Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Outgoing Holmwood Technical head coach, Maurice Wilson, believes the school's spectacular come-from-behind triumph at the 103rd staging of the ISSA/Grace-Kennedy Boys and Girls' was due to the fighting spirit possessed by his young charges and their history of success.
Holmwood had been written off by most as defending champions Edwin Allen were expected to pull off another comfortable victory similar to what they did last year when they claimed their first title and won by 131 points.
Edwin Allen came into the final day with a 39-points advantage, but when the dust had settled, it was the Christiana, Manchester-based Holmwood that emerged with their 10th girls' crown by a five-point margin.
Respect the sport
Holmwood tallied 310.5 points to leave Edwin Allen in second on 305.5 points, wondering where it all went wrong.
"The reason why we are successful is not because I can coach, but we respect the sport and know that the sport is about unpredictability. So if you are getting involved in the sport and you think you don't stand a chance, then it doesn't make sense," Wilson reasoned.
"Yes, Edwin Allen had the better all-round team, but you can never discount a champion, and I always quietly believed we could have won."
Despite the fact that Edwin Allen's title bid capitulated in such dramatic fashion, Wilson does not believe there is any room for sympathy in this business of sports.
"This is competition, so there are no sympathies. It is about a championship," Wilson declared. "After you have done the work, it is left to the athletes to finish what was started, and the pundits should have realised that Holmwood are battle scarred."
Wilson, head coach at the school for the past 17 years, now intends to fade into the background.
"It is going to be difficult for me to continue being the head coach of Holmwood because of my other responsibilities," Wilson, who is the head coach at G.C. Foster College, said.
"I will always assist Holmwood in some capacity, but I think it is full time now for other persons to get an opportunity to lead from the front. I will continue coaching at G.C. Foster and do some typical day-to-day things like taking the kids to school. So for a year or so I would like to catch my breath and do normal activities, " Wilson added. Wilson paid tribute to the Holmwood fraternity, the coaching staff, the fans, the G.C. Foster College for their support and persons such as Vie Griffiths, Lloyd Dennis, and Chester McCarthy, who have been around the team in various capacities.
The IAAF academic diploma holder, which is the highest level of qualification by track and field's world governing body in any specific discipline, wants to one day be mentioned among some of the country's coaching greats.
"I have great respect for some of the other more successful coaches like Glen Mills, who I think is the master tactician in the sport both locally and international; Stephen Francis, who is the pioneer when it comes to persons staying here to train and then perform on the international stage; and Dennis Johnson, who had the first kind of organised club locally," Wilson said. "These guys are inspiration for me, so although I am not at the level where I want to be, if I continue to look up to these persons, I will get there one day."