SCQ: Titchfield's rise going according to plan
The journey of Titchfield High School to become a force in Schools' Challenge Quiz (SCQ) was meticulously crafted by their principal and a set of players who were eliminated in the third round back in 2008.
"It all started with a discussion with our principal in 2009, and we outlined that we had a vision of where we can take the quiz based on the persons we had at the time and the persons that were coming in," coach and member of the 2008 team Chase Roberts said.
Roberts said: "When you have played, there are certain things that become clear to you, and not being able to move past the third round also motivated us."
Roberts and coach Alpha Sparkes sat down with principal, Richard Thompson, and he readily accepted the plans.
"People want to attach themselves to a winning brand, and being a school this old 231 years old we wanted to be better able to sell the brand of the school," Thompson said. "We still don't have enough classrooms to fit the number of students that we have, and raising the profile of the school will make it easier for us to go to past students and corporate Jamaica."
Two years after the plan was crafted, Titchfield lost to Kingston College in the final. They would lose in the finals in 2012 and 2013 before finally beating Campion College to win the school's first title in 2016.
But the school, which sits atop Titchfield Hill overlooking Port Antonio and the sea, knows that winning one title will not cement its status as a powerhouse.
DIFFICULT TO REPEAT THE WIN
"We know how difficult it is to repeat because we have seen teams win and then get eliminated in the third round the next year, so we know that it would mean a lot for us to repeat," team captain Zedan Martin said.
When the school community learnt that they had advanced to another final, students ran out of their classrooms, waving their ties in the air and chanting the school's name.
With the presence of past players who have played in the finals, Martin and his teammates are set to deliver another title to further raise the SCQ status of one of the oldest institutions in Jamaica.