By this weekend the T&T rugby team will know if it will travel to the Cayman Islands for its third match of the Rugby American North Men's 15s Championship.
Another season of Secondary Schools Football has come and gone, once again parading to the football enthusiasts out there with another glut of unbelievably talented and promising future stars.
However, the 2017 season will perhaps be remembered for the mischief, malpractices and malfeasance of some school administrators just as much or even more than it would be remembered as the fourth consecutive year that a South Zone team won the Premier Division League title and the second out of four years under the new format that Southern-based teams swept the League and Intercol double.
Long before this essentially national format existed, the College’s Football League (CFL) as it was known before becoming the Secondary School’s Football League, was a conquest many schools dared to take on, and like anything else, there have been periods of dominance by several schools on a cyclical basis.
Teams first established their title winning credentials in their zones before attempting to widen their domain in the InterCol competition.
As calendars have been hung up and then discarded however, many of the schools that would have considered themselves and been considered by many as having pedigree within this arena through achieving league and/or InterCol supremacy through the years, have seemingly disappeared from prominence giving way to new dynasties.
Guardian Media Sport looks back at some of those teams.
Malick Senior Comprehensive/Malick Secondary
1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995
North InterCol titles:
1990, 1993, 1994
National InterCol titles:
Notable Players: Arnold Dwarika, Shawn David, Gary Glasgow, Kerwyn Jermott, Devorn Jorsling, Jason Scotland, Dennis Lawrence, Aurtis Whitley, Densil Theobald, Brent Sancho,
Arguably the greatest school team of the 1990’s, Malick Secondary School was virtually unstoppable during this period.
Led by an over-abundance of star players, who would play for the national team in the future, and legendary school’s coach Kenneth Franco, the school won the league and national InterCol double in 1990 and 1993, and won league titles in 1992, 1994, and 1995. It is no small feat that school had at least five past pupils on T&T’s 2006 World Cup Squad in Germany and many more who played a role in earlier parts of that historic campaign.
These days however, Malick Secondary is a stranger to top flight football and has never participated in the Premier Division since it was formed in 2014, the 50th year of organised Secondary Schools Football in T&T.
Belmont Boys Secondary/
St Francis Boy’s College
League titles: 1969, 1975
North InterCol titles:
1969, 1975, 1992
National InterCol titles: 1975, 1992 Notable players: Ron La Forest, Wayne Lewis
Malick’s glory years mirrored that of a Belmont Boys School team which disrupted the status quo decades before. At a time when CFL founding members QRC and CIC together with Fatima College ruled the roost, Belmont stuck a proverbial spoke in the wheel first in 1969, after it won the North league and InterCol titles.
This achievement was no fluke and Belmont stayed on the scene as North Zone hot-shots for at least a decade winning the league and national InterCol double in 1975. They blew hot and cold during the 1980s before returning to display its penchant for crashing the party in 1992 when at the very beginning of Malick’s run, Belmont would do the North and National Intercol double again in 1992. However it is the team of 1975 that will be most remembered for its amazing feat.
National InterCol titles: 1974
North InterCol titles:
1972, 1973, 1974, 1976
Notable players: Russell Latapy
When Belmont first arrived in the 1970s they brought Tranquility Government Secondary with them. After a spell of continuous domination of the North by QRC, CIC, and Fatima, the school notoriously captured the three-peat of North InterCol titles from 1972-1974 and capped off the winning period with a national InterCol victory in 1974.
The school has not lifted a notable trophy in 40-plus years, And after floating between the Championship and top division in the 1990s and 2000s it has seemingly found a permanent place in the lower category on North Zone football.
Princes Town Secondary
South league titles: 2002, 2003,
South InterCol titles: 1994, 2001, 2002
National InterCol titles: 1994, 2001
South Zone teams have featured on winners’ row in the College’s Football League since its inception, but Princes Town Secondary has never been mentioned among that elite group. That is until the 1994 season when it won the national InterCol title, ending a nine-year drought during which South Zone teams failed to win the coveted title. Princes in shining amour, indeed, who will always be remembered for bringing the title back to the South.
Seven years later, the team would win another national InterCol title and achieve the unique distinction of winning that year’s Cricket Intercol title too. Minding wicket an goal in both of those title winning teams was current T&T shot-stopper Marvin Phillip. Sadly Phillip remains the only symbolic representation of “P-Town’s” right to be named among the top teams in the mid to late 1990s and early 2000s.
El Dorado East Secondary
East league titles: 2001, 2010, 2011
East Zone InterCol titles: 2001, 2010
National InterCol titles: 1986, 2009
Notable players: Shaun Boney, Stern John, Jamal Gay, Daneil Cyrus
Whenever the debate was about the East Zone, El Dorado Secondary could not be left out of the discussion.
Popularly called “Blue Thunder”, “Eldo” or “Eldo Blue” The school rose beyond the canopy to win a national InterCol title in 1986, but it would fail to capitalize on this momentum and would only capture a second national InterCol title in 2009. Still, the “Blue Thunder” era of the 80’s was unforgettable. And in the very next decade T&T’s all-time national top scorer, Stern John began building his unquestionable legacy when he ran riot for his school team.
Arima Senior Comprehensive Secondary/Arima North
East league titles: 2012
East InterCol titles: 2011
Notable players: Timothy Haynes, Kerry Jamerson, Mickey Trottman
Arima Senior Comprehensive’s two titles is an injustice to a school which was undoubtedly one of the East Zone’s finest and one which produced a long line of talented players, among them debatably the greatest goal-scorer to ever play in the CFL, Timothy Haynes.
First arriving on the school’s football scene in the 1980’s, Haynes scored an unheralded 40 goals in the 85’ season, registering hat-tricks in six games for the Dial Dynamos.
Unfortunately for the school, however, Haynes existed in the era of Russel Latapy and his legendary San Fernando Technical unit, which meant his team would finish second best to the school which won the league and InterCol double that year.
Arima was among the teams in the debut year of the Premier Division in 2014 but was relegated that year and has never been close to promotion since.
GYASI MERRIQUE and
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