Mpumalanga Black Aces launched the event on the 13th April with an opening match between Bonginsimbi and Elukhanyisweni. Now in it’s third month, the tournament has been running very well with the local organising committee and school teams excelling..
With examinations currently underway, the tournament has taken a short break to give the learners a deserved chance to prepare for their modules. The schools have closed for the winter holidays and resume on the 16th July.
"The principal made it clear to us that while he appreciates and supports the initiative, we need to roll up our sleaves to ensure that the learners are not disturbed during exams. We are now a hundred percent focused on the exams which counclude on the 22 June and this is also the closing day for schools," said Jabu Masina, Bonginsimbi sports co-ordinator.
The committee has expressed their excitement on how the tournament has progressed so far without any noticeable problems.
The top two teams in each group will participate in the finals to be played in September on a date to be confirmed.
The finalists will walk away with a soccer kit, trophies, medals and a computer/ printer voucher for their respective schools.
In group A, Kriel High are leading the pack on 16 points from 8 matches followed by Elukhanyisweni who accumilated 15 points from the same number of games. Pine Ridge, Bonginsimbi and Kopanang are breathing heavily behind the two with the advantage of games in hand. There are six teams in this interesting group.
At the bottom of the group is Witbank High who seems to have given up on their dream of being crowned champions. After seven games, they could only manage one win and six loses, conceding 23 goals in the process.
Group B is also tightly contested with log leaders, Zacheus Malaza feeling pressure at the top on 12 points followed by Empucukweni on 11 points. Empucukweni have two games in hand and should easily dispose of Malaza provided they get positive results in their catch-up matches.
L.Ntshuntshe, P.Ndimande and D.M Motsaosile are coming on strongly in this group of five teams. At this stage it’s not yet clear who will eventually be crowned champs in this group.
Bonginsimbi are currently leading the goal scoring charts with Prince Sithole (5) & Xolani Ngema (4), followed closely by Kriel High’s Lifa Nxumalo (4) & Victor Misibekela (3).
We are looking forward to seeing who will eventually be crowned the champions in this inaugural Aces High Schools Challenge and so far the game have delivered spectacular outcomes.
All the outstanding fixtures will be scheduled for the week of the 17 and 18 July when the schools re-open.
Some of the comments:
Dumisa Ngobe (Black Aces/ event co-ordinator)
"The tournament is a great initiative and the schools are also making it easier to manage. They have been cooperative upto so far and I hope the relationship can grow going forward."
Elvis Gumede (SASFA Emalahleni)
"Thanks for a great tournament and keep it up. The schools are very excited and appreciates the effort especially with weekly information about the results and log standings. Heita da! Elvis."
Solly Maseko (Sports reporter - Witbank News)
"Its a great initiative espeacilly becasue it keeps the school kids away from the streets. I wish the community can rally behind and support the tournament."
Trevor Dube (Sports presenter - Emalahleni FM)
"The weekly reports that we receive with results and logs are very profesional and informative. Keep up the good work and hopefully the event will grow next year."
Ingmar Griffioen (Soccer organiser - Kriel High)
"Thank you also for all you do for the soccer in our area by helping with this tournament. It is much appreciated. I attach some photo’s, that you can see how it is at the level of the field, and that you can see the joy the players have, all thanks to you guys! Keep it up."
Jabu Masina (Bonginsimbi High)
"We are very appreciative of this initiative and hope it grows in the coming year. Thanks for your continous updates with weekly results and logs"
The event is been managed by Papadi Integrated Marketing