Katanning’s Haiden Schloithe has joined elite company at the South Fremantle Football Club after becoming a four-time WJ Hughes medallist last Thursday. Schloithe cemented his spot in the Bulldogs’ history books as one of the best and most decorated players to pull on the red and white jumper. He was crowned at the Bulldogs’ presentation night at the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle. Schloithe joins Steve Marsh and Stephen Michael as the only players to win four or more WJ Hughes medals. Marsh was the first player to win the WJ Hughes Medal four times and Michael is the only player in South Fremantle history to win five medals. Schloithe passed three-time winners Kris Miller, Wally Matera, John Todd, Clive Lewington, Frank Jenkins and Arthur Edgar with his victory this season. He was a clear winner of the top gong ahead of rising midfielder and fellow Upper Great Southern product Tom Blechynden, from Pingelly. The 28-year-old said it was a massive achievement to claim his fourth WJ Hughes Medal, on the same night his re-signing for 2022 was also announced. “It feels surreal to be put into the same category of some of South’s biggest names, so I am honoured,” Schloithe said. He said it was a long season “but the boys certainly put in the efforts and we hope to push for that cup next year”. “The highlight for me this year was seeing Blech (Tom Blechynden) emerge into a premium WAFL footballer. “I will be at the Bulldogs next year and hope to try make it a second premiership and a fifth WJ Hughes.” Schloithe finished on 170 votes ahead of Blechynden on 136 votes after his breakout season as a midfielder. Defender Chad Pearson finished third on 135 while Jacob Dragovich (127) and star recruit Blake Schlensog (122) rounded out the top five. Schloithe also won the Quest Outstanding Performance Award, decided by the coaches. It capped a superb season for the Katanning footy star after he finished third in the Sandover Medal and was named in the WAFL Team of the Year for a sixth straight year. “The support I receive from the community of Katanning is incredible and I’m glad to call that home along with Fremantle Oval,” Schloithe said. “The Upper Great Southern has a place in my heart and it really has paved the way for many footballers. “I guess you could call it a breeding ground for football talent.” The 181-game star kicked 24 goals in 22 games this year, splitting his time between playing as a forward and midfielder while averaging 24.1 disposals, 4.9 tackles, 4.1 marks a game. Blechynden averaged 21.6 disposals, 3.6 marks and 4.7 tackles a game in a career-best season at WAFL level.