NRL star Josh Addo-Carr sent a video message to the Kempsey High School's girls Under-14s rugby league side to wish them luck ahead of the state finals of the Katrina Fanning Cup last week.
The NSW Blues winger had caught wind of the girls incredible achievement but also their renewed focus at school after an article was published on the Argus website on September 17 and he wanted to pass on his best wishes.
Deputy principal Jed Peisley claims since the students began representing the school in the contact sport, they have improved their commitment to school.
"Playing in the side has given the girls a brand new focus and understanding of the opportunities that school gives them," Peisley told the Argus.
"Attendance, behavior, academic success and work ethic towards classwork and assessment tasks have all improved.
"They have learned to work as a team on the field and that has translated to off it. They encourage each other to attend school, behave well and work hard."
Peisley said the students were overwhelmed after watching the video message from Addo-Carr, who scored two tires for the Melbourne Storm in their 32-0 demolition of the Parramatta Eels in the semi-final on Saturday night.
"The Argus article on Facebook received a lot of shares and somehow Josh Addo-Carr found out about the girls' success and sent through a video message," Peisley said.
"Josh wished them luck and congratulated them on making it to the state finals.
"They were all so excited to watch the video and it made them very happy."
The girls competed against the best teams in the state last Thursday and came away with a victory and two losses from their three games.
Kempsey suffered defeats to Cowra and West Wyalong before they bounced back to end the day on a massive high when they beat Endeavour Sports High School.
"The girls were pretty good overall but to end the day beating a sports high school was very impressive," Peisley said.
"It was great to get a win under the belt and they were all very pleased."
While the rugby league campaign has drawn to a close for the girls this year, Peisley said the school will look at other avenues to maintain a high sport participation.
"We are at the tail-end of the season but we will be looking at what we can do to keep the girls involved in sport. The benefits they have had with their school work shows us how important it is," he said.
The Kempsey side advanced through to the state finals after winning five of their six games at two previous carnivals on the North Coast.
Girls Academy Development Officer Misty Kelly and Aboriginal Education Officer Georgie Murphy said the opportunity to play the sport they love at school has given them a renewed view of the academic environment.
The majority of the girls play a sport outside of school, but none play tackle rugby league.
Under-14s captain Shantaye Dixon said the team has benefited from joining the team.
"It's been a good experience with the girls. We are a competitive team and we have got a lot of skill and speed," Dixon said.
"I want to also say thank you to Misty and Georgie."
Kempsey High School would like to thank the Girls Academy, Burrun Dalai, Amcal Kempsey, Contarf, Real Futures and Coles at Kempsey and South West Rocks for their financial support to make the trip to Sydney for the state carnival possible.
Stay ahead with local news by signing up for the Macleay Argus newsletter here.
Also making the news: