The 2012 Pan American Junior Hockey Championships get cracking today in Guadalajara, Mexico, with both Jamaica's Under-21 male and female teams set to bow into action tomorrow against Caribbean counterparts Trinidad & Tobago.
Kemar Mitchell and Demi Nicholson will captain the Jamaican teams which are hoping to finish in the top five for the first time in the history of the competitions.
For the males, Mitchell will try to spearhead vice-captain Giovannie Green, Leon Waugh, Xavier Hendricks, Jonte Johnson, Oshane Thomas, Phillip Dawson, Kevaun Reid, Brandon Pitterson, Kharey Gayle, Clive Douglas, Shiaeine Blake, Giovannie Campbell, Romarie Creary, Brandon Clarke and Rjay Wallen to victory over T&T at 12:30 pm tomorrow.
Aubyn Ferguson will coach the guys with Christine Bartley serving as assistant coach and manager.
Drawn in Pool A, Jamaica will also play defending champions Argentina on Wednesday, Brazil on Saturday, and Guatemala next week Monday.
For the young ladies, meanwhile, Nicholson, vice-captains Chakira Airey and Kamille Griffiths, Tashana Edwards, and Trudy-Ann Knight will have to take charge as the senior national players on the squad.
Completing the team are Britney Black, Cyrinn Watt, Shenice Campbell, Samantha Jones, Ombetta Gordon, Micaela Sucklal, Kimberley Shaw, Gillean Galloway, Jheanel Brown, Teneisha Jackson, and Jody Ann Russell as Jamaica tackle T&T at 9:00 am tomorrow.
Veteran coach Dr Michelle Holt will guide the females, assisted by Giovanni Gordon with Carol Hibbert as manager.
Competing in Pool B, Jamaica will also play runners-up Chile on Wednesday, Paraguay on Friday, Venezuela on Saturday, and defending champions United States on Monday.
The board of the Jamaica Hockey Federation has expressed its appreciation to particularly the Sport Development Foundation, Jamaica National Building Society, and University of Technology, Jamaica, who have made the teams' participation possible.
Today, in the male competition, Argentina will play Guatemala in Pool A, Canada meet Puerto Rico in Pool B, and the United States take on Venezuela in Pool C.
In the female match-ups today, Canada face Brazil and Mexico oppose Uruguay in Pool A, while in Pool B USA clash with Venezuela and Chile go up against Paraguay.