Tarak Malhotra Staff Reporter, The Pawprint
On the 3rd of February 2019, the Dubai American Academy Junior Varsity football and basketball teams returned from MESAC, from Oman and India respectively. The basketball team earned an overall 5th place, and the football team were crowned champions of MESAC after a challenging few games in the tournament. Players ranged from ninth grade to tenth grade, with ages 14-16 on show at the tournament.
The DAA basketball team left on the 30th of January, right at the end of the grade nine and ten exam week. The football team also departed on the 30th, staying in Oman for five days and four nights. The flight to India was three hours, and the flight to Muscat took 45 minutes. Weather in India proved to be challenging to cope with, as a lot of the team complained of the bitterly cold air. On the other hand, players in Muscat seemed to enjoy the weather, being able to play in a cool, sunny breeze.
The football teams’ games were played at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Doha. The stadium is one of the largest in the Middle East area, boasting an incredible >35,000 seat capacity. The basketball teams were situated in the heart of Delhi, playing in the American Embassy School. AES is the main location for most MESAC games in India.
In Oman, the JV girls team lost 2-1 in the semi-final in the final few minutes of extra time, granting an overall 4th place in the tournament. The boys team, however, progressed to the final and managed to win 2-1 against the American School of Doha, the favorites of the tournament, to bring home the gold for DAA.
The JV boys’ football team proved themselves with a fairly young squad. Nearly half of the team were ninth graders, which is perhaps why some schools may have underestimated them. This MESAC win is the third for the JV boys’ football team, and adds another large win to their great record this year.