Volleyball referee Kenneth Waugh elated at selection for 2022 Commonwealth Games

By February 09, 2022
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Trey Williams and Mattea Issa to lead Jamaica's charge at 36th Caribbean Junior Golf Championships Trey Williams and Mattea Issa to lead Jamaica's charge at 36th Caribbean Junior Golf Championships

    Jamaica has officially named its team for the upcoming 36th Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships (CAJGC), with Trey Williams and Mattea Issa leading the charge. The championship, scheduled to take place from July 1 to 6, will be hosted at the Caymanas Golf Course in St. Catherine, Jamaica.

    Williams and Issa emerged as the top contenders in the Boys and Girls 18 & Under categories during the recent three-day trials held at the same venue. Their stellar performances have set high expectations for the team, which features a blend of seasoned players and promising newcomers.

    In the Boys 18 & Under category, Williams will be joined by Aman Dhiman and Ryan Lue. This strong trio will be backed up by reserves Noah Azan and Jerone Thomas, ready to step in if needed. The Boys 15 & Under team includes Kemari Morris, Davin Hogan, and Cameron Coe, with Jamal Stewart on standby as a reserve. Representing the youngest male age group, the Boys 11-13 category, Shasa Redlefsen will be the sole competitor.

    The Girls 18 & Under team will see Issa partnering with Kierra Williams, supported by reserve player Anoushka Khatri. Olivia-Marie Green will compete in the Girls 15 & Under category, while the Girls 11-13 category features Alessandra Coe and Mallaina Williams, both eager to make their mark.

    National coaches Jason Lopez and Jonathan Newnham have been rigorously preparing the team, aiming to capture the Hank James Country Trophy for the first time. Jamaica's past performances at the CAJGC include notable second-place finishes in 2018 and 2019.

    Team manager Alison Reid expressed her optimism about the team’s prospects, especially given the advantage of competing on home soil. The players are poised to leverage this familiarity to their benefit, with strong support from their coaches and the local golfing community.

    The championship is backed by an array of sponsors, including British Caribbean Insurance Company (BCIC), Digicel Group, Fleetwood Jamaica Limited, Island Car Rentals & Tours, Wisynco, and Restaurants of Jamaica. Their support underscores the significance of the event and the high hopes placed on Team Jamaica.

     

  • Hector, Harding eager to make mark on Jamaica's Copa America campaign Hector, Harding eager to make mark on Jamaica's Copa America campaign

    As Jamaica’s senior Reggae Boyz gear up for their highly anticipated Copa America campaign, two players, Michael Hector and Wes Harding, find themselves at different junctures of their international careers. Despite their varied experiences and career timelines, both England-born defenders are eager to leave a significant mark on Jamaica's journey in the tournament.

    Hector has been a stalwart in the Reggae Boyz setup for over a decade in which he paraded his skills at three Concacaf Gold Cup tournaments –2015, 2019, 2021 –and he is now on the cusp of making his third Copa America outing.

    In fact, Hector, known for his versatility and composure, is the only player in Heimir Hallgrimsson’s current squad, who has the privilege of being a part of three Copa America squads over the years.

    “Obviously my first Copa America appearance was my debut and I’ll never forget that. Obviously, massive games, great atmosphere and I don’t get to appreciate it much, but when you’re in a tournament, you obviously know how big it is with the countries that are playing in it, so it is a special tournament to be a part of,” Hector said in an interview with Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) media, on Monday.

    As he reflected on the journey, which has been marked by consistent performances and a deep-rooted commitment to the country, Hector also shared his excitement about their prospects on this occasion.

    The 31-year-old’s leadership and defensive prowess will be crucial for Jamaica, as they rub shoulders with some of the most formidable teams in South America, as well their usual foes from Concacaf. His ability to read the game, coupled with his calm presence on the field, provides the Reggae Boyz with a solid defensive foundation.

    “For me, every cap I got, every time I can have a chance to represent this country, it's an honour and I always try do my best. The journey has been special, but it has not ended. Hopefully, there's a lot more special moments to come, special nights, and special days, but, it's been a fantastic journey, one that I always treasure and want to be a part of for longer,” Hector noted.

    Michael Hector challenges Lionel Messi during the 2015 Copa America.

    Though only two caps into his international career, Harding, like Hector, is determined to play a key role in Jamaica's campaign, aiming to do his teammates and family proud on his long-awaited return.

    “It's amazing to be back. It's been a while, over two years now, so, I’m over the moon. It's been a long, gruelling time waiting, watching from the distance, so, when he [Hallgrimsson] called me, I was really excited," said Harding, who made his debut against Serbia in 2021.

    At 27, Harding, known for his speed and aerial ability, is also rated as a strong, aggressive, and tenacious player, who can contribute to Hallgrimsson’s team in the right back or centre back positions.

    With Copa America representing a unique opportunity for Harding to again showcase his talent on an international stage against some of the world's best teams, he is ready to navigate the challenges to come.

    Jamaica's Reggae Boyz will open against Mexico on Saturday.

    "Yeah, of course, that first time (I represented Jamaica) was beautiful. I remember playing really well, I really enjoyed it, and then obviously the last time is Panama, which was so long ago as well. But, I'm just really excited to be here,” Harding beamed with delight.

    “It feels good to be back with a squad. I know a lot of the players, played against them as well, so, we've got a really good squad here and I am really looking forward to it. As I said, it (Copa America) is a big thing. This is, like the Euros (European Championships) over this side of the world, so, yeah, it is really amazing to be in, and I can't wait to get started,” the Millwall FC man said with an air of confidence.

    The Reggae Boyz, who are set to open their Group B account against perennial rivals Mexico on Saturday, will be aiming to be more formidable than they were in the recent World Cup qualifying fixtures.

    To do that, they will have to display indomitable spirit and resilience, especially as they chase history to not only secure a point or win, but more importantly, to possibly progress beyond the group stages on this occasion. Venezuela and Ecuador are the other teams in the group at the tournament being hosted by the United States.

  • Record-breaking Pryce is SEC Track Athlete of the Year, Chris Johnson, Coach of the Year Record-breaking Pryce is SEC Track Athlete of the Year, Chris Johnson, Coach of the Year

    The University of Arkansas celebrated a stellar year in track and field with significant South Central Region honours for the 2024 outdoor season. Senior sprinter Nickisha Pryce was named Track Athlete of the Year, while first-year head coach Chris Johnson was recognized as Coach of the Year, capping off an extraordinary season for the NCAA Division 1 Women's Champions.

    Pryce, a standout athlete from St. Mary, Jamaica, entered the outdoor season with a personal best of 50.21 in the 400m. She made remarkable improvements, culminating in a collegiate and Jamaican record of 48.89 seconds, which she set while winning the NCAA 400m title. Pryce's victory spearheaded an unprecedented Arkansas sweep of the top four spots in the event, earning the Razorbacks a crucial 29 points towards their team total.

    Throughout the season, Pryce demonstrated consistent progress, achieving career-best marks of 50.13, 49.72, 49.32, and finally 48.89. Her extraordinary performances were pivotal as Arkansas amassed 61 of its 63 championship points on the final day of the NCAA Championships. This remarkable achievement allowed Coach Johnson and his team to complete a sweep of the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor team championships in his debut season as head coach.

    In addition to her NCAA title, Pryce also secured the SEC 400m title with a time of 49.32, which at the time ranked third on the collegiate all-time list. Her dominance in the 400m was instrumental in Arkansas's 1-2-3-5 finish at the SEC Championships, contributing 28 points to the team’s total.

    Pryce's achievements have cemented her place in history as the first collegian and first Jamaican to run under 49 seconds in the 400m. She surpassed the 22-year-old Jamaican record of 49.30 set by Lorraine Fenton in 2002.

    Her time of 48.89 also eclipsed the previous collegiate record of 49.13 set by fellow Razorback Britton Wilson in 2023. On the 2024 world list, Pryce ranks second behind Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, who recorded a time of 48.75. Pryce’s time also ties her for 13th on the all-time world list alongside Mexico’s Ana Guevara from 2003.

    The culmination of Arkansas's season was highlighted by an emphatic victory in the 4 x 400m relay at the NCAA Championships, where the Razorbacks set a collegiate record and world-leading time of 3:17.96. Pryce's impressive third-leg split of 49.19 was crucial in securing the title. This performance broke the previous collegiate record of 3:21.92 set by Arkansas at the NCAA West meet, narrowly surpassing Kentucky’s 3:21.93 from the 2022 SEC meet.

    Coach Chris Johnson's leadership was instrumental in guiding the Razorbacks to these historic achievements. Under his guidance, Arkansas scored in eight different events to capture the NCAA outdoor team title, edging out Florida by four points. This victory followed their triumph at the NCAA Indoor meet, where they won by five points.

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