Girls' Power- Edwin Allen High School allocating more resources to female team
Edwin Allen High have dominated Girls' Champs for the past four years, leaving their male counterparts at the co-ed institution to sit and admire their achievements.
The dominance has been marked by three of four national titles in the past four years, a legacy that has earned them respect from and support of the their community in Clarendon and also from the wider cross section of the country.
This is in comparison to their male counterparts, who barely even receive recognition from their own school community.
While the girls have won the last two national championships, the boys have finished 10th and fourth in the boys' standings over the same period.
The girls have also outshone the boys on the national stage, with several going on to represent Jamaica on the international stage in junior and senior competitions.
Michael Dyke, head female coach of the Frankfield-based Edwin Allen, says that he started off coaching both the boys and girls but later decided that the girls had a much better chance of winning the national championships than the boys.
"The girls started to show tremendous improvement, and so we realised that the girls had a better chance of doing well and winning the Girls' Championships," Dyke said.
"So we have since pumped more effort and time into the girls' programme," he said, adding that the girls have been attracting a lot of attention and support from the school community.
Dyke pointed out that at first, he had to convince the girls that they were capable of winning the girls' title like Holmwood Technical, which dominated the last decade, the same period during which Edwin Allen began asserting themselves as contenders for the national championships.
"I think that they are motivated to know that when you are in the country, you should dominate Girls' Champs, and I am extremely confident that we can win this year's title," Dyke said.
However, the school's male coach, Glasford Stoner, says that the migration of some of his top athletes and the lack of support from the school community have hampered the team's progress over the years.
"I think we have been doing well over the years, but things are just not coming our way here, and so I don't know if there is anything else we can do in order to get some recognition," said Stoner.
He added: "The girls have been going well, and some persons on the outside who don't know Edwin Allen and Edwin Allen's history may even think it is a female school because boys here don't get any recognition - not even within the school."