April 3, 2012
Edwin Allen celebrate historic Champs win
RAYMOND GRAHAM, STAR Writer
Hundreds of students and members of the Frankfield community in Clarendon crammed the campus of Edwin Allen High yesterday as the school celebrated a historic first hold on the girls' trophy at the annual ISSA/ GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships.
"This is a proud and historic moment for us, as the girls have worked really hard and to all those who participated at Girls' Championships and to those who supported the team including the principal, staff, coaches and the entire school community, I want to say a big thank you and we are going to ensure that we win for another 10 years as we have a very young team," long-time coach Michael Dyke told STAR Sports. Edwin Allen topped the championships with 365 points, well clear of arch-rivals Holmwood Technical, 234 and St Jago High, 180.
Dyke paid special tribute to the senior members of the team.
"I would like to say special thanks to members like team captain Sasha Gaye Marston, Danniel Thomas, Shawnette Lewin, Desreen Montaque and Kimberly Williams, who are leaving this year," said Dyke, who added that the win was a tribute to the girls who had left and had laid the foundation.
Principal of the institution, Everton Walters, now in his fifth year as headmaster, was very elated and assured the team that they would be getting all the support to ensure they continue their winning ways.
"It is a tremendous victory and this is something we have long waited for. We have been trying for a long time and today we are in great celebration mood. We are going to ensure that all things are in place by having a proper coaching staff, better training facilities and better dormitories for the young ladies to be more comfortable ..." Walters said.
On the school campus, students and teachers could be seen blowing horns and whistles as they danced while members of the school's band played gospel music.
Coach Dyke, who arrived on campus shortly after 8:00 a.m., was given a rousing welcome by three female members of staff who took him on their shoulders to the main platform.
A deafening roar then greeted members of the winning track and field team as they entered the schoolyard dressed in their white T-shirts and blue track bottoms with team captain Sasha Gaye Marston holding the winning trophy.
Also present to witness the celebrations were former principal Elroy Ricketts and Member of Parliament for North Western Clarendon Richard Azan.
Azan congratulated the girls and the coaching staff for a job well done.
"It is indeed a great achievement for the community as you have all made us very proud ," said Azan. Azan also presented an $80,000 cheque to the principal. This is in addition to $160,000 which was handed over a few days before the team left for the championships.
Team captain Marston, who will be leaving the institution this year, was very proud.
"We are extremely happy for this victory and I feel proud of the achievement of the team because we have worked extremely hard, and after disappointment in the past two years, we have finally done it. For members of the team like myself who are leaving, we are happy that we were able to leave on a winning note," said Marston.
The team and other members of the school community then marched through the town of Frankfield as members of the public, some on roof tops and others inside other business establishments, hailed their heroes. Following the march through Frankfield, members of the team, the principal and coaches, went by bus to the town of Spaldings, some 45 minutes away, where they continued their celebration.