Saturday, February 17, 2018

Jack, Williams take top awards


Mark Fraser

SINEAD JACK and Daneil Williams were named players of the year at the Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball Federation’s 2013 Awards Ceremony, on Saturday night at the VIP Lounge of the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain.

Jack, now playing professionally in Russia after being based in Poland until October, was voted overall Player of the Year, while “King of the Beach” Williams was third in the top ten list.

The battle for top player of the year must have been close between Jack and fellow 19-year-old Channon Thompson, but the former gained the upper hand when she was became the only player from this country to ever capture an individual award in a NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) senior tournament.

The 6’ 4” player was not only voted Best Blocker at the NORCECA Continental Championships in California, USA, in September, but was also selected on the All-Star team.

Jack was also the Best Blocker at home in May as Trinidad and Tobago advanced to the third round of qualifying for the World Championships in Italy late this year.

Thompson, who played on the same team with Jack in Poland, was voted Best Scorer, Best Server, Best Spiker and Most Valuable Player at that tournament, which culminated with T&T trouncing Barbados for the gold medal.

Courtney Mae Clifford won three individual prizes—Best Digger, Best Receiver, Best Libero—at that very competition and ended up eighth on the top ten list.

Williams competed in seven of the 11 legs of last year’s NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit and was the key contributor as this country’s men ended the year ranked fifth in the conference.

His best performance for the year was a fifth-place performance in the third stage in Guatemala in April.

Simon Blake, who played alongside Williams in Guatemala and at four other NORCECA tournaments during the season, finished just behind his partner in fourth on the list.

Malika Davidson and Chelsi Ward, who competed at the World Under-21 Championships in the middle of the year and qualified at the end of November for the World Youth Olympic Games in China in August, were fifth and tenth, respectively.

Davidson was also voted Junior Player of the Year and “Queen of the Beach”.

Marlon Phillip, who led the country to a runner-up finish at the Caribbean Youth Championships at home last month, came in ninth and was the Male Junior Player of the Year.

Kaylon Cruickshank, Best Spiker and Best Blocker as T&T captured the girls’ title for the third time in succession at the tournament, was seventh on the list, just behind Poland-based senior national skipper Krystle Esdelle.

Kelly Billingy did not make the top ten for the first time in over a decade, but the former national captain led Technocrats to the Premier League title and was voted Best Female Player.

David Camacho picked up the male equivalent award as his team Big SEPoS (South East Port of Spain) were crowned champs.

SEPoS also came out tops in the Super League (Division B), and their Darnelle Davis was voted Best Player. Makila Yorke was instrumental in Glamorgan securing the women’s title, and she was adjudged Best Player.

Billingy was among the players recognised in the top 50, along with fellow national indoor players Nolan Tash, Sean Morrison, Marc Honore, and Saleem Ali, as well as top beach volleyball players Ayana Dyette, Fabian Whitfield, Colin Bernard, Elki Philip, Pauline Woodroffe and Nancy Joseph.