On Friday, October 27, 23 excited students from Marshland High School set off on a trip of a lifetime for their basketball and football tour of Orlando, Florida.
On arrival, students travelled directly to watch an NBA basketball match where Orlando Magic took on San Antonio Spurs. It was a brilliant game and the Magic stormed to a 114-87 win in an impressive stadium.
On the Saturday morning, they travelled to Tampa to spend the day at Busch Gardens theme park, then on to Amalie Arena to watch NHL Ice Hockey where Tampa Bay Lightning took on Anaheim Ducks.
The following morning Marshland were again up early to travel to Golden Goal Sports for their football fixtures, where, prior to the games, the teams lined up in the middle of the pitch to pose for photographs and to shake hands with the opposition. The first team started well, with Lewis Theobald scoring early with a great finish. He then scored a second and set up Jaden Carter to make it 3-0. Just before half time Golden Goal Sports scored to make it 3-1.
The second team took part in a thrilling match, drawing 5-5. Donatas Verikas scored a wonderful hat trick, Brooke Harris, who was player of the match, scored a fantastic goal, and Ryan Jackson got the fifth.
Monday evening the teams took on Orangewood Christian School in their first set of basketball fixtures. The second team played first, taking on their under-15s and lost 48-8 but Billy Lane scored a brilliant three pointer and Tom Narramore won man of the match. The first team took on their U17s and lost heavily 67-27. Verikas top scored with 16 points and was man of the match.
Wednesday evening saw a return to Orangewood School to play a final round of fixtures. The second team again played first and they played with smiles on their faces, enjoying the experiences. Although they lost again, they made massive progress from Monday’s game, losing 43-10. However Ryan Jackson scored two fantastic three pointers, and Travis Stapleton was man of the match. Next was the turn of the first team, who took a 21-19 lead by half time, everyone of the team performing superbly.
The second half was very similar with both teams playing well and as the full time buzzer sounded the score was 33-33 so it was three minutes of overtime, where, unfortunately, Orangewood hit a three pointer with 30 seconds to go to end the dreams of an upset. Lewis Theobald received player of the match for his outstanding work ethic and for marking their best player out of the game.
Mr Stannard, tour organiser, said: “It was a special and exceptional trip! It was promoted as a trip of a lifetime and it certainly did not disappoint; every student loved the experience and has memories that they will never forget.
“Throughout the week the students’ attitude and behaviour was perfect. Every member of the tour party played their part and the atmosphere in the group was incredible.”