Claude O. Markoe Elementary School took home the top three places at the Department of Education Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education’s first marbles tournament held in the St. Croix District on Tuesday, June 4 at the David C. Canegata Ballpark.
Participating schools included: Lew Muckle, Alexander Henderson, Claude O. Markoe and Juanita Gardine elementary schools.
Cultural Education Director Valrica Bryson welcomed players and coaches. “I know there are only three trophies, but remember, you are all winners,” she said. “Being here in this tournament already makes you a winner. So, if you don’t win today, it’s okay. Just have fun.”
Following the reading of the rules, marble rings were drawn and two players were assigned to rings containing 13 marbles. The first student in the round to knock seven marbles out [of] the ring wins the game.
Competitors showed focus and determination at the traditional game that many Virgin Islanders played during their youth. In the semifinals, Markoe’s Ne’ Jahri James battled teammate Jomar Ayala, while another teammate, Uriel Donelly, fought his way out of the loser’s bracket.
In the finals, Ne’Jahri bested Jomar, taking home the first-place trophy. Jomar faced off against Uriel, ultimately winning the second-place position. Uriel placed third.
Bryson expressed her gratitude to the participating schools and students, referees and the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation, particularly Commissioner-designee Calvert White, for their support.
A similar marbles competition was held in the St. Thomas-St. John District earlier in the school year. Rena Thomas and Sheila Gumbs refereed the St. Croix competition.