Kenya Secondary School Sports Association (KSSSA) Term Two Games ended on Saturday at Eldoret’s Hill School as new champions were crowned in football, volleyball boys, netball and rugby.
Despite favourites in most categories being crowned champions, underdogs and more so new-comers gave reputable teams a run for their money.
The biggest surprise was Kwale Girls who clinched the Under 19 football title in their second appearance in the national school games. The first time the school made it to the nationals was last year where they went on to lose all their pool matches and finished last among the eight teams.
Mombasa Olympic’s head coach Joshua Oyoo then coached them.
A new coach, Mukasa Amboko, regrouping and hard lessons from their failed attempt in 2017 helped the Kwale girls beat favourites including defending national and East Africa champions Wiyeta to clinch the title and produce the girls’ U19 Most Valuable Player (MVP) Elizabeth Katungwa.
“There are no defending champions in football and the World Cup has demonstrated that over and over. Coming to the nationals, we knew we had the talent and zeal to be in the podium finish but what we wanted most was our maiden title. Making it to the semis was a golden opportunity to make the best of the God-given chance. Our participation in the County Government games held in Makueni in April where Kwale won also helped us gain the much needed experience on how to manage matches,” said an elated Amboko.
The boys’ Under 19 also has new champions in Kakamega’s ‘Green Commandoes’ who finally clinched their thirteenth title on their fourth attempt against a hard fighting Olbolsat who has defied odds to qualify for the finals, beating favourites St Antony in the semis. Henry Otola’s header in stoppage time broke Olbolsat’s hearts as they had imagined a perfect debut where they would clinch the title. However, their achievement is to be lauded.
“Olbolsat had proven to be a good team and we knew we will not have it easy. However experience in the National Super League and finishing third in East Africa gave us the edge. Our finishing was wanting and now we have to go back and polish that as well as work on the boys’ emotions as we head to Rwanda,” said Kakamega head coach Brendan Mwinamo.
Kakamega also produced the boys’ MVP, captain Chris Alfa, who had impressively guided his team to the title. Alfa, a form three student attached to Gor Mahia’s youth team reiterated coach Mwinamo’s views on the team’s finishing saying that they will work on it as he looks to leave a legacy of winning both the national and East Africa title as the captain.
On his part Olbolsat coach Francis Muhambe was proud of his boys as after five years of trying, the school finally broke past the Tetu and Passenga regional deadlock to make it to their first national competitions.