

“Personally, I think it’s better,” Yassmin said. “I think I could run a faster time.”

As he prepares to build his game from the foundation up, Yassmin notably admires Kansas City’s Travis Kelce, as well as the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski, two of the premier tight ends in the NFL today. At 6’5”, he stands eye-to-eye with the All-Pros, and while a college strength program could see his weight tick past the 250 lbs mark, his forty-yard speed already puts him in impressive territory, and highlights the 18-year-old as a move tight end with mismatch speed for the position.

“They’d seen my highlight video,” Yassmin said of his mesmerising rugby highlight reel. “Catching high balls, breaking off tackles; they said that’s what really stood out, so they thought I’d be great use at tight end.”


When the idea of playing college football first arose, it was simply to create an opportunity for Yassmin to earn a quality education.

Entering Year 12, Yassmin had, in essence, resigned to the fact that he’ll attend university in Australia, while likely playing rugby for that school. It would’ve been the simple option, and just fine. Chasing a football scholarship clearly paid off, so the Yassmin family no longer has to worry about the tertiary education of their youngest boy.

Now, Yassmin is thinking beyond just the school’s business and math department.

“First, this was more just a gateway for a good education,” Yassmin said. “But, the more I speak to coaches, and other people who have done stuff similar to me — my positioning and all that — I’m going to try to make the NFL.

“If I’m going to play college football, I might as well go all out and give the NFL a crack.”

Yassmin has been a fan of the NFL, and the Eagles, for some time. He watched the first half of his team’s performance in Super Bowl LII, before hopping on a plane, bound for Sydney. Upon landing, he opened his phone to see his team had stunned Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, much to the delight of he and his older brother, Patrick, but to the dismay of the eldest Yassmin brother, Christian, a Pats fan.

This entire experience has been a learning process for Yassmin and his family. He’ll leave for Utah on February 28, with the intention of picking up the game quick enough to be ready in time for his freshman year.

“Recently, I’ve been watching it a lot more closely,” he said. “Things like highlight videos, training drills, things they do. Going soon, I’m gonna learn all of that through preseason.”

Yassmin said his friends have been “really supportive”, and that his parents simply wanted their son to relish the opportunity. That, of course, was before finding out what being a college football player actually involves.

“They didn’t really know anything about football, but in terms of the opportunities, and going overseas, they had to convince me to do it,” Yassmin said.

“Then, they started learning more about the game, and, when we were on our visit, coach was going through the things I’m gonna learn: blocking, tackling, blindsiding some people when you have to. When my mum saw that, she freaked out. She had no idea this is what we do.”

Being immersed in the world of college football is new to the Yassmin’s, and, while the learning curve is steep, they’re already making headway.

Yassmin has already met Utah punter, and fellow Australian, Mitch Wishnowsky, and he couldn’t speak more highly of his official visit to the campus.

Utah has produced a plethora of NFL talent, from Eric Weddle, Alex Smith, Star Lotuleilei, and Marcus Williams, with Yassmin hoping to be among the next.

Once a star on Scots’s firsts rugby team, playing in front of an average of 3,000 people as he was overlooked by the hallowed Graeme Dedrick Scoreboard, Yassmin is now bound for bigger things.

“I’m looking forward to game day,” Yassmin said.

“You’re playing in front of 55,000 people. They’ve had, I think, 52 straight sellouts. Packed out stadiums, travelling on the road. Sport on such a scale; that’ll be a first.”

Of course, for Yassmin, playing in a football game will also be a first.