Hydel principal credits Walker Cup triumph to 'God Almighty'

...School in seventh heaven after historic schoolboy football title

Senior staff reporter

Friday, November 16, 2018

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Hyacinth Bennett, the founder/president of Hydel Group of Schools, says the philosophy at the institution is to drive academic and extra-curricular programmes through deep-rooted religious values and beliefs.

And much of that was on show during morning devotion yesterday as the school community honoured Hydel High's triumph in the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association/Digicel Walker Cup Knockout football competition.

Second-half goals by Fabiki Farquharson and Deandre Walker had handed the team from Ferry a 2-0 victory over many-time KO champions Excelsior High in the final at Stadium East playing field on Wednesday.

It is Hydel's first hold on a schoolboy football title, and aptly coincides with their 25th anniversary celebration.

“The accomplishment is fitting nicely into the vision that I have for the school — a segment of which is that I'm promoting the holistic development of the children. I am overwhelmed and I'm very, very happy and thankful to the Lord God Almighty,” Bennett told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

As the devotion went on, prayers, songs and worship eventually gave way to a party-like atmosphere, and students danced to popular contemporary music.

However, the loudest cheers rang out when the players of the title-winning team went onto the stage.

Jermaine Reid, the team captain playing his third and final year of Under-19 schoolboy football, was smiling from ear to ear.

“We feel elated because we have been trying. It's a bittersweet feeling because it's my last year but we won the Cup,” the central defender told the Observer after the devotional exercise.

“After we scored the second goal I realised we had this one in our palms so we just held on. It's a wonderful feeling celebrating now, and we also want to thank our fans who did an amazing job yesterday,” Reid continued.

Bennett recounted the challenges after the school – previously situated on Mannings Hill Road and on Ardenne Road — moved to Ferry on Mandela Highway.

“It has been a very rough journey; I remember when I relocated the school to Ferry there was so much trouble. And today look at us, we're a brand name school.

“As an individual I never give up, I don't surrender. I press on to victory and I inculcate that in my students and my staff. Even in the earlier years when we were being fought to be removed from this campus we allowed the Lord God to strengthen us… and there's no limit to what we will achieve,” she said.

In 2012, Hydel reached the Manning Cup final but were beaten by St George's College.

Bennett says claiming that prestigious urban area schoolboy title, and winning the Girls Athletics Championships remain two items on the school's wish list.

“In 2012 we went pretty close to winning the Manning Cup, so this is some push to excel in other areas, and those are Manning Cup and Girls Champs.”

Ann Bell, the Hydel High principal, was overjoyed when the Observer caught up with her.

“It is just fabulous. We've waited long for this, we've been hungry for this and I'm over the moon. A lot of people think that because we are a new school we can't do this, but we trust the Lord God Almighty and with him we did it,” said Bell.

Samara Salmon, director of the Hydel Group of Schools, while addressing the students, said “big, big Hydel congratulations” for showing the country what the school is “made of”.

The director echoed the vibe within the school family that the Manning Cup title and success at the Boys and Girls Championship are on the horizon.

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