KAMUSINGA EYE TITLE DEFENCE: National boys’ hockey giants chase 17th regional trophy
East Africa boys' champions Friends School Kamusinga (FSK) and Kakamega will be out to extend their dominance when the Western Region secondary school Term One games start tomorrow in Mumias.
FSK will defend their hockey title, while Kakamega will seek to extend their Rugby15s reign.
Western, which was known as Nzoia Region for the past four years before old provincial boundaries were reintroduced, is now home to four counties. Turkana, West Pokot and Trans Nzoia counties have been moved to Rift Valley, which was known as Mau Region. Western now has Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia and Vihiga counties.
Giants FSK, who have won 18 regional titles since 1999, save for 2010 and 2015, will battle for a ticket to the national games against seven other sides.
The reigning national and East Africa champions are in pool A together with Kakamega County champions Musingu, Nyang'ori of Vihiga and Amukura of Busia. Group B has Busia and Vihiga winners, Butula and Vihiga, St Mary's Kibabii and Malava.
FSK coach Emmanuel Sanya said this year's competition posses a bigger challenge because they would meet most of their opponents for the first time.
"It is more challenging to play a team for the first time, no matter how good you are, because you don't know what to expect from them. Our strategy is to be cautious, remain focused and read their game plan before executing ours," Sanya said.
National and East Africa girls' hockey silver medallists Tigoi launch their campaign in pool B against Kakamega champions Archbishop Njenga, Moding of Busia and Moi Girls Kamusinga (MGK). Group A has Bungoma queens St Cecilia Misikhu, Kaimosi of Vihiga, Kolanya of Busia and Mukumu Girls.
Five-time East Africa rugby15s champions Kakamega begin their Western title defence and quest for a place at the nationals in pool B against Vihiga, Butula and FSK. National champions Bungoma High School highlight group A, where they face off with Nambale of Busia, Chavakali and hosts, St Peters Mumias.
Kakamega coach Amos Wamanga said despite several of his first team players finishing Form Four last year, he had a good transition plan in place.
"Most of my winning team players completed school, but I'm not worried because being a school team, departures of players are inevitable."
Former regional boys' basketball champions FSK are hopeful of making a return to the national games after futile attempts. They are in group A together with Sigalame, who dethroned them in 2015, Nyang'ori and Mukumu. Pool B has Butula, Chavakali, Teremi and Kakamega.
Tigoi will lead the chase for a semis slot in pool A in girls' category and they are up against MGK, Mukumu and Chakol of Busia. Lugulu, Butere, Vokoli and Kolanya will battle in group B.
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