Excelsior toast of schoolboy cricket awards

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

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From being banned in 2017 and losing a closely contested final to Innswood High last year, Excelsior High rose to the pinnacle of the 2019 schoolboy cricket season.

After sweeping by all and sundry in the urban area Under-14 and Under-19 Grace Shield competitions, the Mountain View Avenue-based school basked in the fruits of their labour during yesterday's ISSA GraceKennedy awards ceremony at Knutsford Court Hotel.

Along with the GraceKennedy Jackie Hendricks Under-14 title, as well as the Grace Shield and Spalding Cup, Excelsior also copped a number of individual awards, including the lucrative Coach of the Year award.

Excelsior's captain Raewin Senior won the Carlton Alexander Award for discipline and sportsmanship across all competitions.

Kirkland Bailey, the man behind the success of the Under-19 team, was overwhelmed by the accomplishments of his team, having overcome numerous obstacles along the way.

But while he soaked up the plaudits, Bailey made it clear that complacency is not an option, as he eyes another successful campaign next year.

“I am extremely happy; the young men have worked hard, the coaching unit has planned and worked assiduously and it has come off, but we continue to look forward.

“We won't rest on our laurels, especially after all we have been through. But now coming back to dominate finishing undefeated at both Under-14 and Under-19 levels has left us in a good space,” Bailey told the Jamaica Observer.

“We want to make the statement that Excelsior cricket is not a one dimensional thing and we will continue over the years to come, as long as we are there, to keep working hard to produce competitive teams. We probably won't win every year but our names will be there or thereabouts every year,” Bailey said.

Dethroned champions and runner-up Innswood High also walked away with some individual awards, most of them going to captain Carlos Brown.

Brown copped four century awards, as well as the most runs and wicket awards, which resulted in him also taking the First Global trophy as the Top All-rounder for his 896 runs and 44 wickets.

Wolmer's Boys and Kingston College were the other two teams to make up the top four urban area teams.

Meanwhile, young Jordan Johnson also copped a number of awards for his performances in both the Under-14 and Under-16 competitions.

The 14-year-old won century awards and the most runs honours — 662 and 320 — in both categories and the most wickets award in the under-15 competition for his 40 wickets.

On the rural side, losing Spalding Cup finalist Manchester High were the toast of those competitions, winning the Under-16 and Grace Headley Cup titles.

St Elizabeth Technical won the Under-14 competition and were named the second best team overall in the Rural Area top four ahead of Holmwood technical and Vere Technical, respectively.


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