Players get ready for Dart High School Football Leagues kickoff

Cayman International School, in blue, aim to defend their Dart Under 14 Girls’ High School League title.

The second season of the Dart Under 13 Boys’ and Under 14 Girls’ High School Football Leagues kick off this week with girls games on Wednesday and boys games on Thursday.

Organizers have decided to retain the two age groups for 2018 to further establish the high school leagues before expanding the age groups to accommodate the Under 15s.

Sponsored exclusively by Dart, the leagues were a success during the inaugural 2017 season. Games will be played during the week, immediately after school, and will continue until Wednesday, Nov. 21, and Thursday Nov. 22.

Defending champions are Cayman International Blue in the Under 14 girls’ league, and Cayman Prep and High School in the Under 13 boys’ league.

Schools competing for the Dart Cup include Clifton Hunter High School, John Gray High School, St. Ignatius Catholic School, Triple C, Cayman Prep and High, Cayman International School and Cayman Academy.

The blueprint for the local high school football leagues includes eventually establishing three age groups for the boys (Under 13, Under 15 and Under 18) and a minimum of two leagues for the girls. Organizers hope to emulate the various school leagues that are played in many of the Caribbean Islands, particularly the Manning and DaCosta Cups in Jamaica and the Secondary School Football League in Trinidad and Tobago.

One significant improvement for high school football in the Cayman Islands that is not widely seen in other Caribbean islands is the league for girls, which will primarily aid in the increase of girls participating in the local club leagues and the female national program, which are overseen by the Cayman Islands Football Association.

Games scheduled for this Wednesday, Oct. 3, in the Dart Under 14 Girls’ League include St. Ignatius Catholic High School vs. Triple C (at St. Ignatius); Cayman Prep City vs. Cayman Prep United (at Cayman Prep and High School); Cayman International White vs. Cayman International Blue (at the Dart Field); and Clifton Hunter High School vs. John Gray High School (at Clifton Hunter).

Games to be played on Thursday, Oct. 4, in the Dart Under 13 Boys’ League include St. Ignatius Catholic High School vs. John Gray (at St. Ignatius); Cayman International White vs. Cayman International Blue (at the Dart Field); Clifton Hunter and Cayman Prep and High School (at Clifton Hunter); and Cayman Academy vs. Triple C (at the CIFA Field).