EDITORIAL : Hats Off, River Gee, ‘The Leopards’

ONE OF LIBERIA’S REMOTEST and youngest counties, River Gee, has been announced winner of the Liberian National County Sports Meet 2023/2024. It is now the defending champions, holder of the trophy and earner of some L$2 million. It is the first time since the county was created in 2000 that it has won the prestigious trophy even though it contested countless times since. A number of players of the county, the Leopards, and the senior coach, were also decorated with coveted accolades. They produced the best defender, the best goalkeeper, the most valuable player, the best coach, amongst other prizes for which they also walked away with mouthwatering purses.

IN ADDITION TO the thunderous celebrations that swept across the country to greet the Leopards for the historic victory achieved, a storm of congratulations also came in for the team and those who provided moral, material and cash supports. To this show of sportsmanship, The Analyst heartedly joins many others to say “hats off, River Gee – The Leopard”. Congratulations for snatching the coveted national trophy. You were under-rated. You came from afar. You were overlooked. You strived laboriously. And you conquered. You deserved it. And we cherish the win with you.

WE ALSO HAILED the direct supporters of the River Gee County team—those individuals, sons and daughters of River Gee County and friends of the county, who provided technical, financial and material supports that emboldened to gallantry, superb skills and acumen of the players to spend their last drop of sweat towards winning. While it is true that hundreds of citizens of the county and friends of the county provided one form of support or another, we particularly wish to name a few. Amongst them is Senator Jonathan Boycharles Sogbie, an legendary footballer who, we understand, provided both technical and substantial financial contributions.

ALSO MAKING GIANT SUPPORTS to the county team were Senator Francis Saidy Dopoh, II, Superintendent Mike Swengbe, Cllr. Kunkunyon Wleh Teh (Kun Teh), Madam Nora Finda Bondoo, Mr. Amos Tweh, Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner, and others. These personalities, along with several other unsung heroes, underpinned the victory, and we are so wholeheartedly grateful to them.

WE THANK SECOND place winner Lofa County, the Lions. They fought ferociously. They nearly got a second crown. They could have deserved a win. But fate denied them. We thank, Lofa, for extraordinary skills exhibited and for gracefulness in defeat. We thank also all the teams that took part from various counties that participated this year, including those who couldn’t come to Monrovia, and those who went through quarter finals and semifinals. You are all winners. You are all good players whose skills and future exploits are in no way eclipsed by your temporary defeats. Next year could be your moment. Keep it all. Hold your faith.

TO THE ORGANIZERS—THE Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Liberia Football Association and all other contributors including sponsors of the County Meet—we say thank you. The last three weeks was full of excitements. It kept Liberians emotionally charged, mentally stably, from last year’s tumultuous electoral campaigns and the wounds it left behind. Truly, sport is a unifying force. We saw it just few days away. And every Liberian felt the welcoming impact.

AGAIN, WE SAY congrats to all and sundry, mainly the Leopards of River Gee. God bless Mother Liberia!

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