SCQ: Munro banking on team spirit to lift title
In a congratulatory speech to members of his under-19 hockey team last Tuesday, Munro College's headmaster, Mark Smith, declared that their victory would be the "catalyst" for a series of successes for the St Elizabeth institution this year.
"We expect our quiz team to follow suit," Smith recalled saying to the hockey team. "And the following day, we were once again able to celebrate with the boys because the quiz team had indeed made us proud."
Munro had beaten St Jago High School 23-20 to advance to Schools' Challenge Quiz (SCQ) final the next day.
Munro has used extra- and co-curricular activities to keep their students engaged.
"This year, we launched our karate programme, and we are going start fencing soon," Smith said. "All of this is just to ensure that we keep our boys engaged and building a sense of team spirit."
Smith showed how important building team spirit is to Munro when he employed quiz coach Kayodi Drake last year.
"We never felt like the programme was heading in the direction that we wanted, and we brought in Drake, and I tell you, he is really special," Smith said.
Smith admitted that Drake's employment was also to fill the void created when high-profile track and field coach Neil Harrison left for Kingston College a few years ago.
"I see many parallels between Drake and Harrison. He is here to make a positive impact on the boys," Smith said. Drake hopes to continue that impact as he prepares his charges to face Titchfield High in the final.
"Titchfield is a very good team, and we will have to play well in the buzzer challenge because the match will be decided there," Drake said. "We are going to practise how to be decisive, and so on ... we are trying to get the boys to be at a nice balance between bravery and doing what's right."
Both teams have shown extraordinary composure in the buzzer challenge this season. Munro's moment came in the third round when they answered the last question to beat Westwood High School 35-34.
Titchfield, in the semi-final, answered the final question with three seconds left to beat Ardenne High School 36-35.
The final airs tonight on TVJ starting at 8:30 p.m.