CH Reeves Raptors close out GSSSA season on a high note


Tribune Sports Reporter

IT is hard to talk about success in school sports and not mention the winning ways of the CH Reeves Raptors during the 2023-24 Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) season.

The Raptors hoisted their first championship trophy of the season when they bested the other junior schools in three out of four divisions at the GSSSA Cross Country Championships back in November.

The victory would set the tone for the type of season one the country’s top junior schools would have.

Head coach Varel Davis said something was special about this group of athletes at CH Reeves and they have certainly made her proud.

“I always believe that we always have good athletic kids at CH Reeves and you just have to find their talents and what they are good at. I can say this has been a pretty good year for us at CH Reeves. I am happy with the performances of our kids. 

“I am proud of them and they worked hard. I think, in my 23 years of teaching, these are the most dedicated and hard working students that I have seen in a very long time so I am extremely proud of them,” she said.

Coach Davis certainly has a lot to be proud of as the Raptors continued collecting titles as soon as the calendar flipped to 2024.

The Raptors’ junior girls overwhelmed the HO Nash Lions 2-0 in the best-of-three championship series for the GSSSA junior girls’ basketball title. Tajhaniqua Morley was special for the team during this time. She averaged 36.5 points en route to lifting the MVP trophy. This same team would knock off the Teleos Lady Cherubims 27-15 earlier in the season at the Father Marcian Peters Basketball Tournament to take home the championship hardware once again.  

The focus then shifted to the 30th GSSSA Track and Field Championships which CH Reeves also won. They led the competition the entire way and totaled 891 points for their fourth straight title victory.

If that was not enough, the Raptors also picked up the GSSSA trophy for softball. The junior girls upset the pennant winning HO Nash Lions in sweeping fashion. CH Reeves were in charge 2-0 in that championship series. 

Although coach Davis and Thurman Johnson had to shoulder the load in the Physical Education Department, it paid off in the long run.

“It was really difficult this year trying to multitask with teaching and coaching because we were so short-staffed. Both of us had to pick up four disciplines this year. We are veterans in this so we were able to multitask all year and by working hand in hand with all our teams we were very successful this year despite being short,” she said.

She noted that without a strong supporting cast many of their goals would have not been accomplished with the odds stacked against them.

 “We also won Junkanoo and the under-13 division at a recent flag football tournament.  This was our season and I thank God for all the success we had this year. I want to thank my principal, who supported us straight through, and I want to say thank you to the Honourable Glenys Hanna-Martin for her support. Also, I want to thank the teaching staff at CH Reeves for their support. We could not do it without their support and backing. We are excited for the GSSSA 2024-2025 season. Everybody will be coming back for CH Reeves so we have to continue to work hard,” she said.

Outside of the GSSSA season, the Raptors turned in top performances at a number of club meets including at the World Relays pre-game show “Showdown in Paradise” and recently at the Red-Line Athletics Track Classic. Despite Davis’ reservations about the athletes coming into the season, she said they truly gave it their all. 

“I was a little sceptical coming into this year after the pandemic and the long break to now having things back in full swing when it comes to GSSSA and afterschool sports. 

“When you sometimes miss that fundamental part of any sport it is going to be difficult to train and develop the kids. However, our kids were truly into it and I think that they heard about the legacy CH Reeves has and they want to be a part of it. 

“I took my kids to Saturday club meets to get them extra experience and exposure. They performed extremely well at the World Relays and they performed at a high level at the Red-Line Track Classic. We will be up and running again and I think next year might be a better year for us,” coach Davis said.

She is remaining optimistic about the future for CH Reeves and is hoping that the school can get additional help in the Physical Education Department next school year.

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