Our footballers are role models - St James High lauds discipline
Last year, some local pundits took objection to a decision by national football coach, Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore, not to invite players who were bleaching their skin into the Reggae Boyz set-up.
Whitmore is taking a similar stance at his alma mater, St James High School, where he is the school's daCosta Cup coach.
According to a source at the school, Whitmore, with the full support of the school's administration, has outlawed the 'bleachers' and the boys with tight pants, punk hairstyles, and poor attendance record from the team.
"The footballers are among the most disciplined boys in the school today because the coach is very strict when it comes to enforcing the rules of the school," an academic staff member told the WESTERN STAR. "No bleacher, no tight pants, no fade hair style and you have to be attending classes and getting good grades."
According to the teacher, unlike former times when the footballers were seen as disruptive and only being tolerated because they could play the sport, the current crop of players are role models for the other students.
"These footballers are well loved and respected because they are good students," the teacher continued. "Between the efforts of our principal (Joseph Williams) and Coach Whitmore, we have ended up with a crop of fine young men we can all be proud of."
Whitmore, who himself had an exemplary record of discipline as a student, a trait he exemplified in his glory days as a Reggae Boy, made it clear, when he took the job several years ago that he would rather not win than to play with rabble-rousing young thugs who have no interest in their all-round development.
"Football is not just about being a good player it is also about being a good ambassador to the sport," stated Whitmore, who recently received a national award for his contribution to national football. "If you are not going to classes, obeying the school's dress code and not attending class, you will not be playing on my team."
As a result of the insistence by the principal and Whitmore that the St James High footballer must also make his mark academically, ten members of the current team emerged with passes in last year's Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations. Two of the boys got three subjects; three got four subjects, two got five subjects, and three got six subjects.