‘This is the sweetest’, Edwin Allen's Dyke said of Champs titles
Absolute jubilation rocked the community of Frankfield in Clarendon at the Edwin Allen High School campus yesterday, as ecstatic students and appreciative community members celebrated the school's third hold on the coveted Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Grace-Kennedy Girls' Champs trophy.
To mark the occasion, the morning's activities started with devotion on the school grounds, where tributes were paid to respective performers, contributors and supporters behind the team's success, with each major announcement being greeted with the deafening sounds of vuvuzelas.
As captain Danique Bryan and the team made their entrance into the school's quadrangle, where the devotion was held - with the Girls' Champs trophy clearly on display - the noise levels went up several decibels.
Coach Michael Dyke, who went unnoticed for most of the morning, discreetly appeared after the girls made their entry and, in his address to the school population, declared that of all the three titles they have won, this was the 'sweetest'.
"This is the sweetest because the other two, we were the clear favourites. But this one you had people disputing whether or not we would have won. So I think this one is the sweetest based on the margin of victory," he said.
He also thought he silenced some of their critics by winning the trophy for the first time back-to-back.
"We knew retaining our place at the top would be difficult. So we went out early and started our preparation, getting the girls focused and understanding what it is all about to defend (title). Some people said we could never defend (the title), so we wanted to prove them wrong this time around, so we ensured that we were properly prepared and organised," he said.
Following the morning tributes, the team then embarked on a motorcade from the school's ground in Frankfield to Chapelton (home of Clarendon College) and back to Frankfield.
Principal Everton Walters described the team's success as a great achievement, but noted that it was no surprise.
"The school has struggled for many years, and we have tried very hard to get our hands on this very important title. So we have worked very hard to ensure that a day like today is realised so we are not surprised; it was inevitable," he commented.
He also revealed that a sports- management team has been put in place to manage and oversee the affairs and needs of the athletes and sports men and women at the school to ensure their continued success at the championships.
Edwin Allen finished the championship with (321 points), 100 points ahead of Hydel (221), while St Jago (219) placed third.
In all, Edwin Allen tallied 28 medals, including 10 gold, seven silver and 11 bronze.
Team captain Bryan described their third hold on the title as a great achievement.
"This is one of the biggest wins for the team. We had a lot of mishaps along the way, yet we overcame each hurdle and went out and defended our title. This is my last year, and it's great because we went out and did our best, and I feel proud that we won," said Bryan.