Kakamega High School's Green Commandos in a past action. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]
Fans should brace themselves for fireworks as the 2014 Airtel Rising Stars National Secondary School Championships start at Kakamega High Tuesday.
Football boys’ Pool ‘A’ match involving hosts Green Commandos of Kakamega High and Brother Beusang highlights the opening day of the event this morning.
Commandos, who have won the tournament for unrivalled 10 times, will be out to end a seven-year trophy drought at home.
Commandos have the responsibility of taking the sporting giant school to East African Games after their rugby teams were stripped off their crowns.
Debutants Brother Beusang eliminated immediate former champions, the fancied Upper Hill with 2-0 victory during Metropolitan region games finals in Loitoktok on July 19.
The ‘Metro’ champions will be out to prove that their victory against Upper Hill was no fluke by recording better results against Kakamega.
Beusang coach Hamisi Mohammed insists their target for this year, which they have already achieved, was to play in the nationals.
“The pressure will be on Commandos because they are in a must-win situation. My boys have achieved their target which was to play in the national. They are in Kakamega to enjoy the game,” Mohammed told FeverPitch yesterday.
Northern region’s Kathungi, who finished runners-up last year, have a date with newcomers Chemase of Nakuru region in other match of the Pool ‘A’ to be played this afternoon.
In Pool ‘B’, newcomers Green Palm of Mombasa meet Kisumu Day of the Lake, while Waberi of Garissa play Passenga of Aberdare.
In the girls’ category, the stage is set for what promises to be thrilling matches as most of the teams have equal strength.
East African Games champions Tartar of Nzoia open play their first match against Matuu Memorial of Metropolitan while Moi Girls Kapcherop of Nakuru face off with Ntunene of Northern in Pool ‘A’ first round fixtures.
Players to watch in Tartar team include pacy roving wingers, Ruth Chebungei and Miriam Chelegat who are twin-sisters.
Kapcherop have very fast strikers in their arsenal including upcoming sprint queen Florence Kibet who can do a 100m in under 14 seconds.
Matuu coach Derrick Shitiabayi prays that his goal-poacher Elizabeth Katungwa maintain the form that saw this talented Form One striker score seven goals in regional finals.
Butere, who are Nzoia’s team 2, play Passenga of Aberdare while St John’s Kaloleni of Mombasa have a date with Passenga of Aberdare.
Butere’s strength lies in their hawk-eyed goalkeeper Jennipher Nyangaresi.
Butere beat Tartar 4-2 in a group match during Nzoia region games at the same venue two weeks ago.
But Tartar responded instantly to beat Butere 2-0 in the final match.
Stealthy striker Mwanhalima Jereko is the player to watch in Kaloleni team.
Jereko attended Airtel/Manchester United Soccer Clinic in Tanzania last month.