Sat | Aug 19, 2017

ISSA/Grace Headley Cup benefits St Ann schools

Published:Saturday | March 19, 2016 | 3:00 AM
Young cricketers at the Ferncourt High and Marcus Garvey Technical High School in St Ann, who participated in the ISSA/Grace Headley Cup competition, pose for a group photo along with their coaches following a recent match. From left are Demar Sylvester, Orane Watkis, Blaine Rose, Nicholas Reynolds, Romaine Atkinson, Javaughn Robinson and Damani Sewell.

After an approximate 10-year hiatus from the ISSA/Grace Headley Cup schoolboy cricket competitions, young cricketers at Ferncourt High School in Claremont, St Ann, are on the comeback trail, seeking to mark their place in history.

Ferncourt's coach, Demar Sylvester, said that the ISSA/ Grace Headley Cup had provided his students with the opportunity to engage in and gain valuable knowledge about the sport of cricket in spite of dropping out of the competition. Some of the boys, he said, were first-time cricketers who benefited from the experience.

"This has provided us with the opportunity to embark on intense training for the next season. I will also personally seek to solicit the assistance and skills from males in the community who are knowledgeable about the game to assist in training the boys," Sylvester stated.

Avid cricketer

Sylvester, who describes himself as an avid cricketer, wants as many students as possible to benefit from his coaching and knowledge.

"There are many of them who are already demonstrating good work and training ethics, overall discipline, and dedication to the sport," Sylvester said.

The school's captain, Gary Allen, and his teammates, Dwayne Rose and Raheem Whyte, are among those who are always first to show up for training and the last to leave. Seventh-grader Rikone Harris was also singled out as a bright student with much promise for the future.

"The passion that these boys exhibit during training helps to personally give me the energy and zeal to continue working with the team. Their skills are improving, and this is noticeable," said Sylvester.

He is hopeful that through their dedication, they will be among the better players in the parish and, by extension, Jamaica, making cricket their profession.

"I believe that if they are given the opportunity to play more practice matches, it could develop their conditional reflex to play the appropriate shots for a given delivery," he reasoned.

Coach at Marcus Garvey Technical High Damani Sewell said that his team entered this season's competition for exposure to prepare themselves for next year.

"I took a tactical decision for them to gain first-hand experience, so we expect to see better performances next season as we are on the verge of developing a good programme," said Sewell.