St Catherine hunt back-to-back Walker Cup titles
Kingston Technical High School (KTHS) will hope to have a fairytale ending to their season as they face St Catherine High in the ISSA/Digicel Walker Cup final today at 1 p.m. at Stadium East.
St Catherine High, the defending champions, are targeting back-to-back titles while KTHS seek to end a 40-year wait for a schoolboy title. While St Catherine had to navigate a shocking penalty shoot-out semi-final win over Excelsior High where the first six penalties were missed by both teams, KTHS’ spot in the final was only granted because Mona High were ruled out for fielding ineligible players in their semi-final win.
Shaun Charlton, head coach of KTHS, has implored his charges to make use of their second chance in their quest to return the school to the heights that they enjoyed in the 1960s and 1980s.
“The journey we are on right now, we are writing a story as I told the young men. And we are the authors of our own story. And we are just laying the bricks as a foundation to propel us to be the household name that Kingston Technical was in the sporting fraternity,” Charlton told The Gleaner. “And we are using the football programme to drive back that knowledge of Kingston Technical.
TASTE OF VICTORY
KTHS tasted Walker Cup success twice in their history in 1962 and in 1981, the last time that the school ever hoisted schoolboy silverware. In Charlton’s continued quest of building the culture of the programme, he said that a victory would be an important milestone to continue that work.
“It would be a just reward for the amount of work that was put into the programme and I would have to give all credit and all praises to the Almighty because it has been a very tough journey,” said Charlton.
It is that mindset that St Catherine High School head coach Anthony Patrick said that they will have to be aware of as they have raised the level of their preparations upon the news of their change in opponents for the final.
“We know that it is going to be difficult. If anyone gets an opportunity like this, they would want to grab it with both hands,” Patrick said. “Definitely, they are coming to run, they are coming to play.”
For his sake, he is hoping that they would not need to capture that title on penalties in the aftermath of that shocking shoot-out display, but says that he doesn’t believe there will be a repeat of what happened.
“We have done a whole lot of preparation regarding the penalty shoot-out but we do not want to go there. We want to win it in the normal 90 minutes,” Patrick said.
St Catherine’s 2019 Walker Cup win was the first schoolboy title in school’s history.