News & Sports

St Catherine High leads six schools into JBSB final

Published: Friday | April 22, 2022 | 12:08 AM

The battle of high school stage bands in season nine of Jamaica’s Best School Band (JBSB) competition is turning out to be quite exciting.

Round two was a revelation as St Catherine High wooed judges with song selections from the Skatalites and Alton Ellis, guided by the very impressive lead singer and trombonist Jeremy Brown. Drummer Daniel Dixon was not to be outdone and also caught the attention of the judges. Like they did in round one, they finished with top scores.

Alpha Boys, the only school to win twice, are defending champions but they will have to pull out all the stops to hold on to the title as they finished the round with the lowest score. Dinthill Technical and first-time entrant Denbigh High School also gave very good performances based on the theme, ‘Foundation Rules’, and finished the round in second and third place, respectively. Papine High and Belair High round out the finalists for the event set for Sunday, April 24, at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

At the end of round two, the judges, comprising Abishai Hoilett of Bebble Rock Music, Sherieta Lewis and Stephen Stewart, decided that all six schools should go to the final since, for the first time, bands submitted videos for round one and were unable to see each other’s performances. “Now they will work harder to put on an even better show in the final,” said Stewart.

JBSB founder, Rayven Amani, noted, “We had a rocky start to this season’s competition due to uncertainties around COVID-19 measures in schools. Thankfully, face-to-face classes are back and bands can now practice.”

New power in the land – St Catherine High

Published: Tuesday | March 29, 2022 | 12:09 AM Hubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer

St Catherine High’s Jerese Allwood
St Catherine High’s Jerese Allwood

There’s a new power in the land of high school girls’ track and field and it is St Catherine High School. ‘The Conquerors’ finished the recent Central Championships in fifth with the school’s all-time top score, leaving head coach Marlon James to ponder a top-five finish at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships (Champs).

The 197.5 total placed St Catherine behind Edwin Allen High, Hydel High, St Jago High and Holmwood Technical, and the achievement had James beaming. “That’s our highest score in the history of Central Champs. Last year we scored 127 points. The previous year, we scored 80, and the previous year, it was 47; so we’re going in the right direction,” James remarked on March 25.

Central Championships has long been a battleground for the nation’s top girls’ programmes. Therefore, the record score has stoked the ambitions of the Spanish Town-based school. Asked about his expectations at Champs, James said: “Definitely looking for top five. I respect all the other contenders, Excelsior High, Wolmer’s Girls’, Immaculate Conception High, they’re doing extremely well. I’m not saying that they can’t challenge for the top five as well, but I think we have more depth. We have more depth in the field events, and we have two very good middle-distance runners who will score upwards of 10 points, so I think that with a very good Champs, I think we can definitely come fifth, or better.”

The addition of middle-distance coach Garry Williams has broadened St Catherine’s scoring range. “What we’re trying to do is to build a track and field team, not just concentrated on the sprints. We are very strong in the sprints and relays, and we have very good hurdlers. We have hurdlers ranked in the top five for Class Four, Class Three and Class Two. So we told ourselves that this year we will definitely do better in the field events. We did excellent in the javelin, as you saw, with the quiniela at Central Champs,” he added, with reference to Natalie Albert and G’Nea Pitt, who took gold and silver.

The school is powerful in Class Two, with hurdlers Asharria Ulett and Jerece Allwood, sprinter Kaycian Johnson, 400 metres runner Jacian Patterson, and middle-distance runner Kitana Headley all scheduled to score big points at Champs.

46.25 SB Relay Team 2nd Finals H1 complete
47.26 Relay Team 5th Finals H1 complete
47.26 Relay Team 5th Finals H1 complete
52.18 Relay Team 8th Finals H1 complete
3:49.23 SB Relay Team 6th Finals H1 complete
4:01.28 SB Relay Team 4th Finals H1 complete
10:10.87 SB Relay Team 5th Finals H1 complete
16-8.5 SB Kavel Ritchie 7th Finals H1 complete
40.50 SB Relay Team 3rd Finals H1 complete
1:26.74 SB Relay Team 2nd Finals H1 complete

The Penn Relays Carnival 2022

Franklin Field  Philadelphia, PA

Hosted by University of Pennsylvania

St. Catherine High School Results
47.53 Relay Team 8th Finals H1 1- COA Girls 4x100m Relay
47.56 Relay Team 7th Prelims H13 Girls 4×100 Prelims
120-2 SB Natalie Albert 10th Finals H1 HS Individual Events
41.12 Relay Team 6th Finals H1 1- COA Boys 4x100m Relay
41.78 Relay Team 7th Prelims H6 Boys 4×100 Prelims

Ground was officially broken for the centre at a ceremony on Friday (June 18), in which the Prime Minister participated.

Supreme Ventures Limited donated the first $5 million towards the foundation of the building, which has already been done.

The CHASE Fund will construct a section of the performing arts centre on the ground floor, stage area with lighting and sound, a multipurpose seating area for 850 people, male and female restrooms, dressing rooms, floor area of approximately 6,338 sq. ft., at a contract value of $49.9 million.

In his address, the Prime Minister  thanked the CHASE Fund, Supreme Ventures Limited, members of the Alumni Association and other donors for their contribution, enabling   construction to begin before the official groundbreaking ceremony.

He also called on other donors and corporate groups who can assist, to donate towards  additional segments of the plan.

“This is just going to do the first floor of this performing arts centre,” the Prime Minister noted.

For her part, Minister of Education, Youth and Information,  Hon. Fayval Williams, said the groundbreaking marks another key milestone in the 73-year history of the school.

“As you know, any expansion of facilities on a school’s campus is important, as it addresses crucial needs. Your long history and reputation for excellence in musical and dramatic presentations will be further enriched by the expanded space and facilities. I’m sure you will also attract more students to your programmes. This will be a great asset for St. Catherine High,” Mrs. Williams said.

Meanwhile,  Chief Executive Officer, CHASE Fund, Billy Heaven, said they are delighted to be the major financial partner in this venture.

“We are fully aware of the positive impact that this centre will have on St. Catherine High School and indeed the wider Spanish Town and St. Catherine community,” he said.

“St. Catherine High School has undoubtedly made its mark on society in different areas, politics, sports, religion, entertainment, academia and other fields over the past 73 years, boasting a list of distinguished and notable alumni,” he added.

Principal, St. Catherine High School, Marlon Campbell, is excited about the new performing arts centre.

“This day is indeed a beautiful day. It is indeed heavenly. Mr. Billy Heaven and his Directors listened to us and responded in the affirmative and approximately two and a half years later, this is the fantastic result,” the Principal said.

“Many will ask if such a building is necessary and the answer to that is ‘yes’. When the bright minds are housed in spaces that are conducive to learning and exploration, they will learn and explore,” he added.

St. Catherine High School has, since its inception, produced numerous performers, such as: gospel artiste, Jermaine Edwards; dancehall artistes, Grace Hamilton, popularly known as Spice, and Michelle Downer, well  known as D’Angel; and reggae artiste, Jamar McNaughton, popularly known as Chronixx.

St Catherine’s coach on a high

Shakeira Bowra (left) of St Catherine High taking fourth spot in the Class One girls 100 metres final during the 2021 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships held May 11-15 at the National Stadium. The event was won by Edwin Allen High’s Brandy Hall (centre). Also in photograph (from right) are Salieci Myles of Rusea’s High (7th), Hydel High’s Shenese Walker (2nd) and Sashieka Steele of Holmwood Technical, who placed third.
Shakeira Bowra (left) of St Catherine High taking fourth spot in the Class One girls 100 metres final during the 2021 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships held May 11-15 at the National Stadium. The event was won by Edwin Allen High’s Brandy Hall (centre). Also in photograph (from right) are Salieci Myles of Rusea’s High (7th), Hydel High’s Shenese Walker (2nd) and Sashieka Steele of Holmwood Technical, who placed third.

St Catherine High’s girls’ coach, Marlon James, has a lot to smile about after the school picked up an impressive sixth spot at last week’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships.

Known mainly for its exploits in netball, the St John’s Road-based school produced their best-ever performance at the national inter-secondary track and field championships by bagging 75 points for a sixth place. The points tally surpassed the 44 they earned in both 2015 and 2019. In 2019, the 44 points gained earned the school 10th spot.

James, who has been in charge since 2010, was over the moon after the performances by his athletes. “I feel very overwhelmed with the performances of the girls as everyone made a lot of sacrifice to make this happen,” he said “There was the support from principal Marlon Campbell, who allowed the team to train three times a week on campus; the parents, who allowed their children to come to training during the pandemic; and the excellent support from our alumni group all played significant roles here,” he added.

James stated that all 23 girls taken to the championships contributed significantly, but singled out his Class Four group along with Class Three athlete, Kitania Headley. “I am very proud of my Class Four girls who got most of the points. They reached all but one final in the class. In Class Three, Headley placed third in the 400m and fifth in the 800m,” he sad.

In recent years, the St Catherine High programme has produced the likes of Annakaye Allen, Shian Hyde, Jhonelle Thomas and Julien Alfred from St Lucia. They have all won medals at the championships and are now on athletics scholarships abroad. Both Thomas and Alfred have also won medals at the international level. Thomas won the 400m hurdles gold at the 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games while Alfred mined silver in the 100 metres at the World Youth Olympic Games. Alfred, with her seven medals, is the most successful athlete from the Caribbean to compete at Champs.

James is looking forward to more success for his team in the future.

“I think we can do much better in the future. To do this, however, we need to do more recruiting of athletes and have coaches in specific individual disciplines,” said James, who added that he was also very confident that the past students will increase their support for the programme.

St Catherine High capture Junior, Senior ISSA Open Netball Rally titles


Saturday, September 17, 2016

ST CATHERINE High captured both the Junior and Senior titles at the 2016 Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Open Rally competitions at the Leila Robinson Courts, Independence Park, on Thursday.

In the Junior rally final, St Catherine beat Dinthill Technical High 5-3, while in the Senior final, they managed to hold off a determined Norman Manley High to win narrowly 4-3.

Meanwhile, the Open Rally competitions were a prelude of what is expected to come when the Junior and Senior netball season begins next week.

Phyllis Thompson, who coaches both St Catherine Junior and Senior teams, said she was delighted to have won both titles.

It’s a very good feeling to begin the season winning two titles. This was really our third training together for both teams, as we had little time during the summer holidays to get the players together until the beginning of this school term,” Thompson said.

She said this is only a start, as the Junior and Senior League competitions are expected to be much more competitive than the Rally, as the playing times in the matches are much longer, but nevertheless she was very excited about coming out on top in both sections.

“This was however, not our best playing performance, but the players went out there and played well. They worked hard and put up a good fight to come out victorious in both finals,” she added.

The St Catherine coach said she expects both the Junior and Senior Leagues should be tougher, as all the schools, some which did not participate in the rally, are to field their strongest line-ups.

Meanwhile, in the semi-finals of the Junior Rally, St Catherine defeated Norman Manley High 6-4, while Dinthill edged Camperdown High 4-3.

In the semi-finals of the Senior Rally, St Catherine beat Jose Marti Technical 8-5, while Norman Manley High defeated St Hugh’s High 6-2.

In the preliminary round of the Juniors, Camperdown topped Zone One with 15 points ahead of Eltham High with nine points; St Catherine won Zone Two with 15 points from Campion College with 12 points; Norman Manley captured Zone Three with 12 points ahead of St Hugh’s with six points.

The Seniors preliminary rounds had St Hugh’s coming out on top in Zone One with nine points ahead of Merle Grove with six points.

Zone Two was won by Camperdown with 12 points with Norman Manley second with nine points, while St Catherine won Zone Three on goal difference with seven points (20-7) ahead of Jose Marti Technical also with seven points, a goal difference of 18-10 to finish second.

The other Rural High Schoolgirls Open Rally was slated for yesterday at the Manchester High School Courts in the parish of Manchester.