Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Challenge following Hawthorne - Edwards

Published:Tuesday | March 28, 2017 | 3:00 AMLivingston Scott
St Jago High's Leon Clarke is surrounded by teammates after he piloted his team to victory in the 4x800 metres for high school boys at last month's Gibson McCook Relays.

New St Jago boys track and field head coach, Rhansome Edwards, said it was a difficult task trying to pick up the pieces after the departure of Danny Hawthorne, who was coach at the school for 13 years.

Edwards took over as head coach of the Monk Street institution from the highly rated Hawthorne, who departed last summer but he said winning the confidence of the athletes and supporters was the biggest challenge he had to overcome.

"It was a difficult situation because the boys at St Jago were still in a sense of despondency due to the departure of the previous coach. They are still in a demotivated stated and were still in low spirit up on my arrival, so we as a coaching staff have been working together assiduously to alleviate the challenge," he told The Gleaner.

"The philosophy of the previous coach is different, and every coach comes with their own philosophy, so anything new or anything different from what the previous coach did was a challenge, so it was very difficult for the first five to six months," he said.




However, he said he and his staff worked extremely hard to lift the athletes' spirits and rebuild the confidence in the team.

"Things have somewhat improve based on the results. When we look at the Gibson Relays performance, Central Champs and winning the Digicel Grand Prix final and the $1 million these results have changed the outlook of things, because initially they weren't responding to my instructions as I would have anticipated and it was as a result of the departure of the previous coach.

"Had things been different in October and November, we would have probably be in a position to challenge for the championship," he said.