'Sala' Lewis backs KC
Errol 'Sala' Lewis, a striker on the last Kingston College football team to win the Manning Cup, says the 2016 aggregation can end the schools 30-year drought in the competition.
Speaking from the United States on the eve of the Kingston College - Wolmer's Boys School Manning Cup semi-final, Lewis says the current team has to stay focused to win. The former sprinter/long jumper/footballer says it would be huge if his old school could win the Cup 30 years after he and his team-mates did.
Kingston College had a tough road to the Cup in 1986 and Lewis says a pivotal match, ironically against Wolmer's Boys, turned on a inspiring half- time talk from legendary coach George 'George T' Thompson. Kingston College needed to win by five clear goals to advance to the knockout stage but the first half ended 0-0.
"He said just one sentence at half-time," recalled Lewis emotionally yesterday. "He said, 'guys, you got yourselves in this position, only you can get out of it'."
There was no talk about tactics.
"That's all he said and everyone was quiet for like about 5 minutes", he reminisced, "and I knew something special was going to happen." Something special did happen. The scored stayed even until there were 20 minutes to go before Kingston College surged to a 5-0 victory.
"That was like the true Fortis spirit and that was really all because of George T", he said.
Lewis saw the current team at the annual KC-St George's College Roper Cup festival of football and fancies its chances.
"I saw Trayvon Reid," he said of his Roper Cup visit, "and I said, this is it, this is it." His observations of Reid were prescient as the lad scored six times in the first round of the Manning Cup and played well as KC progressed to today's semi-finals. Reid is the nephew of former national player Roderick Reid.
Lewis' advice to those who will play in the school's purple and white today is to stay focused. "They've got to stay focused because the talent is already there," he suggested. He urged them to remember the school's history which includes 14 holds on the Manning Cup.
"I spent some time with them," he said, "and I think they know what it's all about so for them winning this year, that would be huge." Noting that the 1986 team is looking forward to success for the current team, he concluded, "I think they'll do it."