The dawn of the year 2014 provides us with a moment to look back on the events of the first half of the primary school sports season.
Grandbahamasports.com recognizes the top players, coaches, and performances of the year in Grand Bahama primary school sports.
Here is a look at who and what made the cut.
(The school athletic season began in September, 2013)
Program of the Year: The Sunland Baptist Academy Stingers
The Sunland Baptist Academy Stingers won the Grand Bahama Primary School Athletic Association boys’ basketball title for the first time under new head coach Marco Cooper.
In front of a raucous crowd, the Stingers defeated Holmes Rock Dolphins 15-12 at Jack Hayward gym.
The Stingers brought the fans, the noise, the horns and the cowbells, which pulsated against the walls of Jack Hayward, which appeared to motivate the Stingers and rattled the Dolphins.
Principal of Sunland Myrton King, along with hundreds of faculty and parents, filled the Stinger’s section behind their bench.
“We were really excited, particularly with the new coach and Physical Ed teacher, Marco Cooper, who is a graduate of Sunland, I am so excited at what the little ones are doing, “said King.
“Also the support that we got from the players and their parents, we could not ask for anything more.
“We are so proud to have so many people out here supporting us.”
Athlete of the Year: Steven Adderley, Sunland Baptist boys’ basketball
The explosive shooting guard is one of the nation’s top-ranked players and ended a fantastic season by hitting a lay-up with 54.8 seconds left in the championship game versus Holmes Rock Dolphins that quelled one of the runs by Holmes Rock as The Stingers claimed their first championship 15-12.
“It feels good to be the champs, I could not have done it without my teammates,” said Adderley, who scored a game high six points.
Adderley was runner up in the player of the year category and also made First team All-Grand Bahamian Basketball team.
Coach of The Year: Allan Hall, Bishop Michael Eldon boys’ basketball
New head coach Allan Hall and the Bishop Michael Eldon Warriors moved from the bottom to the top this year in the boys’ basketball season.
The Warriors who were winless two seasons ago at 0-5, this past season moved to the top seed and was the only undefeated team in the regular season finishing at 6-0.
Hall’s quiet demeanour and ability to teach the game helped develop this group into one of the city’s top teams despite being knocked out in the first round of the play-offs by Holmes Rock 7-6.
Breakout stars: Gabriel Laing and Determine Russell, Bishop Michael Eldon basketball
Laing and Russell were arguably the best two-guard tandem in the league this year and led the Warriors to a perfect regular season finish at 6-0.
Fourth grader Russell made plays at the point guard position and shooting guard Laing was one of the league top scorers at 9.9 points per game.
Laing was named the Coaches ‘choice for Player of the Year and named to the First team All-Grand Bahamian Team, while Russell was named to the Second team All-Grand Bahamian Team.
Best Newcomer: Ethan Munroe, Holmes Rock boys’ basketball
The do-it all guard from Holmes Rock carried The Dolphins all the way to the championship game before losing to Sunland Baptist 7-6.
Munroe impressed a lot of onlookers with his maturity and game knowledge on the basketball court.
Munroe made First team All-Grand Bahamian Team.
Game of the Year: No.1 Bishop Michael Eldon vs. No.2 Sunland Baptist, regular season game, November 4, 2013
In the battle of the unbeaten, Defensive wizard, Dominic Archer, made a key steal and sank a lay-up with less than one second remaining to lift the No.1 ranked, Bishop Michael Eldon Warriors, to a 11-9 win over No.2 ranked, Sunland Baptist Academy Stingers, in the Grand Bahama Primary School Athletic Association feature game at the Jack Hayward Gymnasium in front of a spirited crowd.
“Sunland was a fierce competitor, they came and really put up a challenge, but today our boys came out on top,” said Warriors’ Coach, Allan Hall.
“I had no doubt because I believe in the boys and all they know is hustle and Dominic ….no other player than him, could have made that play.”
The Stingers grabbed a one-point lead with 34.0 seconds to play on a lay-up by Stephen Adderley but The Warriors’ guard Gabriel ‘Kobe’ Laing hit one of two free throws to tie the score at 9-9 with 25.7 left .
On the next possession, David Cartwright of Sunland, was fouled but missed both free-throws; then the Stingers got another chance after forcing a turnover with 7.0 on the clock.
On the inbound play under their own basket, The Stingers attempted to pass the ball to Adderley, but Archer, the Warriors’ best defensive player, intercepted the pass at half court and drove to the basket to sink the game winning basket as time expired.
“Well, I was thinking that we were going to lose, but when I hit that shot, I felt good.” Said Archer, who was mobbed by teammates.
Bishop Michael Eldon led 5-3 at half-time and remain undefeated at 5-0, while Sunland dropped to 4-1.
The Warriors have won three games this year on the final shot.
Laing led the Warriors with 5 points and Determine Russell scored four.
Story of the Year: The defending boys champs Mary Star failed to make play-offs.
Last year’s champs Mary Star of the Sea Stingrays with new head coach Rohan Parkes failed to make the play-offs after losing four of their five starters including last year’s championship game MVP Jaden Atkinson.
THE YEAR’S BEST IN PRIMARY SCHOOL SPORTS (GIRLS)
To read the full story on “The Year’s best in Primary School Sports (Girls)” go to grandbahamasports.com