FAREWELL DO­MINIC

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORT - Daviot Kelly

St Ge­orge’s foot­ball team pens tributes to late cap­tain

IT IS amaz­ing that one so young could leave such an in­deli­ble mark. The tears have not yet be­gun to dry af­ter the death of Do­minic Alessan­dro James, the un­ques­tioned leader and cap­tain of the St Ge­orge’s Col­lege (STGC) Man­ning Cup team. On Septem­ber 20, mere min­utes into STGC’s match against Ex­cel­sior High, Do­minic col­lapsed to the turf. De­spite be­ing rushed to hos­pi­tal, it was to be the last time he fea­tured on a foot­ball pitch. A promis­ing foot­baller and bright young man had heard the fi­nal whis­tle. There is an ar­chaic no­tion that boys aren’t sup­posed to cry. But there was not a dry eye at the min­ista­dium that af­ter­noon as play­ers and of­fi­cials from both teams openly wept.

Since Do­minic’s pass­ing, the same young men he led out into bat­tle in light blue and white have been ex­press­ing their love for him. Their words, printed in two pages of the Sun­day Gleaner of Septem­ber 25, a day be­fore Do­minic’s 19th birth­day. The writ­ten ex­pres­sions give real in­sight into the team, no, the fam­ily, of which Do­minic was a ma­jor part; and per­haps he was its very core. In times of grief, words can prove in­suf­fi­cient to fully de­scribe the emo­tions. But the team did its best to make sure the world knew how they truly felt.

Team­mates de­scribed ‘Delly Ranks’, as Do­minic was af­fec­tion­ately known, as a “role model”, “a loving brother”, “a mo­ti­va­tor”, and “a won­der­ful leader”. In a day and age when young men are ac­cused of shy­ing away from their feel­ings, sev­eral mem­bers of the team openly ex­pressed how they loved Do­minic.

“You’ve been a great friend, brother, and leader. I love you and I miss you,” wrote Da­mani Har­ris. Paul Young Jr echoed those sen­ti­ments when he penned, “Words can­not truly ex­press how I feel about you. I will al­ways love you, Do­minic Alessan­dro.” Oth­ers ex­pressed ad­mi­ra­tion for how Do­minic car­ried him­self.

STU­DENTS’ TRIBUTES

“I’m sorry I didn’t get to tell you you’re some­one I ad­mired a lot and I al­ways wanted to be like you in terms of aca­demics and your play­ing style. Love you, Do­minic Alessan­dro James,” shared Taf­farel Hamil­ton. There were a few words of regret as well, as some wished for one more op­por­tu­nity to see him face-to-face.

“I’m sorry I didn’t get the chance to tell you how much I love you and that I’ll do ev­ery­thing that I can just to see that an­gelic smile of yours. I’m elated to have met you and that we’ve had so much won­der­ful mo­ments to­gether,” wrote Alex Mar­shall. Oth­ers tried to con­sole them­selves with the fact that Do­minic was no longer in pain and that he was in a bet­ter place.

“Some­times we all won­der why God takes the most beau­ti­ful souls, but do you ever no­tice when you pick a flower, you pick the most beau­ti­ful one? Well that’s you,” signed Jonathan and Matthew Wil­son. It is clear that Do­minic’s spirit will re­main with this team. The hash­tag #WEDOITFORDELLY has be­come a ral­ly­ing cry for STGC as they con­tinue their search for school­boy foot­ball glory. And the young men gave the as­sur­ance that Do­minic would never be for­got­ten. D’An­dro Se­gre said, “His kind­hearted spirit will surely be missed and never for­got­ten,” while Ro­mario Hard­ing prob­a­bly summed it up best:

“Your spirit will al­ways be with us. We never say DIE!! WIN, LOSE, OR DRAW!”

PHO­TOS BY GLADSTONE TAY­LOR/ PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

The Gleaner Com­pany Me­dia Lim­ited’s Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment and Mar­ket­ing Man­ager Nor­dia Craig (cen­tre) hands over a framed token to the St Ge­orge’s Col­lege Man­ning Cup team, which re­cently lost team cap­tain and friend Do­minic James. Ac­cept­ing on be­half of the team is newly ap­pointed team cap­tain Alex Mar­shall (sec­ond right).

Coach Neville Bell (cen­tre) leads the St Ge­orge’s Col­lege Man­ning Cup team in prayer ahead of their ISSA/FLOW Man­ning Cup match against Ex­cel­sior High at Winch­ester Park yes­ter­day.

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