Wolmer’s Preparatory are aiming to capitalise on their long-awaited success in winning the Jamaica Independent Schools Association (JISA)/Tastee Alberga Cup football competition for Under-12 players.
The Heroes Circle-based school rose from a 37-year slumber to capture the Prep Schools league title by defeating Emmanuel Christian Academy 1-0, with a goal from Devaughn Ricketts, in the recent final at Sts Peter and Paul Preparatory.
At devotion on Monday, December 10, coach Raymond Leveridge hailed the achievement as the school celebrated its triumph, noting that it embodied more than sport.
“This means a lot for the Wolmer’s family. We want to ride this wave in our sporting fraternity, in our academic fraternity, to motivate all the youngsters here to keep striving to do their best as the motto says, in everything do the best that you can to the best of your ability, ” said Leveridge.
The coach said they invested a lot to attain their goal, beginning three to four years ago, when the players were in grades two and three. Early signs emerged in 2016 when the team made both semi-finals for the Alberga Cup and Henriques Cup knockout competitions, which they lost 1-0, but ended up finishing third.
In 2017, Wolmer’s Prep made a bigger step and qualified for both league and knockout finals, ultimately winning the Henriques Cup but losing the league final on penalties.
This year, they did the reverse, making up for the disappointment of losing their knockout crown by winning the big one.
“It’s a bittersweet moment because we still fell short as we wanted the double, but nothing can replace the victory of the Alberga Cup,” said Leveridge.
The occasion marked a special moment also for Jahmani Bell, the competition’s leading goalscorer with 25 goals.
“I scored 25 goals. It was a joy for me because we had not won the Alberga Cup in about 37 years. My father won it, so I’m happy to win it,” shared Bell.
The joy was echoed by principal Janet Howard and Ryan Foster, the school’s new chairman.
Howard said: “This victory means that whatever we do, we’re going to continue to do it to the best of our ability. We may not win all the time in every area, but our aim is to win and to do the best that we can.
“As the principal of Wolmer’s Prep now, I must say it’s just God’s timing. I am proud. The other principals I honour them, too, because I know they were motivating the coaches and the team to win, and I honour them for their hard work. “
Foster, who is also CEO of the Jamaica Olympic Association, said that the Wolmer’s triumph came as a result of “hard work, dedication, motivation, diligence, and resilience”.
“I think The Wolmer’s family, Wolmer’s Boys’, Wolmer’s Girls, Wolmer’s Prep have prided ourselves on developing all-round individuals, and I believe this victory will galvanise Wolmer’s Prep for greater things in other competitions such as Prep Champs, which comes up in May,” observed Foster.