Naparima College

Naparima College - Football by Nadeem R. Hosein and A.Sirju

Naparima's standing involvement in league football started as far back as 1964 when the Colleges League was formed. However, by 1970, the football department at the school was virtually dormant. During the early 70's, the college won the South and National senior division trophies. In 1973, Naps returned to the spotlight by winning the National Intercol Tournament by beating Tranquillity Secondary 3 1. At that time, players such as Gerard Greene, Robert Francis and Ying Young Low represented the school. The Intercol title was again won by the school in 1976 and 1977.

The enthusiasm and success in football declined in the late eighties and early nineties. In 1995, the school entered the competitions but was demoted. In just one year, 1996, however, the football team won the senior division and was promoted to the Championship division once again. In 1998 a team with players such as Joel Bailey, Sanjeev Katwaroo and Erasto Neptune was able to capture the Southern Division League Title. That year we also placed third at the National level.

The year 1999 proved to be the most successful year for the College. We had retained most of our players from the previous year. The team set out with three objectives; to win the South Zone, Big 4 League finals and the Intercol title. After becoming Southern Champions for the second consecutive year, we achieved objective two by beating El Dorado in the National League finals at Skinner Park (3-2).

The team had to stay focused on their third objective and not become complacent with their previous victories. In our quest for the National Intercol honours and our third trophy we defeated Mucorapo Senior (3-1), St. Mary's College (2-1) and Malick Secondary (1 -0) in the National Semi-finals.

The National Intercol final was played before a mammoth crowd of Naps students and south supporters at Skinner Park. After a gruelling eighty five minutes of football, a header by Naps' leading goal scorer, Ateba McKnight, in the dying stages of the game sealed victory for us. In so doing, the College created a landmark by becoming the first school in the history of the Secondary Schools Football League to win all major titles in the league and to play unbeaten for the entire tournament. Naparima scored 47 goals but conceded only 12. In yet another achievement Jace Peters was selected as Player of the Year and was awarded the Coca-Cola Education Scholarship worth TT$ 10,000.00. Six Naparima players, Aquelius Sylvester, Clint Deverteuil, Jace Peters, Leon Brown, Ateba McKnight and Jason Hector were selected in the National School Boys 'All Star Team'.

These achievements were obtained through prayer, hard work and planning. Thanks are due to our sponsor for many years, David John Williams, a past student of our school. The coach, Jan Steadman, assistant coach Louis Linton and the technical staff, T. Babwah, Ricardo Narinesingh, Shane Lookit and Stephen Boodoo should also be
recognised and complimented.

The Principal and the rest of the administration should be commended for the support they give. Mr. Roy Jagroopsingh has been largely responsible for the success of the team. His foresight and planning played an integral part in the formation of the outstanding team. However, none of this would have been possible without the support shown by the students. The players themselves have said that they found motivation in the cheering crowd. The excellent performance of the school in both cricket and football is a result of the cooperation and support at all levels in the community of Naparima College.

Written by: Nadeem R. Hosein
Assisted by: A.Sirju

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