View from the Dugout - Sports News 29 August 2018
For the most part, school sports are governed by their own regional or provincial federation. These presiding bodies influence sport at schools to varying degrees. Some federations are intimately involved with inter-school sport and they play an active role in overseeing all functions of that code, determining all matters from the fixtures played to the officiating of matches. Other federations, by contrast, are very disengaged, only interfacing with schools when it comes to final provincial selections. Over time, we have seen more of a shift to the latter and, as a result, many school sports are now administered by school committees and in some cases a few elected individuals. Our inter-school fixtures are a case in point. These are determined according to the unique circumstances of governance of each sport code.
What has recently transpired, more because of necessity than desire, is that the KZN Boys’ Schools’ Sports Committee, comprising of all of the Sport Directors of the large boys’ schools, now presides over the fixtures of most big team sports. The advantage of this is that there is an element of consistency and an assurance that schools with large sport clubs are matched with schools of an equivalent size. To this end, summer fixtures for basketball, cricket and water polo are co-ordinated together whilst the same applies for rugby and hockey fixtures in winter.
In 2019 we have a unique set of circumstances in that there is a gross inconsistency between the term dates of government and state schools, as well as 3 term and 4 term schools. Adding to the complexity, is the fact that we (independent schools), have a long first term and a particularly short second term. The result of this is that we have an unusual fixture list in the first half of the year. Tournaments and festivals will also be affected in this period with some events falling inside our term time.
We are putting in many hours of planning to ensure that we are well prepared for the unique circumstances next year and, whilst this format is a departure from the norm, we are looking forward to the 2019 sporting year and all that it will bring.
Below is the domestic fixture list for summer 2018/2019 and winter 2019.
- Term 3 and term 4 fixtures 2019 are yet to be finalised.
- Tournament, festival and special event dates will be published separately.
SUMMER FIXTURES 2019 (BASKETBALL, CRICKET AND WATER POLO)
*in cricket the venue (Home/Away) refers to the 1st XI
06 Oct - Clifton (Home)
13 Oct - Maritzburg College (Away)
20 Oct - Westville (Away)
27 Oct - Half-term
03 Nov - DHS (Home)
10 Nov - Michaelhouse (Away)
19 Jan - Maritzburg College (Home)
26 Jan - Northwood (Home)
02 Feb - Clifton (Away)
09 Feb - Kearsney (Home)
16 Feb - Michaelhouse (Away)
23 Feb - Half Term
WINTER FIXTURES 2019 (HOCKEY AND RUGBY)
02 Mar - Camp and Trials
09 Mar - DHS (Away)
16 Mar - Kearsney (Away)
23 Mar - Michaelhouse (Home)
27 Apr - Northwood (Away)
04 May - St. Charles (Home)
11 May - Pretoria Boys (Home)
18 May - Westville (Away)
25 May - Half Term
01 Jun - Maritzburg College (Home)
08 Jun - Clifton and PMB Schools (Home)
14 Jun - Michaelhouse (Away)
For my mind, and particularly because we deal with adolescents who are more mature, there is certainly a place for tournament competitions at a high school level. Elite athletes will, after all, have to learn how to cope with the pressures of tournaments if they are going to play sport at a high level (almost all varsity, provincial, national competitions are tournaments) - but not every weekend! For me, it all comes down to participating in some tournaments but with a much stronger leaning towards friendlies and derbys where every boy has a chance to play. In this way we will hopefully teach that sport is not solely about winning but it is about developing the character and potential of every boy. Ultimately, school boy sport should be about establishing the foundations for future success – not winning silverware now. This sentiment is also held by most professional outfits, as articulated so succinctly by Claudio Reyna (USA National Soccer Hall of Fame player and current Director of the professional soccer club NYCFC), “For me, it’s irrelevant if coaches win state cups, regional cups, and national cups. How many trophies they have in their cabinet isn’t important. It’s about the kids, it’s not about you. We care about how many players you develop rather than how many tournaments you win.
The Inter-House Athletics Meeting took place on the Wednesday before half term. Over the years, this competition has become more of a mass participation event with numerous relays incorporated into the programme. Regardless, it was wonderful to see the boys fiercely contest every event with much fun had by all.
The results were as follows:
- Open 100m Cup – Robbie Mattison (Ellis)
- Open 800m Cup – Luke Grove (Churchill)
- House Spirit Cup – Falcon House
- Inter House Relay Cup – Pearce House
- Inter House Cup – Pearce House
On Saturday our track and field team participated in the St. Charles Inter-School Meeting. The team did exceptionally with a number of our boys achieving top three finishes. Our top performers were:
- Viwe Moloto - 1st U19 100m; 1st U19 200m
- Charles Vickers - 1st U17 200m; 3rd U17 100m
- Jimi Ogunyemi - 2nd U17 100m
- Keenan Vargues - 2nd U17 Shotput
- Shingai Mushonga - 1st U16 long jump; 1st U16 100m
- Frederico Scammaco - 3rd U16 800m
Mbongeni Malinga was the top golfer on the day and together with his partner, Jonty Weideman, took the honours for Newnham House. Falcon House (2nd place) and Ellis House (3rd place) made up the podium places.
LONGEST DRIVE COMPETITION:
Seniors – 1st Newnham; 2nd Pearce; 3rd Ellis
The individual longest Drive was Josh Chandler (Pearce) 320m.
Juniors - Falcon 1st; Pearce 2nd; Churchill 3rd
The individual longest drive was tied between Taurin Craze (Falcon) and Jake Carstens (Pearce) at 285m.
The soccer club hosted its Inter-House competition before the half term break. These matches, which operate on a knock-out format, generate a huge amount of excitement and the matches are very closely contested. In the junior competition Pearce House won the title beating Ellis House in the final whilst Churchill beat Lucas in the senior competition.
Following the half-term break the soccer club hosted a series of mid-week fixtures against Howick, Carter, Treverton and Escourt. Despite the cold and damp conditions these matches went off very well with our boys winning no less than 9 of the 14 matches played. This was particularly impressive as many of our teams were required to play difficult staggers. The 2nd XI (3 – 0 vs Estcourt 1st XI), 3rd XI (1 – 1 vs Treverton 1st XI), 4th XI (3 – 2 vs Carter 1st XI), 5th (3 – 2 vs Howick 1st), U15B (2 – 1 vs. Howick U15A), U15D (2 – 0 vs. Carter U15A) and U14C (2 – 0 vs Howick U14A), all did exceptionally to out-perform their higher".
On the weekend 1st XI were crowned champions of the MTN Pietermaritzburg FA Cup on Sunday following their victory in the final against Maritzburg College. Despite being unbeaten in the pool phase, we were placed second in their pool on goal difference, behind a very competent Haythorn Secondary.
In the quarter-final we squared off against Carter, a rematch of last year’s final which we had won. Carter had been in good form throughout the tournament and it was the PMB boys who came out firing in the first half, building a healthy two goal lead at the break. As has become typical of our boys, however, we were not going to give up and we clawed our way back into the contest with two exceptional goals. With minutes remaining, we then earned a penalty, which was duly converted and which completed an incredible come-from-behind victory 3 – 2.
The two semi-finals involved Hilton College versus St. Charles and Maritzburg College versus Haythorn. In a closely contested affair, we deservedly took the lead midway into the second half. St. Charles, however, kept on pushing and eventually, near the end of the match, their efforts were rewarded after a failed clearance lead to a goal of their own. In the end, the match had to be decided on penalties. Our lads performed clinically in this shootout completing a 4 – 2 win.
The final would be a showdown between traditional rivals Maritzburg College and Hilton College. College had shown excellent form in the competition so, as was to be expected, not much separated the teams in the first half. Although few clear-cut chances being created by either team, one couldn’t help but feel that this game would not end on a goalless draw. In the second half, things lit up when Maritzburg College struck on a counter attack. Playing the ball high on the left, a College player shrugged off two tackles to draw out our keeper (Costi Christodoulou) who, lunging for the ball was only able to parry away. The ball fell neatly for a College striker who duly obliged by rolling the ball into an open net. Our boys responded in the best possible way by immediately increasing the tempo of the match. This led to our equalizer when a precise aerial pass to Simi Bhembe was expertly controlled and the ensuing volley was thundered into the net from range – an incredible goal.
Despite us creating a number of chances in the last quarter, we could not make good of our opportunities and, in the end, the game ended in a stalemate. Once again, the title would have to be decided by penalties and, once again, the metal of our boys shone through. A flawless execution in the shootout saw us successfully defended our title as FA Cup Champions. A further cause for celebration for the Hilton team was that Costi Christodoulou was named goalkeeper of the tournament.
Congratulations to the following boys on being selected for the final round of KZN soccer trials.
- U14: Aidan Hope and Andile Matsa
- U16: Sabelo Moshesh
- U19: Costi Christodoulou and Tanaka Matsa
The tennis team were clear underdogs coming into the De Wet Cup versus Michaelhouse. Our injury-plagued team has missed a few of their top players all season and we knew things would be tough against the experienced Balgowan outfit. Michaelhouse got off to the best possible start in the singles, driving home their home court advantage to race to an almost unassailable 8 – 2 lead. To our credit we did our best to fight back in the doubles, winning this contest 3 – 2. Unfortunately, this was all a little too late with House claiming a comprehensive and well-deserved 10 – 5 victory.
CRICKET & WATER POLO
Our cricket and water polo boys continued their preparations for the up-coming season. The 1st XI, 2nd XI and U15A XI will be pleased with their form with all three teams claiming one sided wins in their T20’s against Northwood. In the swimming pool the 1st polo team faltered against Kearsney 6 – 10 but bounced back against Glenwood 7 – 4 to take second overall in the winter league. The U15A polo side dispatched Kearsney 7 – 2 and Maritzburg College 6 – 2 in their matches on Saturday.
Executive Director - Sport