Writer: Brian Kazaara
Much like the Arsenal team of the 2003/2004 season, Campion College’s tennis team is the unbeaten team in red, brimming with individual talent. Though Arsenal is a football team from London there are a number of similarities that both teams share in the arena (no pun intended) of sports. Unlike the then unbeaten Arsenal, however, Campion’s tennis team seems destined to repeat their title as champions of the LIME 2010 Inter-Secondary Schools’ Tennis Competition.
Captained by the gifted Ramone Doyley, currently ranked as the number 2 under 18 tennis player in Jamaica, the team has managed to win all 5 of their round 1 matches with relative ease, ensuring their progression to the next round. Doyley exudes confidence and is a player who excels both at the offensive and defensive sides of the game. Rory Barrett, a seasoned tennis player who, when active on the national circuit peaked at 3rd in local under 18 rankings, is another star in the team of champions. He currently holds the 14th position. Teammate, Saied Pitt is only one position below in 15th spot, with Jared Wright just below in the 16th position – superb rankings due to their brilliant performances of late.
The team is a blend of experience and youth from different year groups in the school. From 6A Captain Ramone Doyley, Rory Barrett, Kristov Gayle, Saied Pitt and Jared Wright have all been important members of the team. The current team coach appreciates their contribution so much that she has suggested having all 6A players be recognized as Team Captains. The team roster continues, as from 6B there is Daniel Giles and from 5th form the 11th ranked under 16 player Phillip Shum. From second form comes the young but immensely talented Andrew Bicknell, who at the age of 12 currently holds the rank as 3rd in the national under 16 Ranking. The team’s substitutes are also talented, featuring 5th formers Ian Bennett and Clement Stevens.
Currently, all players on the team are very active and have each received many opportunities to showcase their talents. This is best illustrated in Rory Barrett’s own words: “If after the singles have all been played the winner is decided then we sub in other players [sic] and that has been the case for most matches so far so everyone has played.”
The team has beaten Kingston College, Jamaica College, Ardenne High, Hillel Academy and last year’s finalists Wolmer’s Boys’ high on their triumphant trump to the 2nd round. When questioned about how the first round played out Captain Ramone simply said, “smooth sailing,” with a confident smile. Much like Arsenal did, the current Under 19 team not only wins matches but dominates proceedings with a signature style of tennis that would excite any purist fan of the sport. When questioned about the team’s chances Ramone confidently answered “In a very good position to win (the title) as we wiped through all the top teams in the group stages.”
Currently Ramone, Daniel Giles and Andrew Bicknell are all individually unbeaten and if collectively the team can maintain their unbeaten streak then they will not only surpass Arsenal’s achievement, by defending their title, but will also cement their credentials as the best team to ever play for Campion and possibly in the country’s history.