Laiser Hill hunt for glory as St Anthony’s relish return to Rift Valley region championships

METROPOLITAN ACADEMY 2016 Upper Hill's Samora Odhiambo, left of Nairobi county skip past Koki Rior of Laiser Hill during Metropolitan games at Laiser Hill Academy in Kajiado on saturday. PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD.

They ruled secondary school boys' basketball in Rift Valley, nationally, and East Africa region.

A true definition of champions is what they were. They have seven East Africa titles and five national trophies to show for the tag.

They are Laiser Hill Academy from Kajiado County. They were once champions, but are now struggling to reclaim their lost glory.

The last time they excelled was in 2012, when they won their fifth national and seventh East Africa titles in Bujumbura, Burundi. But a year later, their troubles checked in when Kajiado, which was part of Rift Valley, was merged with Nairobi, Machakos, and Makueni counties to form the Metropolitan Region.

In their new home, competition was stiff. They were battered. They were bullied. They were bruised. For the next four years, they were forced to play second fiddle to Upper Hill School of Nairobi. They never went past the regional games.

But today they return to Rift Valley, nursing hopes of going back to the national games and possibly qualifying for the East Africa games.

Having dominated Rift Valley for 10 years from 2002 to 2012, they are determined to leave a mark in the games. Laiser Hill captain Sheldon Ouma said they intend to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors.

"Competition was stiff against Nairobi teams and although we don't expect less from Rift Valley, we remain optimistic of ruling the region," Ouma said.

However, he warned his teammates that it is going to be tougher because other schools have also improved, singling out Kapenguria Boys, who are also making a return to the region.

"We are gearing up for battle because other schools are also very good. Kapenguria are now a force to reckon with in the sport and the favourites at the games."

The two are in pool C together with St Joseph's Kitale and Uasin Gishu High School. Kapenguria, Turkana, and St Joseph's Kitale return to Rift Valley from the defunct Nzoia Region.

Also to watch out for in the region will be the boys' hockey contest, where returnees St Anthony's Kitale will renew their rivalry with two-time national champions Narok High.

Narok came to the limelight after the departure of former East Africa winners, St Anthony's, and the formation of Mau Region, which has reverted to its old provincial boundary.

Narok have dominated the region since 2012, winning four trophies and lifting the national titles in 2014 and 2015. St Anthony's, on the other hand, struggled to outshine giants Friends School Kamusinga in their new home, Nzoia, and missed the 2013 and 2014 national games.

Next Story
LATEST STORIES
Kenya's cricket lords keep dropping catches

It has been a week of hits and misses, and one of the misses was on a personal level: I did not pen this column last Monday because I was on the road.

Boxing: Okoth makes Africa bouts final

National lightweight champion Nick Okoth defeated Hamout Mohammed of Mauritius to sail through to the final of the African Boxing Championships in Congo Brazzaville on Saturday night.

Young athletes dazzle at Nyayo: Cyrus Ruto gives good account of himself in 5,000m

Youngsters prove they are ready to dine with kings and queens.

Tennis-Federer demolishes Zverev to win ninth Halle title

World number five Roger Federer delivered a tennis masterclass to beat rising star Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-3 and clinch a record ninth Halle Open title on Sunday as he lay down a marker in the lead-up to Wimbledon.

Gotv Shield Cup: Bondo Utd falls to Nzoia Sugar

Nzoia United pipped Bondo United FC 2-0 during the round of 64 of Gotv Shield Cup at Moi Stadium, Kisumu yesterday.

More Stories
Schools: Green Commandos plot to reclaim football title as secondary schools games beckon

Kakamega hope to rise again: Former boys’ national champions eager to bag 13th title in Nyeri games.

Schools: Newcomers Kangundo seek memorable national debut

After several failed attempts, Kangundo Boys High School finally got it right this year.

Taekwondo: Nairobi clubs dominate tourney

Nairobi clubs ruled the Pamoja March to Greatness national Taekwondo championships at Visa Oshwal Academy, Mombasa.

Tanzania honours Victor Wanyama by naming a street after the Kenyan skipper

Well, seems true heroes are not honored in their home country…Harambee Stars captain and Tottenham Hotspurs’ holding midfielder Victor Wanyama was yesterday honored by our southern neighbors by naming a road after him.

Striker Costa hard to replace at Chelsea, says Lampard

Premier League champions Chelsea will find it difficult to replace influential striker Diego Costa if he departs in the current transfer window, club legend Frank Lampard has said.

30 incredible records Lionel Messi has set in his career, as Barcelona's genius turned 30

Lionel Messi ages just like the rest of us, and on Saturday he hit the big 3-0, leaving behind both his twenties and an awful lot of incredible achievements as he did so.

Sportpesa announces withdrawal of all local sponsorships starting January next year

Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri has announced they will withdrawal sponsorship for all clubs and sports Federations starting next year in January.

Sports body to establish talent centres in Kenya

Kenya Academy of Sports to unveil talent search programmes in all counties by 2020