The playing of the David "Wagga" Hunt Memorial Football Classic returned on Saturday after a two-year absence due to COVID-19. The game was won by Kingston College (KC) who came from behind to defeat Calabar 3-1.
The classic forms part of the fund-raising effort for the scholarship initiative which provides financial assistance to boys from Calabar High where the match was played and where Wagga Hunt coached and Kingston College, the school which Hunt attended as a schoolboy.
Christopher Hunt, brother of David and one of the chief organisers of the event, was delighted to see the return of the Classic to the pre-season schoolboy football calendar.
"I am overjoyed. When I looked in the stands, it was a very well-attended game and I am just glad that we are able to have some in-person activity," he said.
Despite the inclement weather, the stands were full as supporters from both Calabar and KC turned out in their numbers and this also pleased Hunt.
"I thought it was a well-played game and I am just glad that people are here to support both schools," he said.
It was also disclosed that over $2 million dollars will be handed out in the form of scholarships to boys from the two schools this year.
"If you visit our website davidwaggahunt.org there is a lot of information about the foundation. I am proud to say that this year we are going to be remitting $2.4 million for 24 students — 12 from KC, 12 from Calabar."
Hunt is hoping to continue to expand the reach of the scholarship as time goes by.
"Since the inception in 2009, we continue to grow, and we are going to try and see what other things we can do to expand the programme. I am very excited with what we are doing," he said.
In addition to the money the boys will receive as scholarships, both schools were presented with cheques worth $US1,000 each. Former player Alty McKoy made the donation to Calabar while the Hunt family made the presentation to KC. Added to that, two Internet switch boxes were presented to each school to improve Internet access at both institutions by KC Old Boy Peter Dyche.
The match between the two rivals was an entertaining one which promises much for the upcoming season.
KC striker Ajani Clarke, who scored the equaliser for his team, was named the MVP of the match.
"I trained for this. I put in a lot of work. Thanks to our coaches, the team played well… and we got the victory. It was a very good performance from my team," he said.
The other goal scorers in the game were Teyshawn Mattis and Kashiem Harris for KC, while Isaac Clarke got the consolation for Calabar.
Raymond Watson, who has taken over the head coaching role at KC, spoke of the impact of the Wagga Hunt scholarship.
"I spoke to Christopher Hunt, and I told him how happy I am for the restart of this initiative. I want to say to the wider Jamaica, whether you are Kingston College or Calabar supporter or old boy, please get on-board because this is such a worthy initiative and a lot of youngsters have benefited from it, and a lot of youngsters continue to benefit from it."
Andrew Price, who is the new head coach at Calabar and who was experiencing his first Wagga Hunt Classic, was happy with the spirit in which the game was played.
"Both schools were very competitive. It was played in good rivalry, good camaraderie and it's good to see both schools' supporters come out here and enjoy a football game in honour of a great man, Wagga Hunt, who has done so much for football at both institutions and it's always good to honour him by having this game on an annual basis."
Both schools have been drawn in the same group in the Manning Cup and will face each other twice in the preliminary round of the competition.
— Dwayne Richards