By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Seventh Day Adventist displayed their dominance at the school level in Rugby, by becoming
the first to complete a clean sweep of all the BVI Schools Ruby Festival divisions, when they upset defending champs Elmore Stoutt 5-2, in the U15 Division on Friday, at the E. Walwyn Brewley Softball Park.
“They’ve been having a great season winning all three divisions and for this season they have been doing really good and upset another favorite in Elmore Stoutt, who have a lot of seasoned players,” noted coach Sherlock “Solo” Solomon who organized the event. “You really have to give it up for Seventh Day. They really played some good rugby this season.”
Last week, Seventh Day shutdown new comers Virgin Islands School of Technical Studies 2-0, in the U17 Touch Rugby Division, after their Primary School team overpowered Ebenezer Thomas 2-1, in the Tag Ruby Class. Cedar School and St. Georges also participated in the Schools Rugby Festival.
Solomon said Seventh Day’s victories didn’t come as a surprise because they started an afterschool program with him last year and a number of students have been showing interest. He added the during the week he also has classes with them in school.
“The kids are really buying into it on a large scale and over the last two months, they’ve gotten a new Phys Ed teacher and he’s a rugby man and that has expanded the program in the afternoon for the kids,” he noted. “They have been getting more time and playing with a little more structure and it’s really good to see. It has also been good to see all the schools moving the ball and playing with a good structure so I’m thinking going forward, especially with the bigger ones, doing a contact game during the summer.”
For the last six years, Solomon who has been running the school program said in past, he saw teams running and pausing. Now however, he’s seeing teams planning strategy, they’re supporting, attacking and are more organized going forward as a group, instead of players running and missing tackles.
“The local youths have been going after it and managing well, I’m very impressed with their play,” he said. “The next stage is to get a vibrant Under 19 team, because over the last two years, the U19 players have been getting on to the senior team. That’s why in the last two years we had a young national team because 60% of the guys were U20 and all of them came out of the school program.”
The BVI is gearing up to compete in a rugby tournament in St. Thomas later this month.