Category: SCHOOL SPORTS

EAGLES REPEAT AS SENIOR GIRLS CHAMPIONS

The Agape Christian Eagles senior girls defeated the C.V. Bethel Stingrays to come out on top at the Bahamas National High School Volleyball Championships on Saturday night at the Anatol Rodgers gymnasium. The Eagles defeated the Stingrays in the championship match for the second year in a row. 

For the second year in a row, the Agape Christian Eagles senior girls met the C.V. Bethel Stingrays in the gold medal match of the Bahamas National High School Volleyball Championships, and for the second year in a row, the Eagles came out on top.

The title of best senior girls high school volleyball team in the country once again belongs to a school not in the capital island of New Providence, or even Grand Bahama.

Agape Christian, out of Marsh Harbour, Abaco, came to the high school volleyball nationals, and completely dominated. In the championship match, they got past the Stingrays, 25-18, 20-25 and 15-5, on Saturday night at theMarsh Harbour, Abaco

Leading 10-5 in the third and final set, championship Most Valuable Player (MVP) Clanae Davis served up five aces in a row to seal the deal for the Eagles.

The high school senior said that they kept their faith alive in spite of the many hurdles they had to cross this year.

“It feels great. It just feels good to be at this point once more with my teammates,” she said. “I’m grateful to God for allowing us to make it to the top again. We kept hope alive through this whole process. I just feel like all of our hard work and dedication has paid off. I just wanted to go out there and win this in my last year with my team and I’m just thankful that we were able to do that.”

Davis said that she has been involved in the sport of volleyball since the age of seven, learning from her father, and she just continued to progress from year to year.

“All the experience I got over the years, I could say that it pays off. This is my last year, but it’s a strong program at Agape, so I’m sure that once they keep working at it, they will be able to three-peat.”

For Head Coach Stephon Johnson, he had to piece the players together after a couple players suffered injuries. One of his players in particular, Deanna McDonald, fought through a twisted ankle just to contribute toward her team’s success. Another one, Susie Pinder, went down with a knee injury in the tournament semifinals.

“We trained really hard and we went out there and fought hard despite the injuries. They just played smart and played hard,” said Johnson. “It’s a great feeling. Hopefully we could keep it up. God has really blessed me with some great kids and great players and I am really thankful for that. When you look at Clanae, she really wanted it and she went out there and played hard for it. I’m really proud of her and all of the other kids.”

As mentioned, it’s the second consecutive national high school senior girls volleyball title for the Eagles. C.V. Bethel lost in the championship match two years back-to-back. St. John’s College won the bronze medal this year.

“We’ve been working hard for four years, and the girls really wanted it,” said Johnson. “A lot of them I had in the program for all four years, and now the rewards are coming in. They stuck together and it paid off.

“We’ve been through a lot of hard times this year, but sometimes God gives you challenges to make the victory sweeter, and we truly believe that is what happened.”

For the Stingrays, it was a devastating loss, falling in the championship match two years back-to-back.

“We wanted it, but it appeared that we gave up at the end. It was a good game, but we fell apart,” said one of their players, Amoss Ferguson. “If you don’t fight, you can’t get anything back, and we didn’t fight tonight. It’s tough, but we’ll be back stronger and more together next year.”

The champions and runners-up from the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA), Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) and the Bahamas Scholastic Athletic Association (BSAA) all took part in the high school volleyball nationals this year, as well as teams from Abaco, Eleuthera and Bimini.

This is the fifth year in which the high school volleyball nationals were held.

Davis: Gsssa Eager To Get Season Started Next Month

By BRENT STUBBS

FOLLOWING their initial meeting with the general body, Government Secondary Schools Sports Association president Varel Davis said they are eager to get the 2018/19 season started next month.

Davis, who was elected during the last school year to her second consecutive term in office, said they will get started with volleyball on Monday, October 1. That will be followed by cross country on Saturday, October 6.

Basketball will follow when the new year rolls in, then the GSSSA will concentrate on track and field, soccer, softball for girls and baseball for boys.

“I am anticipating that this year will be bigger and better than last year,” Davis said.

“We actually went out last year and we are hoping to make it even bigger and better this year.”

One of the things that they didn’t accomplish in her last administration was the coaches-athletes banquet. “Hopefully we will be able to do it this year,” she said.

This year, Davis said they will welcome some new coaches into the system and there are some changes with players switching around from one school to another.

Among some of the changes of note are Daniel Pratt in from Grand Bahama and is at CV Bethel, Tiffany Wildgoose is in from North Andros and is at CC Sweeting, Tyrice Curry has moved from CR Walker to Anatol Rodgers, Christine Jenoure is in from North Abaco to Anatol Rodgers, Nikkita Taylor from Claridge Primary School is now at LW Young and Nigel Ingraham moved from RM Bailey to SC McPherson.

There have been two surprising circumstances as both Chevvy Simmons at SC McPherson and Dereck Cummings at CC Sweeting have retired from teaching.

“All of the coaches are ready for a competitive season,” Davis said.

“Everyone is preparing their teams and so we’re looking forward to a competitive year across the board in all sports.

“We are looking forward to see how the teams perform.”

Lw Young Junior High’s Invitational Tourney Starts Today

FOR the second consecutive year, one junior high school plans to give young basketball players an early headstart on an eagerly anticipated upcoming season.

The LW Young Junior High School is scheduled to host its second annual invitational tournament at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium November 8-9.

The tournament is expected to feature 12 teams throughout the GSSSA, BAISS and BSA including the hosts Kingsway Academy, DW Davis, Temple Christian, CH Reeves, CW Saunders, TA Thompson, SC McPherson, St John’s, Mt Carmel, Teleos and HO Nash.

Today, the tournament is slated to run between 3-9pm, and noon to 9pm Friday. There is a registration fee.

The TA Thompson Scorpions won the inaugural championship in the boys’ division led by MVP point guard Michael Bethel.

Bethel scored 13 of his game high 15 points in the second half to earn MVP honours and lead the Scorpions in a come-from-behind victory over the Queens College Comets 40-35.

In the girls’ championship game, the Teleos Academy Cherubims defeated The Kingsway Academy Saints 36-15.

Anthonique Bethel was named the MVP.

LW Young tournament organisers said the main objective of the event is to provide junior players with an opportunity to display their skills and for coaches to assess their performance in a competitive arena leading up to the GSSSA basketball season, according to a press release.

At the climax of last year’s tournament, speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Evon Wisdom, administrator in the Sports Unit, applauded LW Young for its initiative and challenged all schools to reach out to international sporting organisations to put on future events similar to this.

He stated that the ministry wants to assist schools in organising invitational tournaments where international junior high school teams can participate in competitive sports while on vacation in the Bahamas.

LW Young marked its place in Bahamian basketball history as the first Hugh Campbell Championship winner in 1982.

Some of the schools” outstanding former sports alumni are Frank Rutherford, the first Bahamian track and field Olympic medallist and Pauline Davis-Thompson, an Olympic gold medal winner and one of the Bahamas’ “Golden Girls”.

Gsssa Reverting Back To Their Old Schedule

WHEN the new school year begins on Monday, Government Secondary Schools Sports Association president Alfred Forbes doesn’t anticipate any changes in their coaching ranks. But he said the athletes can look forward to a change in the line-up of the disciplines.

The GSSSA, which caters to 12 junior and senior high schools, will be reverting back to their old schedule where volleyball is played first and softball is last on the agenda. This year, however, Forbes said the association will also be making an attempt to introduce baseball into the system for both the junior and senior high school divisions.

“We started last year with softball and ended with volleyball, but this year we will be starting with volleyball and ending with softball,” Forbes said. “Once volleyball is finished, we will move to basketball. Then we will start soccer in January, track and field in February and in April, we will round off with softball.

“We are trying to get baseball in the system for the boys. We are working with the Bahamas Baseball Federation and the Ministry of Sports through Greg Burrows. We are trying to see if we can at least introduce baseball for boys this year. We have been playing softball for too long for boys and there’s no scholarships available for softball for boys.”

Forbes said last year, we went through a trial period to see if they can be in line with the other local high school bodies like the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools and the Grand Bahama High School Sports Association so they could coincide with the hosting of the Bahamas Softball Federation’s annual Austin ‘King Snake’ Knowles High School Softball Tournament.

“We wanted to make sure that all of our teams are prepared for that tournament, which is a major one for the schools. But the availability of the gyms was a difficulty for us at the end of the school year when we played volleyball last year because they were being used for the school examinations,” Forbes said.

“Last year, the volleyball season was so tight. We were only able to play one or two weeks. And with the daylight saving time coming into effect in October, we will have more time for the teams to get to the park when we play at the end of the school year and we won’t be challenged as we were last year.”

By moving softball back to the end of the calendar year, Forbes said the GSSSA will have sufficient time to iron out all of the knits to ensure that they can get ready next year for the introduction of baseball into their system. Hopefully, in the 2014/15 school year, they can look at the inclusion of flag football into their programme.

The GSSSA is expected to begin their new season around the third week in September. However, Forbes said they won’t know for sure if there were any late changes in coaching personnel or any new additions from the recent graduation of teachers from the College of the Bahamas until everybody reports to school on Monday.

In any event, Forbes said based on what happened last year, they don’t anticipate any big coaching movement. “Everything looks to be intact. We came off a good year and so we are looking forward to another successful year,” he said.

National High School Champions Will Be Crowned At End Of Year

hey may not have gotten all of the sporting bodies back together again, but for the first time in many years, all of the school leagues will be operating under the same sporting calendar, which will better facilitate the Ministry of Education with the execution of their National High School Championships and Pilot Programmes in the various disciplines.

Evon Wisdom, who heads the Sports Unit in the Ministry of Education, said it’s a move that should benefit sports in general in the Bahamas.

“The GSSSA (Government Secondary Schools Sports Association) and the Secondary Sports Association in Grand Bahama will have a unified schedule with the BAISS (Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools),” Wisdom said. “Softball will be the first athletic event for high school inter-collegiate athletes.

“That will be followed by cross country, basketball, soccer and then volleyball, which will round out the season. That’s the same schedule as the BAISS is on. The only other sport that they participate in that we don’t do is swimming. But we’re pretty much on the same schedule as they are.”

Wisdom noted that the new Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald recently held a meeting with Eugene Bonimy, who represented the BAISS, Mrs Adderley, who represented the GSSSA and Kenton Rolle of Grand Bahama, who substituted for Norris Bain and the Small Schools Association, headed by Pastor Dave Adams.

“The minister insisted that he wanted to see championship events in these major sports, especially in the senior high and junior high levels, not the primary level,” Wisdom said. “In order for that to happen, it meant that we had to be playing the same sport at the same time in some extent.

“We know that we had a big problem with softball being last on the sporting programme for the GSSSA and Grand Bahama, while it’s first on the BAISS schedule and vice versa with volleyball. We found it was difficult to even do an invitational event that would decide a national champion in these two particular sports.

“So for the first time in many, many years, we are going to cause for that to happen. Based on rankings and how they finish in their leagues, we will send out invitations to the various school associations. We are looking at the format right now, but I think it will be for first, second and third from the various bodies.”

The Family Island schools will have a slightly different criteria for their participation, which will probably be in the form of their own championships to determine who will represent their islands.

The first event on the calendar for the Ministry of Education will be the Austin ‘King Snake’ Knowles National High School Championships which, as usual, is set to be held November 7-9 at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex. The event is organised by the Bahamas Softball Federation.

“For the first time in years, you have a unified association,” Wisdom said. “They won’t be playing against each other, but for the first time, the actual core sport will be played at a specific time in a given season throughout the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.”

It’s a move to facilitate all of the sporting bodies playing high school sports at the same time that will conclude with a National High School Championships.

Last year, the ministry hosted a pilot programme for volleyball in Grand Bahama, which will now become a full fledge championship. The championship, according to Wisdom, will return to Grand Bahama because of the success that they achieved in its initial year.

In a press release, the ministry announced the following:• The Ministry of Education wishes to announce that for the first time in many years both the public and private schools on the Islands of New Providence and Grand Bahama will follow the same sport format.

This milestone was reached under the able leadership of Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald, talks between presidents of various Principals Associations were held over the summer, at the Ministry of Education.

This milestone does not facilitate the schools playing each other in the regular season, but opens the door for concluding National High School Championships in each of the core sports.

The Ministry of Education is currently in talks with various District Superintendents in our Family Islands regarding the unified High School Sports format also. The format is as follows:

Softball (Boys & Girls Championships) – to be held in New Providence.

Cross Country (Boys & Girls Pilot Programme) – to be held in New Providence.

Basketball (Boys Pilot Programme) – to be held in New Providence.

Basketball (Girls Championship) – to be held in Grand Bahama.

Track & Field (Boys & Girls Championships) – to be held in New Providence.

Soccer (Boys & Girls Pilot Programme) – to be held in Grand Bahama.

Volleyball (Boys & Girls Championships) – to be held in Grand Bahama.

At least one of the relevant bodies noted how pleased they were to see the unification of the sporting schedule.

“What we are trying to do in conjunction with the Ministry of Education is to establish national high school championships,” Forbes said. “So we want everybody to be on the same page with regards to the sporting calendar so that at the end of each sport, we can have high school nationals.

“I think it’s a move in the right direction because for too long we have been talking about doing it. With the new ministry in place, they are all willing to do so. With their assistance, we can look forward to doing it this year. Everything is in place and we are looking forward to a good year.”

As for the movement of physical education teachers and coaches, Forbes noted that as far as he knows, only Edna Forbes has moved from CV Bethel, while Audrey Martin has also been moved from CC Sweeting to North Andros High.

GSSSA RECEIVES SOFTBALLS FOR SEASON

THE Government Secondary Schools Sports Association, which will see some familiar faces in new coaching capacities this year, were the recipients of a number of softballs for their upcoming season.

The New Providence Softball Association, through its junior developmental league, in conjunction with the Bahamas Softball Federation, made the presentation to GSSSA president Alfred Forbes at the Banker’s Field, Baillou Hills Sporting Complex.

Calling him a man he respected as his mentor and initial softball coach, junior league director Martin ‘Pork’ Burrows said he was delighted to present the balls to Forbes as a sign of their partnership with the league.

“Next year, we want their participation with us so we can make it bigger and better,” said Burrows of the junior developmental league that he started this year to enhance the performances of the young NPSA players.

Jeffrey Henfield, the assistant treasurer of the BSF, told Forbes that they are grateful for the opportunity to work with the NPSA in establishing the junior league.

“If we don’t get the juniors going, then we are looking for the sport to die,” he stated. “So this is a big step in the right direction and I would continue to support Mr Burrows with the BSF in ventures like this to come.”

In response, Forbes said he was elated to receive the balls on behalf of the GSSSA. He said he’s sure that they will go a long way in the further development of their league and also enhance the performances of the players.

“Martin said earlier that I was one of his coaches. Actually, I was not only his coach, but I was the man who gave him his nickname,” said Forbes, noting that he was so impressed with Burrows’ agility around the field at his size that he named him “Porkman.”

The GSSSA, which has seen a transformation in the coaching department at various schools, is expected to start its new calendar year with volleyball on September 26.

Among the changes in personnel are Fritz Grant, the former head of department at CH Reeves, who has been moved to Government High as the Senior Masters.

Grant, the head coach of the Bahamas’ team at the 13th IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, was one of the longest serving physical education teachers in the same school.

Other changes saw Antonio Saunders transferred from SC McPherson to CR Walker, Chris ‘the General’ Grant from DW Davis to Anatol Rodgers, David Ferguson from Anatol Rodgers to Government High as the head of the department, Edna Forbes from LW Young to CV Bethel and Donnette Martin from Government High to DW Davis.