Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Three-time Manning Cup champions, Calabar High School, got a shot in the arm - ahead of the 2013/2014 schoolboy football season - last Friday, as they were presented with training gear by the institution's old boys, based in Washington DC, in conjunction with the David 'Wagga' Hunt Scholarship Committee.
The $200,000 worth of gear bear the image of the late Hunt on the shirts. Hunt was head coach of Calabar's Manning Cup football team at the time of his passing, in 2007.
"We are happy for what he (Hunt) has done for us, and one thing we are sure of is that Calabar will continue to keep his name alive, and he is basically the genesis of our football programme and not just football, as he has done a lot," said Calabar's principal, Albert Corcho, during the handover exercise.
"We are very happy that our old boys continue to come back on board to donate stuff to the school.
"We are happy for the donation coming out of the Washington DC chapter and we are going to put them to good use so that our boys will continue to benefit from what is happening at Calabar," he noted.
Washington DC Chapter's contributions
Calabar old boy, Michael 'Mac P' McPherson, pointed out that the Washington DC chapter's contribution to the Red Hills Road-based institution goes beyond just training gear.
"Every year, the Washington DC Chapter has contributed $100,000 to assist the Manning Cup team, in addition to the gear," McPherson said. "This is the fifth renewal, as being a past player and someone who got a full scholarship to Howard University based on playing for Calabar, I thought it was important to assist the school, so that it can further the growth of the school both academically and also in sports."
Despite preparations for the new football season - which is expected to kickoff on the September 14 - being in high gear, Corcho does not anticipate that the team is ready to claim the Manning Cup title, which it last won in 2005, just yet.
"We have a three-year plan and based on what we have seen so far our boys are focused and we are going to do very well this year," Corcho expressed. "Part of my three-year plan just coming to Calabar is that we are going to take the trophy in another three years.
"The training this year has been going pretty well as the boys have been in camp since July and we have played a number of matches. Currently, they are in St Elizabeth at another camp, so all in all it looks very good for the football season coming up, and we will be a force to reckon with this year and if the trophy comes I will take it."
Full Caption: From left: Calabar old boy and David 'Wagga' Hunt Scholarship Committee
member, Don Streete, Paulette Rhoden of Crimson Dawn Sports, Calabar's
principal Albert Corcho, and Michael 'Mac P' McPherson of the Calabar
Old Boys' Chapter based in Washington DC, along with students Mervin
Kerr (left) and Javanni Scott, examine training gear for the 2013/2014
football season. The gear was donated last Friday by the Calabar old
boys in Washington DC in conjuction with the David 'Wagga' Hunt
Scholarship Committee.- Rudolph Brown/Photographer