Each year Cowra raised athletes produce outstanding achievements in the sporting arena.
Many of these achievements are produced by sporting men and women who spent their early years in Cowra and whilst they may live in Sydney, Perth or the Gold Coast we still recognise them as being from Cowra.
We've selected eight Cowra products who we think have produced outstanding performances in the past 12 months and are seeking public input via online voting to choose our most outstanding achiever of 2019-20.
Next week we'll take a look at the outstanding performances from athletes still based in Cowra.
Our finalists in alphabetical order are Shannon Boyd (rugby league), Michael Cahill (horse racing), Ellie Carpenter (football), Amy Edgar (cricket), Harry Johnson-Holmes (rugby league), Daniel Hughes (cricket), Adam Hyeronimus (racing) and Royce Simmons (rugby league).
While 2019 wasn't the best season for the Gold Coast Titans prop it is impossible not to recognise him as one a champion product of Cowra.
After making his debut in a Kangaroo's jumper at the end of the 2016 season Boyd has struggled with form in recent season and left the Canberra Raiders to join the Titans at the start of the 2019 rugby league season.
The season started full of promise for Boyd but injury and mixed form saw him get know where near as much time on the paddock as either himself or the club would've hoped for.
Boyd was forced to end his season early after it was revealed that he would a require a shoulder reconstruction after enduring a torrid start to his contract.
Former Cowra jockey Michael Cahill added another notch to his racing CV, taking out his second Queensland Jockey of the Year award in Brisbane in September, 2019.
Cahill, who previously received the honour at 2013's Queensland Thoroughbred Awards, said the award wasn't something that was in the back of his mind at the start of last season's racing calendar.
Key to Cahill's successful year, which included more than 70 wins and 130 placings from more than 600 rides, were back-to-back Group One wins aboard the New Zealand bred-and-trained The Bostonian.
The five-year-old Bay Gelding triumphed in the Kingsford-Smith Cup and the TAB Doomben 10,000 in May this year, yielding its connections $900,000 of prize money.
Cahill also rode a further two Group Three and Listed winners respectively.
"I'm very thankful for it and thankful for the support I received from not only from Brisbane trainers, but trainers from New Zealand, Sydney and Melbourne," the 54-year-old said.
"It was probably one of my best seasons in the saddle... [I] wasn't doing anything different."
Cahill, who also won QRIC Steward's Award on the night, also made mention of the familial bonds and local grounding that helped lay the ground work for his career in racing.
"It was a pretty big part of my life and career," he said of Cowra.
"It was where I started my apprenticeship and learned to ride ... I started riding track work there when I was 14."
Australia's youngest Matilda just keeps starring for the Australian women's soccer side.
In January she was named in Australia's 20-player squad for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualification matches.
The matches were originally to be played in China but were held in Australia when COVID-19 struck.
Carpenter was thrust into the spotlight four years ago when selected as part of the Matildas squad which competed at the Rio Games as a 16-year-old.
She was the youngest Australian Olympian at the Rio and the youngest ever female footballer to compete at the Olympics.
Since then talented defender Carpenter has become a mainstay of the Matildas line up with more than 30 national caps to her credit and she would love to add a second Olympics to her resume as well.
The Cowra football graduate iced her stellar 2019-20 by winning Melbourne City's Player of the Year award after helping the side to its title win in the W-League.
Cowra's Amy Edgar had a ball, playing representative cricket for Western Australia in the 2019-20 season helping to steer Western Australia to victory against the NSW Breakers in the WNCL Final played at North Sydney Oval.
The victory marked the first time in the competition's 24-year history that Western Australia have won the title.
A former Cowra Sportsperson of the Year recipient Edgar batted in the middle order for WA in the final, contributing 21 runs from just 26 deliveries to the WA total of 231.
Her 34 run seven wicket partnership with Piepa Cleary gave the WA innings momentum to post a big run chase in the 50 over match.
In reply NSW was all out for 189 in a match Amy described as an even affair that could have gone either way.
Edgar has steadily built a reputation as a reliable middle order batsman since making the move to WA to the point where she is now a regular in the state team and also a squad member with the Perth Scorchers in the Women's Big Bash League.
Edgar was still based in Cowra when the offer to play in WA came.
When not on State or Big Bash duties Edgar plays for the Meville Club in Perth.
Since debuting for Meville in the 2017-18 season she has amassed 1009 run in all forms of the game at an average of 33.63 with a top score of 126 not out scored in a 50 over match against South Perth in January this year.
Summoned to South Africa while in the middle of eating a schnitzel at a Sydney pub, Wallabies prop and Cowra product Harry Johnson-Holmes got his first taste of Test rugby in Johannesburg in July last year.
The 22-year-old got a phone call from Australia coach Michael Cheika telling him to put down his knife and fork after three props were ruled out through injury.
Just a few days later Johnson-Holmes was scrummaging against "The Beast", South Africa's Tendai Mtawarira, at Ellis Park when the Wallabies lost another prop, James Slipper, early in the second half of the 35-17 loss.
Before Slipper's injury Johnson-Holmes said he wasn't sure if he'd actually get any game time or would see out the match on the bench.
"A lot of luck was involved in me being in the position of being on the bench but getting on the field was a whole other thing," he said.
Cheika gave Johnson-Holmes the thumbs up.
"I think he handled it quite well, considering he'd come in with only two days prep," Cheika said.
"He certainly did himself proud in being out there."
In March the former Cowra junior won his second Steve Waugh medal, having finished the leading run-scorer in the domestic one-day cup, then played a key role in NSW winning the Sheffield Shield.
Hughes said it was a huge honour to receive the award for a second time.
Hughes was pivotal to the Blues claiming their 47th Sheffield Shield title, which was awarded to NSW after nine rounds when the competition was cancelled due to coronavirus health concerns.
Hughes made 665 Shield runs at 44.3, with his highest score of 136 made against South Australia at Bankstown Oval - one of two centuries for that match.
The Blues and Sydney Sixers opener also claimed the NSW Blues Marsh One-Day Cup Player of the Season award.
He was the leading run-scorer in the Marsh One-Day Cup with 440 runs at an average of 73.33, including two centuries and a highest score of 152.
In March 2020 Hyeronimus combined with legendary trainer Gai Waterhouse and her training partner Adrian Bott to record his first Group 1 win as a jockey.
Hyeronimus gave a masterly display of front running riding to take out the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes aboard Shout the Bar at Rosehill last Saturday afternoon.
After the win Hyeronimus described the win as "very rewarding, particularly for Gai (Waterhouse), such a privilege".
Coming from a family steeped in racing history Hyeronimus said growing up in Cowra he watched the races every Saturday afternoon seeing the Waterhouse stable dominate.
"That's what I grew up with and finishing my apprenticeship (with Tulloch Lodge) and to continue riding for her and get my first Group 1 winner is a huge thrill," he said.
Co-trainer Adrian Bott said after the race the stable was happy to see Hyeronimus rewarded for his good work.
While his playing days are long over we thought Simmons deserved his place in the field after being named in Penrith's Ultimate Team this month.
In 1990, the Penrith Panthers were on the path to do something no team had done before - become the first team to win a grand final in their first attempt.
Unfortunately it wasn't to be, with the mountain men going down in a hard fought premiership decider against the Canberra Raiders, 18-14.
But come 1991, a rematch for the ages against the Green Machine saw a side with plenty of potential become champions.
And for Gooloogong's Royce Simmons, it proved to be what can only be described as a perfect swan song - scoring two tries, despite injuries, and holding up the coveted Provan-Summons Trophy (formerly the Winfield Cup) for the first time.
Simmons' efforts in that grand final were recognised with his inclusion in the club's Ultimate Team.
The concept saw the club's 1991 and 2003 grand final squads go head-to-head for a spot in the side, with a tally of more than 90,000 votes from members and fans.
Edging out Luke Priddis, Simmons was named as the side's hooker earlier this month.
Speaking to the Cowra Guardian, Simmons said taking the spot was unreal.
"For a club that has been in the competition since 1967, I have a few honours there," he said.
"Being part of the hall of fame has been outstanding, then named in the top 17 players for the club's 40th celebrations, the first international player for Penrith and to get this from a combination of the two grand final sides has topped it off.
"I still live in Penrith, I played my whole career there so it's nice to be able to get around town and be recognised by all the locals.
"They are good people, just like the Cowra, Gooloogong and Canowindra people."
Simmons said the Panthers' Ultimate Team was a star-studded line up of the club's past players.
"There are some big names in the side, Luke Lewis, Brad Fittler, Craig Gower, Greg Alexander, Mark Geyer, Rhys Wesser, a lot of good players," he said.