National High School Games Start Today

Kisumu Day’s Brian Omondi (right) in action against Agoro Sare.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

The battlegrounds have been mapped out as the National Secondary School Games kick off today at Nakuru Boy Secondary School in Nakuru County.

In football, contrary to what happened then, there will be a new champion.

While fans are mostly predicting the football battle to be a four-way competition between behemoths, defending champions St Anthony’s Boys Kitale, Kakamega High, Barding High and Dagoretti High, this year’s games will see a new king crowned in Nakuru .

This is after defending champions St Anthony’s Boys failed to get past the Rift Valley Regionals. And it was Kabarnet Boys High School in Baringo County that qualified at their expense.

This leaves a void that the local giants of Nyanza Kisumu Day High School are eager to fill; to be the new national football champions.

But as Kisumu Day looks forward to ending its eight-year drought in the finals, Friends Secondary School Bukembe has been banned for two years after being found guilty of fielding ineligible players in the regional final of the West last weekend against Ebwali Secondary in Mumias.

With yesterday’s decision from the West Regional Education Director’s office, Ebwali who lost 7-6 on penalties in the final, will now replace Bukembe in the men’s football Group A which has Highway Secondary School of Nairobi, Mbooni Boys Secondary School (Eastern) and Bute Boys of North Eastern.

The Nyanza region football champions, who beat Homa Bay giants Agoro Sare 2-0 last Sunday to qualify for the national championships, are set for an epic battle in Nakuru after being drawn against the weight central region heavyweights Olbolsat, coastal kings Serani and Rift Valley giant killers Kabarnet Boys High School in Group B.

Kisumu Day football coach Andrew Aroka is confident his boys can rise to the occasion again by advancing to the knockout stages.

Captain Patrick Kaiser of Dagoreti Secondary School (left) and Captain Teddy Dan of Highway Secondary School during the Nairobi Area Secondary School Football Semi-Final, Second Semester matches at the Lenana School on August 26, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Speaking to Standard Sports, Aroka said they had corrected their mistakes in the three days they had to prepare for the domestic championships and were looking forward to winning all of their group matches.

“Nationals are where the big boys turn up and we are ready to show Kenyans that Kisumu Day are the team to beat this year. side now,” Aroka said.

“Our goal is to win our opener and then build from there. We need a positive start and we’re ready for everyone.

The former Kisumu All Stars coach said they would of course respect their opponents but they have set their sights on traveling to Tanzania.

“The main objective in Nakuru is not just to win the national title but to secure a ticket to East Africa. Nothing beats playing against the best from Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania I believe the goals will come and we will reign supreme,” added Aroka who will bank on Dan Omalla, the brother of Gor Mahia striker Benson Omalla.

Hilder Kanze of Dagoretti Mixed Secondary School dodges Kamukunji Secondary School goalkeeper Jane Wangui in the semi-final during the 2022 Nairobi Area Secondary Schools Football Championship at Lenana School before the national games. August 27, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

On the other hand, Serani Boy High School coach Swaleh Sunda hopes to replicate his achievement from 2019 when his Under-16 won the national title.

Sunda said his team, which forms the backbone of the Bandari Youth team, has the experience of playing not only in the national showpiece but also in the local football leagues.

“The 2019 champions are now in Serani’s main team. They were juniors back then and are now turning into strongmen. Also, these boys played for Bandari Youth where they get great experience playing in the mombasa county leagues,” Sunda said.

In women’s football, Group B will see former champions Wiyeta Girls Secondary School from Rift Valley and St John’s Girls Secondary School, Kaloleni from the coastal region compete alongside debutants Kobala Mixed Secondary School from Nyanza and Mwira Secondary School from Western .

Former champions from Itigo Girls Secondary School headline Group A alongside Dagoretti Co-educational Secondary School in Nairobi, Kibauni Secondary School (East) and Kinale Secondary School in Central.

Meanwhile, as the national school games kick off this morning at Nakuru High School, some coaches are confident of putting in a positive performance that should take them to the East Africa games in Arusha next week.

St George’s Kaloleni High School hockey coach David Masha has his sights set on the regional championships but is taking it one game at a time. [Additional reporting by Ben Ahenda]

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