St. Anthony’s Drawn in Boys’ Pool of Death

Jul 26, 2021

As is with every major sporting event draw, there is always a group baptized as the 'Group of Death'. And, for this year’s Airtel Rising Stars national finals that gets underway in Mombasa on August 6, the boys’ pool ‘A’ football perfectly fits the bill.

This group has St. Anthony’s who have won the title thrice, last year’s winners Gekomoni High School as well as runners-up, Tononoka High School and Garissa High School. Anything can happen in this group.

“This pool definitely has some of the best teams in the country. With all teams geared towards the national final as well as the East Africa school games, we expect good and entertaining football,” Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association assistant secretary, George Omondi, said.

Defending champions Gekomoni of Nyanza will open the week-long championships by playing against Garissa High School on the opening day which has four other matches on the card.

Then hosts and last year’s finalists, Tononoka High School faceoff with the 2003, 2005 and 2007 winners, St. Anthony of Rift Valley. National debutants, Upper Hill of Nairobi, launch their campaign against Tetu High School from Central Region in pool ‘B’.

Upper Hill defeated former national winners Ofafa Jericho 4-3 last week to lift the region’s title, while Tetu saw off Lari School 4-1 to qualify. Kibirichia of Eastern Region are up against 10-time champions Kakamega High School in the other group ‘B’ match.

Following the astonishing elimination of two-time national girls’ football champions Archbishop Njenga by a little-known Ibinzo Girls in the Western Region’s finals, a new champion will be crowned when the curtains are drawn on the games on August 11.

Coast’s champions St John’s Kaloleni open their campaign against the surprise package Ibinzo in Pool ‘A’, while Chogoria of Eastern take on last year’s silver medalists Tartar of Rift Valley in the other pool ‘A’ match.

The other Coastal representative Kilifi Girls will face Kobaka of Nyanza in Pool ‘B’, while Nairobi region champions, Olympic tackle Central’s Gataragwa in the other match.

North Eastern will not have a girls’ team at the games, thus giving the Coastal Region a chance to field two teams to fill the void.

“This has always been the case (to give the host region a chance to present two teams in the same discipline), when a region can’t provide a team in a given discipline,” Omondi explained.

National and East Africa volleyball champions Cheptil (boys) and Malava (girls) have a chance to defend their titles when they play Ngutani (Eastern) and Cheptil respectively in the opening matches.

The games will be held at Shanzu Teachers Training College, Shimo La Tewa and Aga Khan Academy from August 6-12.

Draws: Boys’ football: POOL A: St Anthony’s (R/Valley), Gekomoni (Nyanza), Tononoka (Coast) and Garissa (N Eastern). POOL B: Tetu (Central), Kakamega (Western), Upper Hill (Nairobi) and Kibirichia (Eastern). Girls’ Football: POOL A: St. John’s Kaloleni (Coast), Chogoria (Eastern), Ibinzo (Western) and Tartar (R/Valley). POOL B: Kilifi Mixed (Coast), Olympic (Nairobi), Kobala (Nyanza) and Gataragwa (Central). Boys’ Volleyball: POOL A: Cheptil (R Valley), Mukumu (Western), Ngutani (Eastern) and Tetu (Central). Pool B: Pee-Hill (Nyanza), Mivumoni (Coast), Hospital Hill (Nairobi) and Daadab (N Eastern). Girls’ Volleyball: POOL A: Cheptil (R Valley), Mekatilili (Coast), Malava(Western) and Tetu (Central). POOL B: Bute (N Eastern), Buru Buru (Nairobi), Othoro (Nyanza) and Kwanthanze (Nyanza).

Day one order of play: Team 1 v Team 3 and Team 2 v Team 4.



 Isaac Mutua

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