Schoolboy football season kicks off - Spotlight on Montego Bay triple-header
An interesting triple-header at the Montego Bay Sports Complex this afternoon will highlight the start of the 2016 ISSA/FLOW daCosta and Manning Cup competitions.
Twenty-four daCosta Cup and 14 Manning Cup matches are scheduled for the opening day of the highly anticipated season.
In Montego Bay, Manning Cup champions Jamaica College will face St Andrew Technical at 2:45 before defending daCosta Cup champions St. Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) meet Black River High at 4:30 p.m. followed by an all-Montego Bay fixture between Cornwall College and Anchovy High which is scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m.
JC are seeking a fourth consecutive hold on the Manning Cup title. Last year they completed the 'three-peat' with a 1-0 win over St George's College. They will enter today's contest as the overwhelming favourites over a St Andrew Technical team which has not been among the top schools in recent years.
STETHS will take on a young and inexperienced Black River in the feature encounter. Black River are in the competition after a one-year break but coach Kirk Williams says they are optimistic about their chances against STETHS.
"We are a very young team just coming back into the daCosta Cup competition after a year out, but we are here to fight," coach Williams told The Gleaner.
"This team is a good but young one. The squad does not have the level of experience we would have liked, but we are using this as a building block for the future. We hope to acquit ourselves well and see where it leaves us at the end of it all," stated Williams.
STETHS, on the other hand, are awash with talent and experience and having ticked-off five consecutive finals appearance, winning twice. They have been listed among the favourites once again and should leave Montego Bay with three points.
Omar Wedderburn, the philosophical STETHS coach, knows his team will not have it easy, starting against Black River, but points to his team's ability to overcome challenges.
"The mission is set. We are ready and our aim is just as it always has been to win another title for STETHS," Wedderburn who guided them to the title in 2013 and 2015 said.
Other scheduled daCosta Cup matches
Cedric Titus vs Holland
Spot Valley vs Herbert Morrison Tech
William Knibb vs Muschett
Petersfield vs Maud McLeod
Mannings vs Little London High
Grange Hill vs Godfrey Stewart
Holmwood vs Alston
Spalding vs Christiana
May Day High vs Bellefield
Knox College vs Clarendon College
Horace Clarke vs St. Mary Tech
Iona High vs Brimmervale
Ewarton vs McGrath
Port Antonio vs Fair Prospect
Happy Grove vs Titchfield
Bustamante vs Vere Tech
Tacius Golding vs Kemps Hill
Old Harbour vs Central High
Morant Bay vs Paul Bogle
St. Thomas Tech vs Robert Lightbourne
Yallahs vs Seaforth
St. Mary High vs Tacky
Denham Town vs Norman Manley
Ascott vs Papine
St. Mary's College vs Kingston College
Jonathan Grant vs Ardenne
Haile Selassie vs Pembroke Hall
St Catherine vs Meadowbrook
Dunoon vs Kingston Technical
Jose Marti vs Camperdown
Edith Dalton vs Wolmer's Boys
Campion College vs St Jago
Calabar vs Bridgeport
Hydel vs Cumberland
Matches kick off at 3:30 p.m.