SPHS Boys are repeat National High School Softball Champions!
Monday, March 18th, 2013
The San Pedro High School (SPHS) male softball team retains championship for the second consecutive year after competing in the National Secondary School Softball Tournament over the weekend in Belize City. The games were played at the Rogers Stadium on March 15th and 16th, where the SPHS male team represented the Northern Zone alongside the female team of Belize Rural High School. SPHS won the finals against Belize Comprehensive High School (BCHS). Each of the four zones, north, central, west and south submitted a male and female team after eliminations earlier this year.
In the first game played on Friday March 15th, SPHS faced Independence High School (IHS), taking the lead at the top of the second inning with a four to one score. The game was unchanged, until the fifth inning when SPHS managed to push forward five additional runs, ending the game at eight to one runs in favor of SPHS. That gave SPHS a ticket to the finals which was played late on the evening of Saturday March 16th.
Determined to retain the national championship, SPHS boys stepped to the softball pitch, ready for their opponent – Belmopan Comprehensive High School (BCHS). BCHS had won the day before against Nazarene High School (NHS) in a 12 to 10 score. The final game between the SPHS and BCHS was the most intense, filled with tension and excitement as the two teams strategically played each inning.
First to place runs on the scoreboard was SPHS, with three runs in the second inning. That was short lived as BCHS equalized at the bottom of the third inning. The score remained the same until the fifth inning. BCHS was the first to bat on the field and Konrad Gonzalez, who had managed to do 20 strikeouts during the tournament, performance spectacularly. Konrad managed to perform two strikeouts in the fifth inning, putting the BCHS in a very tight position. The third out came when Jovi Ico made a catch putting the SPHS to an advantage at the top of the final inning. But Jovi’s stellar performance did not end there as he shone again on the field, when he bunted the ball to send his teammates Damian Pollard and Luis Pinelo to second and third bases. Then came Alex Roache, who hit a long ball. That long-ball hit sent Pinelo home, automatically ending the game in a four to three score in favor of SPHS.
Speaking to The San Pedro Sun following their win, SPHS Baseball Team Captain and pitcher Konrad Gonzalez said that the win was a team effort. “For me it means the whole world, because people I look up to always tell me I will face big obstacle and this was one. Everyone was against us, but in the end we succeeded. We believe the final game would have been easier than the first game but it was not. In the end we still were victorious. It was a team effort, and I believe that entire team deserves the right recognition including our coaches, teachers and everyone that assisted us. The win was also theirs,” said Gonzalez who was also named the Male Most Valuable Player (MVP).
For his part Jovi Ico, who played second base position for the team, said the final game was all about strategy. “The strategy was to bunt the ball in between the pitcher, first and home bases; that made the backstop player scramble for the ball and giving us enough time to fill the other bases. I would then run to first base which would create a distraction. Once we had someone on third base the other person to bat would then try sending someone to home base,” said a clever Ico. That strategy certainly worked in SPHS favor!
In the female category Nazarene High School of the Central Zone claimed the championship after winning their first game against Belmopan Baptist High School with a 24 to 0 score. They also won over Belize Rural High School with a score of 17 to 2 runs. Female MVP was Nazarene High School Pitcher Ashely Lucas, who performed 10 strikeouts in two games.
San Pedro High School was represented by Brandon Munguia, Jovi Ico, Luis Pinelo, Alex Roache, Mariano Guerrero, Cole Ray, Konrad Gonzalez, Luis Herrera, Damian Pollard, Flavio Montejo, Nahor Howe, Edras Ramirez, Daniel Cortez and Amaru Barreto. The coaches were Marion Mejia and Brandon Bood, assisted by Teacher Paul Kelly. This is the second consecutive year that the SPHS has won the National Secondary School Softball Tournament. Last year the team won and represented Belize at the Council for Sports and Recreation of Central America Tournament (CODICADER) games in Panama in the sport of baseball. The CONDICADER games take place every two years.
The San Pedro High School will conduct a special assembly where the team members will be recognized for their outstanding performance after which they will parade through the principal streets of San Pedro at a date later this week. The San Pedro Sun joins the community in congratulating the San Pedro High School Softball Male Team on a job well done.
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