STETHS aim for title sweep
Having stumbled at the final hurdle last year - losing out on retaining their daCosta Cup title to Clarendon College - St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) will be looking to get it right.
Such is the ambition of the school's technical staff, as exemplified by the astute Wendell Downswell, STETHS' technical director.
"We want to win all four titles," he said. "The previous year the team really overachieved and so the public was looking at us to win, but we lost to Clarendon (College) in the final.
"This year, I think we stand an equal chance of landing the daCosta Cup title and to make a run at the other three," said Downswell.
In recent years, STETHS have become the dominant force in the ISSA-administered rural-area schoolboy football competitions, particularly in the Ben Francis Knockout, pushing aside the legend of many-time winners Cornwall College and Rusea's High School, along with the likes of Clarendon College and Glenmuir..
For Downswell, this year could be another special one for the Santa Cruz-based institution.
"We are looking to be in all finals this year. I think with the crop of players we have this year, I believe we can do that. I am satisfied with what our pre-season has looked like and we are hopeful of a good year," reasoned Downswell.
In referencing his schools' third place finish at this year's STETHS Cup - one of the pre-season competitions - Downswell is not paying much attention.
"We do not pay the result in the STETHS Cup that much attention. We use it as training and to see where we stack up in readiness for the long season ahead. What is important is that in the five years we have had this competition, we've only won it once, but each year we do really well in the daCosta Cup," said Downswell.
Speedy striker Donjay Smith has moved on, but in Jevaughne Brown, a youngster who has been there for some time, STETHS will have an equally deadly finisher.
"The group of players we have is one that can do a good job. I am not worried about what we cannot control. STETHS this year will be challenging on all four fronts," Downswell stated. "We have enough quality to push all the way."
daCosta Cup titles (4): 1974, 1999, 2009 and 2013
Ben Francis KO titles (5): 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014
Olivier Shield (1): 1999