William Ysaguirre Freelance Reporter
The boys of Escuela Secundaria Técnica Mexico of San Roman, Corozal, will represent Belize at the upcoming Central American Junior Scholastic Games (CODICADER) in Guatemala in September,.
They have won the National Football Championships organized by the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA).
Delille Academy in
Dangriga hosted the tournament sponsored by Bowen & Bowen Ltd and Crystal Water at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga on Friday and Saturday, February 14-15.
The Escuela Mexico boys, completely dominated the Southern regional champions, the boys of Independence High School, and won 4-1 in the championship finals. When the Independence defenders blundered into taking down an Escuela forward in the goal area, the referee ruled penalty. Escuela’s central defender, Edgar Itza, stepped up to convert for a 1-0 lead.
Wilbert Rivas and Elmore Godoy led the Independence counterattack, with help from Kendis Hernandez, Rene Leslie, Osmani Sanchez and Anthony Linares at midfield, but the Escuela defenders, Israel Ara, Josue Che and Daniel Tzul shut them down to preserve the 1-nil lead up to intermission.
Luis Witz scored a second goal soon after the break, and the Independence boys were reduced to 10 men when defender Jason Perez received a second yellow card resulting in a red card ejection. Luis Witz scored a third goal, before finally Wilber Rivas scored a consolation goal for Independence.
Camilo Sanchez scored a fourth goal when his execution of a free kick lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper into the back of the net.
The Escuela boys advanced to the finals by a 4-1 drubbing of the Central Division champions, the boys of Wesley College in the opening game of the tournament on Friday evening.
MVP Camilo Sanchez scored the first goal and Luis Witz added a second to lead 2-0 at intermission. Tyrell Rowley scored for Wesley in the second half, but Steven Grant scored Escuela’s third goal. Luis Witz added a fourth for the 4-1 win.
Independence boys advanced to the finals by a 4-3 win over the Western regional champions, the boys of Mopan Technical High School in the second game on Friday night, after regulation time and overtime ended in a scoreless draw. Wilbert Rivas, Anthony Linarez, Osmani Sanchez and Charles Leslie all converted for Independence, while only Christian Lopez, Wilber Reyes and Denivar Chan were able to convert for Mopan, after Independence goalkeeper stopped two penalties.
The Mopan boys won the consolation game for third place 2-1 over the Wesley boys on Saturday morning. Mopan’s team captain Wilber Reyes scored the first goal in the first half and added a second goal after intermission, before Keeron Young capitalized on a Mopan defensive error to score a consolation goal for Wesley.
The Delille Academy principal presented the championship, second and third place team trophies to the team captains, and individual medals to the players. The President of the Football Federation of Belize, Ruperto Vicente, was on hand to present the Most Valuable Player award to Camilo Sanchez of Escuela Mexico.