School games are on fire!
Not even the ongoing nationwide protests could stop the games from going on in Rift Valley, Coast, Eastern and Western regions.
Today, it will be the turn of Nyanza Region Secondary School games, which will kick off from 2pm at Maranda High School and Nyamira Girls High School in Bondo, Siaya County.
Arguably Kenya’s source of future stars ranging from football, rugby, volleyball, basketball, hockey and athletics, thousands of fans are expected to flock Maranda when Kisumu Day High School renew rivalry with Agoro Sare in football boys from 4pm.
Kisumu Day who are the regional defending champions headline the tournament’s ‘Group of Death’ which also has St Mary’s Yala and Masara.
Speaking to Standard Sports ahead of the games, Kisumu Day head coach Booker Odhiambo said their goal is only one in Siaya; to book a ticket straight to the nationals set to be hosted in Kakamega.
Last year Kisumu Day defeated Agoro Sare 2-0 to win the regional title and now the two sides will face off in a repeat of last year’s final in the group stage.
Odhiambo said they have had good preparations including testing their limits and picking vital lessons from their friendly match against FKF Premier League side Wazito FC.
“We are ready to defend our regional title. Many people have written us off but they do not know our capabilities that I trust will get us into the nationals.
“It is not going to be easy but the boys are mentally prepared for the fixtures. We took the postponement of the games positively to finish working out some of the challenges we had and we will be fresh in Siaya,” said Odhiambo who also coaches the hockey team.
On the other hand, Siaya County champions Usenge will headline Group A that also has Ndonyo, Matutu and Onjiko High from Kisumu.
After slaying perennial giants Ambira, Barding and St Mary’s School Yala last month, Usenge High School have sent warning shots to their opponents ahead of the games.
Usenge were crowned football under-19 champions after shocking St Mary’s Yala 1-0 in the final and captain Brighton Ramolo is yearning for more success ahead of the regionals.
Speaking to Standard Sports, Ramolo believes they have had proper training and preparations, which have impacted positively on their style of play, intensity and confidence.
The Form Four student said he wants to guide Usenge to the East Africa school games as they draw inspiration from their phrase, ‘Usenge are standing firm because God listens.’
“I am humbled to lead Usenge back to where they belong. To beat giants like St Mary’s Yala and win the Siaya County finals will surely inspire the team ahead of the regional finals. Preparation has been tough and we are ready to dance with other top stars,” said Ramolo.
Ramolo has been at the heart of the Usenge's defence. They conceded only one goal during the Siaya County games and head coach Paul Wambunya believes his team is ready for bigger things.
“We are working on our scoring department. We look forward to a successful regional championship. As Usenge High School, we are standing firm because God listens,” said Wambunya.
Nyanza Region Secondary School Sports Association Vice Chairman Ngala Mbuor said everything is ready and they can’t wait for action.
“We have inspected all the pitches, both at Nyamira Girls and Maranda, and I can confirm that we are ready for another battle. We call upon all schools to practice sportsmanship because it is not a matter of life and death, but sports development through healthy competitions,” said Mbuor.
Nyanza Region Secondary School
Saturday Football fixtures
Usenge v Matutu-2pm
Ndonyo v Onjiko-2pm
Kisumu Day v Agoro Sare-4pm
Masara v Yala-4pm