Coach Bennett believes Calabar could pounce if rivals slip
Calabar Head Coach Corey Bennett (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

After owning the title for seven-straight years between 2012 and 2018, Calabar High are eager to once again get their hands on the Mortimer Geddes Trophy.

While Head Coach Corey Bennett understands the widespread enthusiasm around their chances, he is by no means grandstanding for the March 28 to April 1 Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships at the National Stadium.

This as he points out that the Red Hills Road-based team is somewhat going through a rebuilding phase, which could result in them missing out on points in a few crucial areas.

"I want to say semi-rebuilding because I think majority of the talent are from the younger boys, classes three and two, and that's where we have to rebuild the base of the team from. I suspect that when those boys mature then we will be more able to think of competing for the championship. "So classes 3 and 2 are where we are thinking of developing from, although some boys already have their bad habits so it is hard to break, but I think in a couple years' time we should see some things coming to fruition," Bennett shared.

"I am pleased with how things are going, for the most part I tend to mark hard where performances are concerned, there are a lot of things I wish I could change, but hopefully we will be able to adjust those things earlier, especially in terms of strength work, but next year we will see," he told the Jamaica Observer.

Though not ruling out the possibility of Calabar making things interesting at the end, Bennett, who is in his first year with the team, believes it is important to temper expectations should things not materialise as anticipated.

The experienced coach also takes a similar approach with his Hydel team, who are still hunting their first girls' championship honours.

"There is the opportunity to win, but we are not focused on winning because you don't want anything less than winning to be a disappointing to these athletes because it's a young team. So you kind of really want to make sure that we temper expectations. But we are going there to compete and compete to the best of our abilities," he said.

"Calabar is a little different because they have a culture of winning and they consider themselves natural title contenders, so the average Calabar person, past or present, wants to win Champs.

"But I am just trying to temper it a bit by allowing the boys to be their best version, and if winning comes with that then we will accept that. But I think most of them understand where we are, in terms of our development, and I think they would appreciate that it will take some time to get to that," he added.

Still, Bennett is confident that his much-revered team will better the 170 points they accumulated last year when placing third behind reigning champions Kingston College and Jamaica College.

In fact, he went a bit further by using a cricketing term to warn rivals to tread cautiously.

"They figure if any of those two slip up, they are in the slips ready to grab the ball, so we are not going to drop any catches. Top three is a must. I definitely think we have enough quality to achieve that and, again, if anybody slips up then it improves our chances," said Bennett.

Titles down the years

1930: Calabar High

1931: Calabar High

1932: Calabar High

1933: Calabar High

1936: Calabar High

1946: Calabar High

1955: Calabar High

1958: Calabar High

1961: Calabar High

1976: Calabar High

1977: Calabar High

1978: Calabar High

1981: Calabar High

1986: Calabar High

1988: Calabar High

1989: Calabar High

1990: Calabar High

1996: Calabar High

1997: Calabar High

2007: Calabar High

2008: Calabar High

2012: Calabar High

2013: Calabar High

2014: Calabar High

2015: Calabar High

2016: Calabar High

2017: Calabar High

2018: Calabar High

BY SHERDON COWAN Staff reporter

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?