The Rusea's factor in STETHS's triumph
CATHERINE HALL, St James — While the fans of St Elizabeth Technical were celebrating their third daCosta Cup victory on Saturday after beating Garvey Maceo High 4-1 in a one-sided final at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, fans of another school, Rusea's High, were sharing in the spoils of victory.
Three players who started for STETHS this season, striker Jovan James who was instrumental in the latter stages and in the final with crucial goals, key midfielder Keano Williams who also scored on Saturday as well as Tevin Blake, had played for the Hanover school the last two seasons and were part of the team that beat STETHS 1-0 in the 2011 final.
The switch led to an interesting situation where the players won two titles in three seasons, but with different teams with an additional twist that one team STETHS, was involved in both games.
The loss of the three players, however, left Rusea's without the experience they needed this season and after scraping through a competitive Zone B, ended the season with four straight losses in the first round of the Ben Francis KO and all three Inter-zone games.
Amidst the wild celebrations, Blake and James told the Jamaica Observer they were happy to be part of another winning team.
"It feels good to be winning the daCosta Cup again," James said, dedicating it to team captain Romario Thompson. "I did it for my captain."
He echoed Blake's sentiments that the STETHS team was a tight bunch and were all close. "We have a better bonding as we live together and play for each other."
James took over the goal-scoring duties after Khesanio Hall slowed down late in the season, netting four times in three straight games, including the final game of the quarter-finals were they beat Green island 1-0, the first goal in their 2-0 semi-final win over Port Antonio and the first two goals on Saturday.
"I am just very grateful for the chances," he said. "Oh gosh, I just kept my cool and tried to score for my team, that was my motivation."
Thompson and midfielder Carl Campbell are the only players left over from the last STETHS team to win in 2009, but while Campbell played, Thompson watched from the bench four years ago.
He, however, led STETHS the last two seasons and was the lynchpin for a defensive unit that gave up just eight goals in 21 games, four coming in the first 10, two in one game against Newell High and one each in games against Munro College.
On Saturday after he was dragged away from his cheering teammates, Thompson told the Observer he was "so proud to be part of this team, we were always confident and we knew we could come out and win today".
After being sent home late in the 2009 season because of his lack of fitness, he said leading his team to a historic double was satisfying.
"We are going home to get ready for the Olivier Shield now, there is still a lot of work to be done before Wednesday," Thompson ended.