Soldiers march for repeat

The Soldiers will officially start their title defense on the court.

The 2014 Dominos Pizza Under-19 League, organized by the Cayman Islands Basketball Association, starts this week with the boys segment up first on Sept. 30 at the association’s outdoor court on Eastern Avenue. At 6:15 p.m. Game Takers face John Gray High School Warriors before the JGHS Knights battle the Soldiers at 7:30 p.m.

Soldiers come into the campaign as the defending champions after an unbeaten season last year. The Wesleyan Christian Academy-based squad was coached mainly by Jonathan Powery and featured talents Arin Taylor, Juawon Ebanks and Naithique Jackson. The runners-up were the Wesleyan Griffins, who showcased Alex Thompson and Kameron Reynolds.

A quick look at the rosters show Soldiers having arguably the strongest team, after embracing members of the Griffins. Thompson and Taylor lead a unit featuring athletic contributors like Daniel Britton and Devonte Dacres. Game Takers and Warriors have a number of boys looking to establish themselves and Bryce Thompson will have the spotlight for the Knights.

Plenty of intrigue should come from the fifth team in the competition, the Bodden Town Wolves, who are in action on Oct. 7. Justin Collins and Michael Brooks are the most notable holdovers from last season, while the squad has strengthened by adding 2013 Soldiers Most Valuable Player Albis Amaya, Jamel Winton and Javon Seymour.

Matches in the boys category will take place every Tuesday, with the regular season finale expected to be on Dec. 2.

The girls competition begins on Oct. 4 at the association court. At 5:30 p.m. the Monarchs face the Comets before DREAM battle the Lynx at 6:45 p.m. The reigning champions are the Lynx, who won two-thirds of their games behind head coach Denton Cole and budding prodigies Khailan O’Connor and Amanda Stone. The runners-up were the Sparks, who featured April Ebanks and Alessandra Hawkins. DREAM – the acronym stands for Dedication, Responsibility, Education, Attitude and Motivation – is a local club making its debut in the competition.

Matches in the girls segment will take place every Saturday, with the regular season wrapping up on Nov. 29.

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