The 2010 David "Wagga" Hunt Memorial Classic was held in Kingston and Miramar, Florida, on August 7th and 21st, respectively.
The Florida chapters of the Kingston College Old Boys Association and the Calabar Alumni Association jointly hosted the Florida leg of the event at the Miramar Regional Park.
The event was the counterpart to the successful first leg staged in Jamaica at the UWI Mona Bowl which featured three (3) games. In the curtain-raiser, Real Mona defeated Meadhaven United, a club which Hunt co-founded, 3-1. Next, Meadhaven Masters faced off against Pelicans Masters, which is comprised primarily of former UWI alumni, with Pelicans emerging winners on penalty kicks after an entertaining 0-0 draw at full-time. Hunt, a UWI graduate, was also a former Pelicans player.
In the feature event, an impressive looking KC Manning Cup team defeated Calabar 2-0 to secure the David "Wagga" Hunt Trophy which the teams shared in the inaugural event last year after a 1-1 draw.
Said Arnold "Dullo" McDonald, Chairman of the David "Wagga" Hunt Memorial Football Classic:
"On behalf of the Organizing Committee, I wish to first of all commend the Hunt family, in particular Christopher, who worked very closely with the committee, for the foresight in formulating this noble and worthy initiative in honor of David. We are very pleased at the progress since inception in 2009 and definitely feel the support and energy being generated towards the cause from both corporate Jamaica and individuals, home and abroad, contributing to the success of the football classic and the wider scholarship initiative resulting in the awarding of four (4) David "Wagga" Hunt scholarships to date. We are sure that with the continued support of corporate Jamaica, particularly if we are able to garner full or half scholarship participation, we will certainly be confident of assuring sustainability."
Corporate and individual sponsorship from the Jamaican community played a critical role in the success of the event. Led by Victoria Mutual, which sponsors a scholarship each year, corporate sponsors including, but not limited to, Avis Rent-A-Car, Pepsi, Crimson Dawn, Glaxo Smith Kline, Wisynco Group, Rainbow Awnings, First Caribbean Bank, and Guardian Life, stepped up to the plate. Individual sponsors included, among others, Churchill Neita, Ambassador Stewart Stephenson, and Dr. Cedric Lazarus.
"It was an enjoyable day and was well-organized; congrats to Chairman McDonald and his team. The selection of games, reflecting different age groups, was consistent with David's involvement with the sport. The turnout sent a signal that the quality of work that he did will be long-cherished and remembered by well-wishers, associates and friends. The integrity and selflessness he exemplified are the hallmarks of true leadership," said former KSAFA President, Ambassador Stewart Stephenson. Hunt was also a former General Secretary of KSAFA.
In the Florida leg, despite inclement weather, there was strong support for the event. In the opener, a solid Cornwall College Old Boys team spearheaded by captain, Chris Gordon, and mid-field stand-out, Sertan "Pele" Thompson, easily defeated Meadowbrook Old Boys 4-1 to retain the David "Boggo" Haughton Trophy. The late David Haughton, who attended both KC and Cornwall and was actively involved in football administration in Jamaica, and along with Hunt and Dr. Alvin Lue (who was in attendance), was a co-founder of Meadhaven Football Club. All three attended UWI together in the mid-1970s.
In the Winston Chung-Fah Trophy match, Pelicans Masters, led by former national player and KC Manning Cup star, Fabian "Fabulous" Davis, and the venerable Jamaica Nats Masters (DC), featuring legends such as Keith "Barnaby" Tulloch, Richard "Real Kill" Davey, and Bancroft Gordon, among others, played to a 1-1 draw. Chung-Fah, who was in attendance, was Hunt's coaching mentor and is the patron of the event.
In the feature game, the David "Wagga" Hunt Trophy match, despite outstanding goal-keeping from KC's Mark "Soup Bone" Johnson and midfield stand-out, David "German" Rosnovski, Calabar Old Boys came from behind to defeat KC Old Boys 3-1 through the efforts of forward, David Green, midfield general, Robert Doig, and ageless wonder, Peter Grant. The KC Old Boys won the inaugural event in 2009 by 3-0. Several members on both teams were formerly coached by Hunt either at the school, club or national youth team level.
Consistent with the values which epitomized Hunt's life, both legs were played in a spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship. Indeed, the conception, planning and execution of the event was marked by strong teamwork and coordination between the Florida chapters of the KC and Calabar Alumni Associations with the central goal of honoring and memorializing Hunt's contribution to Jamaican soccer in general and to KC and Calabar in particular. Both the Hunt family and the immediate family of David Haughton were in attendance.
"The second staging of the David "Wagga" Hunt Memorial Classic was a tremendous success. Thanks to the Hunt family, our many sponsors and volunteers as well as our co-hosts, Kingston College Old Boys' Association. Special thank you's also to the participating teams, Cornwall College, Meadowbrook, Jamaica Nats and Pelican Masters.
I am encouraged by the increased support and look forward to next year's staging where I anticipate an even bigger and more successful staging. Best wishes to our scholarship recipients and continued success to all!," said Michael Schloss, President of the Calabar Alumni Association.
The event was a success due primarily to the hard work of the joint KC/Calabar organizing committee and the invaluable contribution of Publix Supermarket, which provided food for the event; Winston Barnes and WAVS, along with Peter Webley of Caribbean Today, who helped to promote the event; and Ronnie Burke who u-streamed the event, and DJ Siddy Bee, who provided music. In addition, the event could not have been staged without the selfless work of a committed cadre of volunteers who worked tireless to ensure the event's success.
Proceeds from both events will go toward the David "Wagga" Hunt Memorial scholarship at KC and Calabar, respectively, to commemorate the memory of David "Wagga" Hunt. Hunt, a KC Old Boy, had a passion for football and dedicated his life to the sport and was deeply committed to his players' well-being both on and off the field. He was a former Jamaica National Under-17 coach, a KC, Calabar, and Meadowbrook Manning Cup coach, and led Calabar to both Manning and Oliver Shield titles before his untimely passing in October 2007 from a heart attack.