Kimberley has an old and unique history. Minerals and large holes may be synonymous with the town, but so too are good education and good schools, among them Hoërskool Noord-Kaap. From 1943 to 1975, the school was known as Noord-Kaapland Technical College. It had existed with the Noord-Kaapland Commercial High School as a combined careers school. In 1976 it changed its name to the Commercial High School, and in 1987 settled on Hoërskool Noord-Kaap.
Today Hoërskool Noord-Kaap has grown into a prominent school in the Northern Cape and beyond. The Technical School also remains in Kimberley, though it is separate from Hoërskool Noord-Kaap. In its commercial days, MK Brits was the school’s first headmaster. From 1986 to 1995 DJ Pretorius was headmaster and was followed by Aj Snyman, who remained until 2003. A du Plessis was nthe next incumbent until 2005, when HJ Brand, the current headmaster, took over.
Pupil numbers at the school have steadily grown, from 402 pupils in 1987 to 1020. Currently Hoërskool Noord-Kaap is one of the prominent schools in the province, regularly achieving in academics, sport and culture.
Name: Hoërskool Noord-Kaap
Motto: Ons reik na die hoogste (Reach out for the highest)
Rugby jersey: White with olive green shorts and white and green striped socks
Rugby at Noord-Kaap
Hoërskool Noord-Kaap has had seven rugby teams since 1992 – a big improvement from the mid-80s when mustering a single team was hard enough. Their colours are olive green, white and grey. The school has had its share of national representatives, though no Springboks yet. In 2001 flyhalf Corrie Avenant was selected for South Africa at Under-21 level. In 2002 Barnie du Plessis played for the South African Under-19 side at eighthman, and Deon Koen was selected for the Under-18 SA Academy at hooker.
PJ Vermeulen played for the South African Under-19 in 2004 and captained the side when they won the World Cup in Durban. That side included the likes of Francois Steyn, Hilton Lobberts, Richardt Strauss and Chiliboy Ralepelle. Vermeulen has since trekked south and is now contracted to Western Province. Jacques de Kock also played at outside centre for the Under-18 SA Academy in 2005, the year that yet another No.13 – Ronnie Cooke – was selected for the South African Under-21 side. Cooke is the school’s most renowned Old Boy, having been contracted to the Cheetahs since 2006 and is currently playing in France.
Hoërskool Noord-Kaap has fielded some excellent First XV’s in recent years. The 1998, 200 and 2002 sides, captained by Cooke, all had memorable seasons. But then behind good sides are good coaches, and Hoërskool Noord-Kaap has had many. Hannes Esterhuizen successfully coached the First XV from 1992 to 2002. Frankel Engelbrecht has been involved in the 2005/2006 and ’08 seasons, with Dale Adam now assisting. Since 1996 and expanded Griqualand West schools league has been played.
Hoërskool Noord-Kaap’s First XV has featured in five finals since then, producing 57 Craven Week and six provincial captains in the process.Hoërskool Noord-Kaap’s big derby is the local fixture against Diamantveld. Other regular games include Upington High School and Duineveld, both from Upington, and Jacobsdal Landbouskool. But derbies stretch to Grey College and Sentraal of Bloemfontein, and as far as Durban High School and Monument of Johannesburg, Paarl Gimnasium, Marlow of Cradock and Oakdale of Riverdale. It is a school rapidly improving on an already impressive record.