Sat | Sep 22, 2018

14 straight! - Calabar determined to match Champs winning streak record

Published:Tuesday | March 27, 2018 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter
Team captain Christopher Taylor and schoolmates celebrate with the Mortimer Geddes Trophy during a victory ceremony at the school yesterday. Calabar was the top school in the 2018 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys Athletics Championships.

Calabar High School Principal Albert Corcho vowed to extend his school's seven-year win streak at Champs to 14, as students, parents and fans crammed inside the school's auditorium yesterday morning to celebrate their retention of the Mortimer Geddes Trophy.

On Saturday, the boys from Red Hills Road won their 28th title, when they outscored their closest rivals by almost a hundred points at the 2018 edition of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships.

Calabar amassed 368.5 points over the five day championship. Their arch-rival, Kingston College, was second with 278 points, while Jamaica College scored 224.5 points for third place.

"There is something special about the number 14," Corcho told the student body. "We won seven [straight], but want seven more. We have no plans to give the Mortimer Geddes Trophy any time soon."

And plans are already in place to realise that dream, Corcho said.

"We have a very strong planning and management team. We believe if we keep the proper organisation that we have as it is, we can keep this trophy for at least another seven years," Corcho said.

Calabar's arch-rival, Kingston College (KC), won 14 straight championships in the 1960s and '70s. KC also won three more championships than Calabar's 28. The boys from North Street last lifted the title in 2009.

Before Corcho was handed the trophy by team captain Christopher Taylor, the diminutive athlete reminded his schoolmates of a promise he made the week before the championships began.

"The week before Champs, we said that we would bring back the trophy and we did that," Taylor said.

Before he handed over the trophy, he taunted his rivals a bit, too.

"Imagine being at a school for seven years and never hold the Champs trophy. How that look?" Taylor questioned.

JC was the last other school to have won the trophy back in 2011.

In the midst of the dancing, singing and shouting, Corcho and his school observed an important Christian practice, tithing. They gave 10 per cent of the $1 million they won from the Digicel Grand Prix Series to Calabar Junior High School.

"We believe that it is important as a part of our giving. We won a million dollars from the Digicel Grand Prix, and we sat as a little team and we decided that we are going to give back ten per cent like how you contribute ten per cent of your salary as tithe," Corcho said. "It is something that we have started this year, but we want to continue every year."

akino.ming@gleanerjm.com