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Saturday, April 19, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Nancoo’s Edge continues winning tradition
T&T’s Kelvin Nancoo achieved what he wanted most at the recently concluded United States Field Hockey Association’s National Hockey Festival (USFHA), by winning the Under-14 crown in memory of his deceased brother Kenwin Lancelot Nancoo, who founded the Edge field hockey club, nine years ago. Kenwin died on February 28, 2011.
Nancoo pledged to win the 2011 Championship in his brother’s honour and he did. This year, he wanted to continue the winning tradition of the Edge by winning the U-14 title and the young players did just that at Palm Spring in Florida. Unfortunately, the New Jersey-based team finished second in the U-16 category and third in the U-19 division.
The four-day event was held during the Thanksgiving weekend (November 28) and some 300 teams participated. The top international coach won his 19th national title in nine years.
Ahead of the tournament, Nancoo told his Edge players that if he ever wanted to win a championship, it was this one.
“This one is for Kenwin,” he said. “I knew the players never once thought losing was an option. This is one of the most talented young Edge teams ever. It rivals the Edge team which was marshaled by Princeton and national standout Michelle Cesan.”
The young Edge team spearheaded by Gabby Andretta, Elizabeth Romano, Jordan McGinley and Taylor Gladd played well throughout the competition scoring 42 goals, having five scored against them. The supporting cast of Olivia Graham, who Nancoo says will be a 'terror' in two year times, Hana Charnley, Lauren McCloughen, Kate De Marco, Grace Coleman, Elizabeth Denehy and Ali McCarthy, all played superbly.
“We had a real team which knew that winning depended on a team effort. They had to play for each other and though in some games some players were not at their best, collectively them were the best team on show.”
“The Edge won its six matches, ensuring Kenwin’s legacy continued. They were a testimony to the selflessness with which he lived and the loyalty which he had to his club and friends. That spirit transcends all boundaries. That is what the Edge is about,” said Nancoo, who indicated that this was one of the motivating factors in the team’s great performance.
Nancoo became the first Trinidadian to coach a team to win a major outdoor hockey title in the United States. He repeated the feat in the national indoor tournament.
“The players were excellent. The attack was great and their defensive play was just as good. I am certain they have demoralised some of their rivals,” Nancoo said.
“We see winning a bit differently from others and we see a great victory when our scholar/athletes get recruited to a school of their choice. This is where we know they will be successful not only in field hockey along but academia also.
“It is really fantastic, when we have players going to US colleges including two at Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Georgetown, Richmond, Dartmouth, Rutgers, Le High, Colby, and Holy Cross, just to name a few.”
His coaching skill has forced coaches to think twice about their strategies, and they have shown appreciation for the talent of this T&T son. Nancoo’s coaching skill is recognised as far away as India, Holland and Germany, all first-rate hockey nations.
His passion for coaching is equal to the joy exhibited by his charges on the playing field. Coaching for Nancoo is fun, not survival.
But even as his career in education unfolds, the principal of St Michael School for Boys expertise and recognition as a coach in several disciplines grows, not only locally but internationally. He has intimate and detailed knowledge of sports and has been well schooled in the basics and in the latest development of coaching at top international level.
Nancoo attended several hockey coaching courses between 1993 and 2011 that have sharpened his skills and given him the ability to use the latest coaching techniques to assist his teams.
Nancoo look forward to the National Indoor Tournament where he hopes the Edge will win another title or two as they keep the winning tradition going.
He said, “I would like to thank all the coaches who worked with our teams over the year, for a job well done. I must thank Brian Garcia, Laura Whalen, Kim Eng, Molly Johnson, and Krista Romano.”
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