In keeping with the ongoing efforts to publicly honor champions, the Grand Bahama Secondary School Athletic Association recently presented trophies to the 2019/2020 Oriel Knowles/Rozena Nesbitt High School Volleyball League champions.
The Bishop Michael Eldon Warriors dominated the championship scene winning three of the four division titles. They won championship in the junior boys, junior girls and senior girls division. The Sunland Stingers were celebrated as champions of the senior boys’ division.
The coaches and players were grateful to finally receive their awards. The ceremony had to be postponed last year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Stingers head coach Marco Cooper expressed that it meant a lot to him, to see his senior players get this opportunity due to the hard work they had put in.
“It’s a good feeling, more so because the guys worked hard for it. I’m extremely happy for the school’s program, because I believe this was our first senior boys volleyball championship in school history.
“To have our guys receive the award is a good feeling. There was some anticipation that we were going to have a season, but obviously it didn’t happen. Had it happened we would have been ready to defend our title.”
Third-year head coach of the Warriors’ junior boys team, Latoy Williams, expressed that he too was grateful and happy for his team to finally receive the award. He shared that while coaches tend to get most of the credit at times, he believes it’s all about the players who were actually on the court executing.
“They worked hard. The coaches are just there. We usually get the glory but it’s actually the students who put in all the work, the sweat and the tears. It shows how great they are at listening and being coachable athletes. They went out there and did what we asked them to do.
“It’s actually a credit to Coach (Allan) Hall who is now gone. Much respect to him, because we came together and we definitely had some great athletes and we were able to come away with a championship.”
Head coach of the junior and senior girls, Cherishe Hollingsworth-Lundy, shared that while it has been difficult finding ways to keep the girls active on the volleyball front, she was indeed happy that the young ladies were able to receive the reward for all of the hard work.
“We don’t particularly have the sanction to do everything that we want to do as it pertains to sports, and we’ve run into a few challenges even trying to revisit some of the disciplines in the PE classes.
“But we did what we could to make it work over the past year. I’m thankful the kids had an opportunity to receive their accolade and their just reward because they worked really hard and a lot of time has passed. Sometimes we forget, but they never forget. Many of them are seniors and some have already moved on to another division.
“So it’s good to just look back and see what you’ve achieved and get that little fire reignited to move forward.”
District Superintendent in the Ministry of Education Ivan Butler offered his congratulations to the winning teams. He also touched on the Warriors’ history of being dominant in volleyball under the late Rozena Nesbitt. He expressed it was good to see that the winning tradition was alive and well.
“Many years ago, and many of you who are playing the game now may not know, you had an outstanding physical education teacher here, Rozena Nesbitt. Even when I was coaching in school, it was always difficult to beat Bishop Michael Eldon in volleyball.
“That seems to be carrying on today. I don’t know what it is with this program, but whenever it comes to volleyball, this school always seems to excel and you deserve all the credit in the world.
“Mrs. Nesbitt has since gone on to glory, but her spirit continues to live on in this school when it comes to this school and volleyball championships.
“I bring congratulatory remarks specifically on behalf of our Minister of Education the Honorable Jeffery Lloyd, our Director Dr. Marcellus Taylor and the entire Grand Bahama District office in which I serve.
“I congratulate each and every one of you on a job well done,” he concluded.