Talk of four titles gets louder at JC
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
The words from the hymn Victory is Mine bellowed through the loud speakers inside the Karl Hendrickson Auditorium on the school grounds of Jamaica College (JC) yesterday morning, as students, teachers and staff members gathered to celebrate Saturday's win in this year's final of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Manning Cup football competition.
The 'Dark Blues' claimed their 26th lien on the title after defeating Charlie Smith 2-1 in extra-time in a very competitive final, to claim their second title of the season on Saturday inside the National Stadium.
On course to win four titles, JC will face St George's College in the Walker Cup final on Thursday at the Constant Spring Sports Complex.
Ruel Reid, principal of the all-boys' school, told the gathering that their victory speaks volumes of the hard work and dedication not only of the field of play, but also in the classroom.
"It wasn't handed to them on a platter," said Reid. "They had to work jolly well hard from last year's unit, now to remain unbeaten," he said.
"Part of my task is to transform Jamaica College and make sure that we are performing on all cylinders, and I am saying that we have a tremendous improvement last year (CSEC), 50 per cent passes in maths, and the number of students passing five or more subjects is tremendous," Reid said.
"We have to do some restructuring of the curriculum to make sure that the outcome will be achieved, and so check the results in 2015," said Reid. "The current fifth formers, over 25 per cent of them, have already passed English with grade one and twos from fourth form, and so look out come next year."
Reid added that people must give credit to the school for the work that they have put in over the years in order to become the top schoolboy football team in the country.
"We put in all the work, and we have put in all the management structures that were necessary to support the team, and the stakeholders are supporting them every step of the way," Reid said. "JC hadn't won the Manning Cup for 33 years, and I didn't hear people complaining, and so now we have decided, under my leadership, that excellence must just not only be an act, excellence must be a habit, and my boys have been responding positively to that approach."
Michael Bernard, chairman of the school's board, also lauded the team.
"It is a wonderful achievement," said Bernard. "The team has been properly prepared by the coaching staff, properly managed, and the effort and commitment that they have put in has resulted in the kind of the success that we expect.
"What we do to silence detractors is keep winning, and so we are on track for four titles, and we are going to give it our best effort, and with the grace of God, we will move on to win the third and then the fourth," Bernard said.