Wharp-ing to the future ... Young Corinaldi netballer poised to success
Twelve-year-old Tonishea Wharp is definitely eyeing the future and could get there at warp speed if she is given ample opportunity to do so.
This young gem of a netball player was recently named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the recently concluded Burger King St James Netball Association Primary Schools Under-12 Netball Championship.
She left no doubt in the minds of the spectators and officials that she was indeed one for the future and clearly a prospect for the national age-group programmes.
"My dream really is to play for the Sunshine Girls," she said. "That is my goal because I love playing netball and because I am also encouraged to do so."
"Many people have told me that I can make it and I believe that, if I keep playing like this, then I will make it," she said.
Wharp made the goal defence position her very own and was a constant worry for opposing attacking players throughout the tournament. She was a constant menace to the Chetwood goal attackers in the final, disrupting passes and swatting away intended balls from inside the arc, as her slightly taller-than-most frame gave her a distinct advantage.
The youngster stands tall at 5' 10 and her athletic build makes her an ideal candidate for success in the fast-paced world of netball, where she credits and admires another Montego Bay-based national youth player, Carla Tingling, for her aggressive-yet-confident style of play.
"I admire Carla Tingling very much as a player, because her style is interesting to me. I hope one day to follow in her footsteps and play for Jamaica at the highest levels," said Wharp.
That Corinaldi Primary won the title is no surprise. They have been the most dominant school in this championship for many years, winning it a record nine consecutive times, including this year's.
Destined for greatness
"This young lady has loads of potential. she is very talented and willing to learn and that is what sets her apart from the rest," noted Gina Haughton, the St James Netball Association boss, in reference to Wharp.
"We watched her evolve as the competition went on, and what we saw was a young lady blessed with immense talent. We hope she stays in the sport and develops even further, but from what we saw, she is defiantly one for the future."
"To her credit, she learns fast and that is key in this sport where the slightest error could result in a negative play. We are proud of her and, as a result, she is to be brought into our Under-14 set-up, as she embarks on her high-school adventure come September," Haughton revealed.