Principal of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), Keith Wellington, said he has not been informed that his track and field head coach, Reynaldo Walcott, is heading to Wolmer’s Boys’ School and is confident it will take a massive effort to poach his prized coach. As earlier reported on www.jamaica-gleaner.com, Walcott is strongly tipped to take over the reins at the Heroes Circle-based institution after its entire coaching staff headed by Christopher Harley was shown the door following another disappointing season, which culminated in a ninth place finish and 50-point tally at the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships. This follows the school’s back-to-back sixth-place finishes in the boys’ section at the 2015 and 2014 championships. Harley was said to have lost the confidence of several influential members of the Wolmer’s community, such as MVP Track Club coach Stephen Francis, who has been a long-time supporter of the programme. “I am confident that it will take a mountain to move him (Walcott) from St Elizabeth Technical,” Wellington told The Gleaner yesterday. “If he is going to move, those interested will have to plan to move a mountain.” Multimillion-dollar contract Sources have informed The Gleaner that Walcott has been offered a multimillion-dollar contract, which represents a 10 times improvement on his current deal with STETHS. Wellington, who praised Walcott for his work over the years in transforming STETHS into one of the strongest programmes in the country, however, maintains that there is no indication that his prized asset will be changing locations ahead of the coming season. The ISSA vice-president added that he has spoken to the coach, who he says informed him of an interest from Wolmer’s, but gave no indication that he will, in fact, be leaving. “I would have spoken to him; he volunteered to speak with me and I still have no information that he is heading to Wolmer’s, whether from the reports or the conversation I have had with him,” Wellington said. “Nothing I have read or heard says he is going to Wolmer’s. I have read where he is the person being targeted by Wolmer’s, and based on the conversation I have had with him, that is as much as I know as well. “… He (Walcott) is the target of their (Wolmer’s) interest, but I don’t know that he is going there,” Wellington noted. Of note, Walcott is currently a member of the MVP Track Club support staff, providing technical support at training sessions and is a feature at the club’s local exercises, overseas camps and international competition. Walcott, who first arrived at STETHS as a 12-year-old in seventh grade, returned to coach the team after four years of study at the University of Technology. He is in his fourth year at the helm of the programme. He is today considered to be one of the best young minds in track and field coaching and was rewarded for his work with head coach duties for Jamaica’s team to the recent Carifta Games in Grenada, where the team won 86 medals. This year, STETHS finished fifth in the boys’ section at Champs with 100 points and seventh in the female section with 71 points. Last year’s effort saw the Santa Cruz-based team also taking fifth place in the boys’ section (132 points) and ninth in the female section (51 points). In the 2014 instalment, STETHS again finished fifth in the boys’ section with 123 points and eighth in the female side on 65 points.
NEWHALL – The man who was wed under an oak tree at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center and reluctantly left his job there four years ago to take a promotion is back. Frank Hoffman, who multitasks even in his quietest moments, has been named the recreation supervisor at the park as of Jan. 2. “Frank is the absolute life behind Placerita,” said Ian Swift, the center’s supervisor, who is in line to become superintendent. “He is our one-man marketing machine. Frank is 150,000 percent enthusiastic about Placerita and our programs here.” Hoffman is in charge of the park’s programs, activities and events. He will also serve as education director and plans to collaborate with the Sierra Club and the California Wild Project to create a hiking club whose volunteers will lead guided interpretive nature hikes and walks in Placerita Canyon in the Angeles National Forest. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card The return to Placerita was lateral, but Hoffman’s affection for the park makes the point moot. “This is his true home,” said Swift. “This is where he belongs.” In his four-plus years away, Hoffman, 46, worked at county parks in Quartz Hill and Val Verde. He also trains county staff, volunteers and docents in leadership and customer service skills and on how to avoid potentially dangerous plants and animals. “They’re only dangerous if you mess with them,” Hoffman quipped. His lifelong love of nature is a perfect fit for his midlife career change. The late-blooming naturalist had toiled for 16 years as a banker, real estate loan officer and appraiser before the housing market’s downturn in the late 1980s. Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, he credits his mom with opening his eyes to nature. The Valley’s orange groves, fields and farms teemed with possibilities. “Instead of Mom raising me with pinball and TV, she took me to Pierce College to show me farm animals, she would take me to the Los Angeles Zoo, and to parks to teach me about animals. As a young boy, I would bring (home) everything loose I could find.” Mary Hoffman, Frank’s wife of six years, is the recreation service leader at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area. The couple’s Canyon Country menagerie includes dogs, cats, snakes, tortoises, birds and two saltwater aquariums. Hoffman owns a hunting hawk and is a member of the largest state falconry club in the country, the California Hawking Club. The nature center will host its 27th annual reptile festival on March 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center is at 19152 Placerita Canyon Road. For information call 259-7721. Judy O’Rourke, (661) 257-5255 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
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