Wed | Jun 16, 2021

Dyke targets Edwin Allen dynasty

Published:Thursday | May 27, 2021 | 12:15 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer
The captain of the Edwin Allen High School girls track and field team, Ackelia Smith (right), collects the championship trophy from Group CEO at GraceKennedy, Don Wehby after winning their seventh title at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics
The captain of the Edwin Allen High School girls track and field team, Ackelia Smith (right), collects the championship trophy from Group CEO at GraceKennedy, Don Wehby after winning their seventh title at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships earlier this month.
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Fresh from guiding his Edwin Allen team to their seventh consecutive and eight overall girls’ title at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships, head coach Michael Dyke is already warning his rivals that the Frankfield-based school will not be giving up their crown anytime soon.

Dyke’s team tallied 340 points to top the standings at the five-day championships, getting the better of St Jago, 309.5; Hydel 301.5; Holmwood, 160.5 and Vere Technical, 128 - the team he is hoping to emulate with their run of 15 consecutive titles from the late 70s to early 90s.

“We had a lot of mishaps at Champs, as we had projected to tally over 400 points, but winning by nearly 40 points in the end, we will take it anyway,” said Dyke.

“Next year we will be even stronger because all our top middle-distance athletes will be repeating classes. Our Class One will be the strongest ever, as Tia and Tina Clayton, along with Serena Cole, will join up with people like Brandy Hall and Bethany Bridge, while the upcoming Class Four will be much stronger than the present one, where we scored a lot of points,” Dyke reasoned.

“Once our athletes remain healthy and we continue to receive support from the school administration and past students, I don’t know when we are going to stop winning,” he added.

FOCUS ON ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT

With several coaches from contending schools, such as Hydel’s Corey Bennett, noting that the focus is on developing athletes and not on winning Champs, Dyke made it clear that the objective continues to centre around dominating the championships.

“If you have a big squad and is spending a lot of money, the objective must be to win the championships and, at the same time, allow these athletes to perform on the grand stage, so they can get scholarships to universities and become professionals afterwards,” stated Dyke, who has aided the careers of several professionals who have passed through his programme, such as Danniel Thomas Dodd, Christania Williams, Ristananna Tracey and Nikita Tracey.

Edwin Allen have had to overcome close challenges over the past few years with St Jago, Holmwood and Hydel hounding the champions, but Dyke says he is not worried by the increasing challenge.

“We know how to win at Edwin Allen and Hydel have never won a championships, while St Jago’s coach has never won as the coach. Who used to win at Holmwood are not in the system anymore, but if I must add, I think the team that I have the most to fear from in the future is Holmwood Technical, as they are 10-time champions and their athletes are fighters and warriors,” Dyke stated.

sports@gleanerjm.com