After returning to the pinnacle of the ISSA/Locker-room Sports Girls Football Competition last year, Excelsior High were once again the toast of the awards ceremony following their successful defence of their title in the recently concluded season.
As victors, the six-time champions (2005, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2017 and 2018) deserved to savour every bit of the spoils and they were relishing the fruits of their labour at the function at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) offices on Wednesday.
The Xavier Gilbert-conditioned team copped five of the nine sectional prizes in addition to the most prized possession — the coveted championship title.
Among their awards were the Best of Goalkeeper of the competition presented to Tiana Schroeter, Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the final and the tournament to Tatyana Pitter and Chavelle Henry, respectively, as well as the Coach of the Year.
Captain and central defender Tarania Clarke received the Best Defender accolade.
Both MVPs were on the reverse side of the awards function last year, with Henry being named MVP of the final then and Pitter copping the MVP of the tournament award.
Pitter, who was celebrating with the Mountain View Avenue-based team for the final time, delivered an emotional vote of thanks on behalf of all the participating schools.
“Champions do not become champions when they win, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for competition… the victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.
“After seven years at the greatest school ever, Excelsior, it is now time for me to say goodbye as I move into college to further my education and football career. But I am grateful that I was able to spend some fond memories with my teammates and I will take those memories with me along my journey,” Pitter said before breaking down into tears.
Pitter is one of a few national representatives who are among nine players from the competition to receive scholarships from universities in the United States. Former national captain Rachel Walters and Gabrielle Gayle, both of St Jago, as well as Lennon’s Peterkaye Green, Rena Gordon and Brittney Thompson are among the others.
Meanwhile, the four sectional prizes went to many-time champions and this year’s third-place finishers Lennon High, who outshone runners-up Denham Town High on the day.
Lennon were named Most Attacking and Best Defensive team with 127 goals, while conceding a mere three goals, with their striker Gordon pocketing the Leading scorer prize for her 47 goals.
By: Sherdon Cowan