SCHOOLS: Rising stars fly high as Nyanza Region finals draw near

A fan jumps high in celebration after a goal was scored during the KSSA Term Two games.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

The KSSSA Term Two games witnessed a dramatic shake-up as new champions emerged in Siaya, Kisii, Homa Bay, and Nyamira Counties.

With the Nyanza Region finals scheduled for next month at Kisii School, the stage is set for intense competition among the region's top teams.

In boys' football, six teams that competed at the regionals last year will be missing in action after they fell shot in their respective county finals.

The notable absentees include St Mary’s Yala, Usenge High School, Ndonyo, Masara, Matutu, and Onjiko High School.

Only defending regional champions Agoro Sare and former champions Kisumu Day have secured their spots for the upcoming regional finals.

Defending champions Agoro Sare High School had a rollercoaster journey in the Homa Bay County games, but ultimately retained their title with a convincing 5-2 victory over Tonga School.

Geoffrey Omondi and Joseph Odhiambo each scored twice, while John Ngicho also found the net.

Despite a shaky start, where they lost and drew in their initial two preliminary matches, Agoro Sare rebounded strongly to triumph in the quarterfinals, semifinals, and final.

Head coach Fredrick Akuku expressed his determination to prepare his team thoroughly for the regional finals.

“Our performance in the county games was a mixed bag, but we showed great resilience. We will work on our weaknesses and build on our strengths to ensure we defend our regional title,” Akuku said.

Kisumu Day secured their place in the regional finals by defeating Agai Secondary 2-0 in a rescheduled final played last Friday. Their solid performance throughout the county games has positioned them as strong contenders for the regional championship.

Ámbira's Lewis Ramadhan (R) in action against St Mary's Yala during the Siaya County finals.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

In Siaya, Ambira High School ended a 14-year drought by qualifying for the regional finals, edging out St Mary’s Yala 1-0 in a tightly contested county final. Ambira coach Jerry Opondo highlighted the significance of this achievement.

“Returning to the regionals after 14 years is a monumental achievement for our school. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of our players and coaching staff. We are excited and motivated to make our mark at the regionals,” Opondo said.

Koderobara High School emerged as the new champions in Migori County, while Sameta Boys claimed the Kisii County title. Ongicha Secondary, the runner-up in Kisii, will also compete in the regionals, given that the hosts are allowed to field two teams.

In girls' football category, defending champions St Mary’s Lwak Girls and Hawinga Girls, both from Siaya County, will be competing in the regional finals.

They will be joined by Nyakach Girls from Kisumu, Moremani from Kisii, and Alara Girls from Homa Bay.

Nyanza Region Secondary School Sports Association vice chairman Ngala Mbuor said the association is ready for the Term Two regionals.

“We are committed to maintaining integrity of the competition by ensuring good officiating and safety of all participants. We have zero tolerance on the use of non-students,” Mbuor said.

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