St Joseph's Girls High School Kitale have risen from the dead.
It has been six years since former East Africa hockey heavyweights reached the county games, let alone the regional or even national levels.
Last week, St Joseph's knocked out national hockey defending champions Trans Nzoia Mixed Secondary School to qualify for the county Term One games that are expected to begin on Friday.
Mary Adhiambo scored the all-important goal in the final of the Saboti Sub-County Secondary school games.
The team's hockey head coach John Lusaka said they are targeting to return to the national arena after six year in the cold.
Lusaka, who is a Geography and Business teacher, said they are back in business and looking forward to win the Trans Nzoia County hockey title when the games begin at St Mark's Cherangani.
“I am very pleased with the girls for coming out of their comfort zone. It has been an amazing journey for not only the players, but also the technical support we have received from various teachers including our principal, Rosebella Orwaru," said Lusaka.
“The job is not, however, finished yet and we are going for victory in the county finals. We will not under estimate anyone but I have confidence with my girls,” added Lusaka, who is assisted by former Lakers Hockey club captain Linah Baraza and Bernard Chessum.
St Joseph's Girls were last crowned Trans Nzoia County champions in 2017. In the same year, they finished runner-up at the nationals and East Africa Games held in Gulu, Uganda behind St Cecilia Misikhu Girls in both occasions.
St Joseph's Girls principal Rosebella Orwaru said the school is keen on producing not only academic excellence but also future sports stars in hockey, basketball and football, among others.
Orwaru said she prides in seeing the girls shine in all areas.
“In Kenya today, many people are making a living through sports. It will be very unfair to our children if we do not allow them to express themselves through sports because sports pays very well too apart from academic," she said.
“That is why I support the girls in every possible way. We are back now and going for the national title."
St Joseph's was the team to beat in the Saboti Sub County games after finishing top of the round-robin pool matches.
They thrashed Kitale School 7-0 in their opening match before narrowly defeating Tans Nzoia, who are the East Africa runner-up, 1-0 in the crucial decider match.
Six teams will face off in the county games where they have been divided into two pools.
St Joseph's Girls will play Kwanza Girls and St Mark's Girls High School in Group B, while St Monica Girls, Bikeke Girls and Andersen Girls play in Group A.
St Joseph's will also have over 10 students for athletics, basketball and handball team (last year’s East Africa bronze winners) in the county finals.
Elsewhere, national hockey boys champions St Anthony’s Boys Kitale will be out to retain their title too.