by Mars G. Alison, Correspondent
Rick Gabuya, Sports Editor
The Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) clinched the title of the 10th CESAFI High School Football Championships after beating the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars, 5-1, yesterday at the University of San Carlos-Technological Center (USC-TC) in barangay Talamban, Cebu City.
It was a fitting finish for the Magis Eagles, who are playing only on their second year in the tournament. Last year they finished second after losing to the Don Bosco Technology Center (DBTC).
SHS-AdC coach Vincent Ramos said they still did not expect to grab the crown because they had to halt practice in lieu of the players' second quarter academic examinations.
The Magis Eagles had a good run in the eliminations dropping only one match, this against the Greywolves. Ramos admitted DBTC, who is coached by his younger brother Glen Ramos, was their toughest opponent in the tournament.
Despite defeating the Jaguars, 6-0, in their first meeting during the eliminations, the Eagles did not take their finals match-up lightly.
And they were right in doing so as the Jaguars were not keen on wasting a finals ticket offered to them on a silver platter.
It was USJ-R who first found a hole in the SHS-AdC's defense with a goal by Emmarson Vincent Resmeros in the 16th minute.
However, even before the Jaguars could finish cheering, the Magis Eagles answered with a goal of their own a minute later courtesy of Wilfred Villaver.
A goal made in the 25th minute by Peter Pena gave the Magis Eagles a 2-1 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Jaguars started to show their desperation with a yellow card on Mark Espiritu resulting to a free kick, which Winson Nery converted for the Magis Eagles' third goal.
A lapse in the Jaguars' defense in the 72nd minute allowed Keefee Yap a clear sight of the goal that further padded SHS-AdC's lead to 4-1.
The game was finished off with a penalty kick goal by SHS-AdC's Pomeroy Luke Veloso.
Today, it will be University of Cebu's (UC) turn to go for history in the collegiate football tournament as it faces defending champions USJ-R.
Clearly the underdogs in an event which the Webmasters are never known for, the boys of Glen Ramos will take to the pitch with patience in their game and hope in their hearts.
UC clinched a finals ticket by defeating elimination leader University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF), 4-3, in extension.
USPF is left vying for third place in today's first match against USC.