Lavine’s fitness was key to success

There are lots of Caymanians at school in the States playing football – aka soccer – and hoping to turn their skills into professional careers. One of them is Tevon Lavine, an 18-year-old forward whose performances earned him an honour at the Connecticut All-State Soccer dinner recently. Each student was also a first team all-league selection for the Western New England Prep School Soccer Association.

Lavine shone so brightly that he was selected with two other students from Cheshire Academy for the Prep All-State Team.

He had good reason to be in top form: ‘Coming into the season I was very well prepared because during the summer I was training with the national Under-23 Olympic team,’ Lavine said. ‘When I came back to Cheshire I was in tip top shape and then the team made me captain. I knew it was a tough responsibility but I handled it. We took each game as it came and played very well.’

Cheshire had a modest record of 10 wins, six losses and two draws. Lavine played the skipper’s role to the max, scoring 17 times in 18 games. All his friends and family in Bodden Town will be delighted.

So what’s next? ‘I’ve been in contact with a university in North Carolina and they want me to play Division Two soccer for them, so that’s a good accomplishment.’

He’ll be there for four years and by then hopes to turn pro. An Arsenal supporter, he harbours ambitions of being a Gunner. ‘Arsenal are my team. I detest Man Utd very much, especially after they beat us 4-0 last weekend.’

His favourite player is Didier Drogba and biggest role model is definitely mum Ann-Marie Levine.

Lavine’s coach Owen Tinti-Kane thinks he has a chance of professional football. He said: ‘Tevon is quick and very strong. He’s also really calm and controlled on the ball, possessing lots of confidence. Very vocal and a tireless leader, he focuses on getting better all the time. He’s also one of the friendliest kids I know and when he baby sits my kids – who are five and seven – he refuses to take money for it.

‘He’s also getting some good looks from scouts from other schools and colleges and I think he’s definitely good enough to play at college level. I’m not sure about the highest level but I wouldn’t rule it out.’