Lightning strikes dominate opening day of alumni football tourney

Monday, September 03, 2018

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — Lightning strikes played havoc on proceedings on day one of the annual Jamaica High School Alumni Sports Network (JHSASN) football and netball tournaments at Lauderhill Hill Sports Complex yesterday.

Unstable weather conditions in the South Florida area caused regular interruptions to games, with intermittent downpours accompanied by a lightning storm.

According to Florida state laws, once lightning alarm sirens have been sounded at a public gathering, including fairgrounds and sports complexes, activities must seize and people removed from exposed areas to safety.

President of JHSASN, Lavern Deer remained upbeat despite the late start and disruptions to the day's activities.

“Once the lightning sirens go off we have to stop play and remove players and officials from the field of play, as safety is first every time. Also, we have to ensure that all patrons are safe in these conditions,” she said.

“Despite that, we are able to keep our fixture rolling over as we are using an extra field to make up for lost time. But we are happy with the how the day has gone, and we are expecting an exciting, action-filled final day tomorrow (today),” she added.

In games completed at press time on yesterday's first day, Excelsior and Ferncourt drew 1-1, St Elizabeth Technical defeated Wolmer's Boys' 1-0, Old Harbour clipped Kingston College 1-0, newcomers Muschette blanked Meadowbrook 2-0, Tivoli Gardens and Cornwall College ended goalless, Glenmuir edged Herbert Morrison 1-0, Clarendon College nipped Calabar 1-0, while defending champions Bridgeport got a walkover as their opponents Dinthill Technical did not show for their encounter.

The event, celebrating its 10th year, has been a pull for the US Jamaican diaspora communities, where the members meet to renew old high school sporting rivalries in football and netball.

Over the years, it has grown outside the boundaries of sports and today it is a total family event, incorporating an intoxicating mix of Jamaican culture with food and music. Today's final day will see the continuation of the football programme, while netball competition is set to get underway.

— Sean Williams

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