For the past 3 years the Jamaica College Old Boys Association of Florida plays the St. George’s College Old Boys Association of Florida in a annual soccer match to commemorate Dennis Ziadie who coached both school to Manning cup championships. I am very involved in planning of the event each year as the past president of the chapter. The planning keeps me busy the weeks leading up to the match. But on the day of the event the memories of the 1984 Manning Cup finals match we lost to St. George’s comes back to haunt me. The team the St. George’s fields is full of all the players from that year. They have been the JC old boys the past 3 years.
But back to my haunting memories. What was most hurtful about that final match was we played to a draw on the Saturday the finals was played. So a second match was scheduled to decide the finals that following Monday. We scored first and I was sure we had the game. I remember “highfiveing” and celebrating in the stand. I could taste victory. Our defense was one of the best. We had “hog eye” (nickname of our best defender) in the backfield and he would “clean up” anyone that try to get between him and the goalie. Went in with a lead at half time and eventually lost the match 2-1. I will never for get that week at school. It was like someone had died. Most of the guys on that team were in my year. They never came to school that week. It was like we all died. It was very sad because on that very Monday we lost our Basketball team won a championship. I left the national stadium to go over to the arena to watch them win…
I think every high school boy in Jamaica wants to be “there” (attending school) during the year you win a Champs or Manning Cup. You get to boast and brag that you were there when the school won something. There is nothing like it.
So this April 26th I will re-live these memories. It may be a little easier this year as JC won the Manning cup last year. Yes…we still own the most manning cups (had to brag a little) 😀 . But that 1984 Final will leave with me forever.
PS: The one good thing that came out of us losing the final was me “cling” to basketball. It was the only thing we won in 1984 and 1985. My love for basketball continues today as many of you know.