SCHOOLS: Little-known Ringa Boys ready to show no mercy in hockey at national finals

Ringa Boys hockey goalkeeper Austin Arogo during a training session ahead of the national finals.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

In the realm of Kenyan secondary school sports, the giants have always loomed large, casting shadows that seemed insurmountable for smaller institutions.

Yet, nestled in the heart of Homa Bay, a school with humble beginnings has defied the odds, carving a path to prominence with the finesse of seasoned champions.

Ringa Boys hockey forward Maxwell Onyambu (left) in action during the Nyanza Region finals against Kisumu Day.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

Our Lady of Mercy Ringa Boys High School, though diminutive in stature, has emerged as a formidable force, sending shockwaves through the Kenyan Secondary School Sports Association (KSSSA) with their remarkable journey to the national Term One games finals.

Their ascent to prominence was nothing short of extraordinary. In a nerve-wracking showdown against heavyweights Kisumu Day High School, Ringa unleashed a spectacle of determination and skill.

Ringa Boys hockey forward Maxwell Onyambu in action during the Nyanza Region finals.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

With the fervor of underdogs fueled by dreams too audacious to be confined by reality, they clinched victory in eight seconds, shattering Kisumu Day’s dominance with a resounding 1-0 triumph.

This victory not only secured Ringa’s maiden Nyanza Region hockey boys title, but also punched their ticket to the national stage for the first time.

In a sport historically dominated by perennial powerhouses like Kisumu Day and Maseno School, Ringa’s triumph was a seismic shift in the landscape of Nyanza hockey.

Ringa Boys hockey team captain Barrack Chacha.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

Ringa captain Barrack Chacha, a beacon of resilience and leadership, reflected on their journey from obscurity to acclaim.

“We refused to be shackled by the labels of underdogs,” Chacha said. “Every stride on the field was a testament to our unwavering belief and tireless dedication.”

Ringa Boys hockey team. [Washington Onyango,Standard]

Chacha, whose hockey journey commenced with his enrollment at Ringa in Form One in 2021, exuded confidence in the team’s aspirations.

“Our goal is to dominate the sport,” he said. “We aim to paint the fields of Machakos with our triumphs and etch our legacy in the annals of Kenyan school sports.”

Ringa Boys' Derick Otieno takes a flick during training ahead of national finals.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

Guiding this remarkable cohort of athletes is head coach Tolbart Kannah, whose visionary stewardship has cultivated a culture of excellence over the past four years.

After experiencing the highs of reaching the finals in 2022 and the semifinals last year, Kannah believes his team is well-prepared for the national stage.

Ringa Boys hockey team coach Tolbart Kannah.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

Kannah’s strategic acumen and unwavering belief in his team’s potential have laid the foundation for Ringa’s meteoric rise.

“Our journey has just begun,” Kannah said. “To compete with the best, we must elevate our game to unprecedented heights, leaving no stone unturned in our quest for greatness.”

Ringa Boys' Tony Migel in action against Kisumu Day during the Nyanza Region finals.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

As Ringa braces for the impending showdown at Machakos High School, they find themselves in Group A, poised to test their mettle against formidable adversaries.

Undeterred by the formidable presence of Nairobi School, Meru School, and St Charles Lwanga, Chacha exuded confidence in his team’s ability to thrive amidst the fiercest competition.

Ringa Boys' Tony Migel in action against Kisumu Day during the Nyanza Region finals.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

However, the road ahead is fraught with challenges, none more daunting than Group B’s ominous moniker, the “Group of Death.” Here, defending champions Musingu High School from Western stand as formidable adversaries alongside perennial juggernauts like St Anthony’s Boys Kitale, Katangi High, and Murang’a High School.

Yet, amidst the crucible of adversity, Ringa remain undaunted, fueled by an unwavering resolve to leave an indelible mark on Kenyan school sports.

Ringa Boys players celebrate after winning the Nyanza Region hockey boys finals.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

Behind Ringa’s triumphs lies an unwavering pillar of support; their Senior Principal Thomas Otieno.

His steadfast commitment to fostering a holistic environment of growth and excellence has propelled the school to unprecedented heights.

“Sports are not merely extracurricular activities; they are a crucible of character and camaraderie,” Otieno said.

“Our goal transcends victory; it is the cultivation of resilient, well-rounded individuals poised to make their mark on the world.”

Ringa Boys hockey team.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

As the nation braces for the spectacle of the KSSSA National Term One games finals, the stage is set for Ringa to inscribe their name in the annals of history.

Their journey, though humble in origin, resonates as a testament to the enduring power of dreams and the relentless pursuit of excellence.

2024 KSSSA National Term One School games

Venue: Machakos Boys High School

Dates: April 6-14

Disciplines: Athletics, Hockey, Handball, Rugby 15s, Basketball (5x5)

Hockey pools’

Group A-Ringa Boys, Meru School, St Charles Lwanga, Nairobi School

Group B-Musingu, St Anthony’s Boys Kitale, Katangi, Murang’a School

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