The NACRA Men’s U19 Championships is the primer U19 Men’s Championships for the North American Caribbean Rugby Association. The members of NACRA U19 are USA Rugby South, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands. We will profile each team leading up to the 2015 NACRA Men’s U19 Rugby Championships being held in Orlando, FL from July 11-18, 2015.
Trinidad and Tobago U-19 Rugby team, also known as the Soca Titans, will be entering into the NACRA Men’s U19 Rugby Championships as the 4th ranked team. They ended last year with the Plate trophy and are looking forward to competing for the Cup championship this year. The team is managed by Lyder Baptiste and Graham Chin, and lead by head coach Willet Wayne Pantor. This team is expected to compete with high energy this year. They are competing with the philosophy of “One TEAM, one dream”. A phrase who’s meaning is foundation in the acronym TEAM which means, Together Everyone Achieves the Mission”. Coach Pantor explained it best,
No individual can get the job done so operating as one unit is essential and we can say as a team we are willing to go through every milestone embracing all challenges because of the thirst for success.
The opportunity to represent the country of Trinidad and Tobago is not a “right” but a “privilege” however it is worthless in the sport if we do not live our U19 Motto ““TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVE THE MISSION” [TEAM] and “ONE TEAM ONE DREAM”. “
Trinidad and Tobago will be competing with a younger and refreshed team, lead by six returning players. This team will be guided by veterans such as, team captain and flyhalf/fullback, Leon Pantor; prop, Odell Baccus; hooker, Christopher Daniel; Second row/flanker, Shakeel Dyte; 8-man/flanker, Jamie Ablack; and scrumhalf, Jordon Rodriguez.
The privilege it is to play for their country is not lost on these young men. The emotional connection is best stated by Leon Pantor,
Rugby has been a big part of my life for the pass 5 yrs. Most of all it thought me about discipline, friendship, respect, team work and being humble. I traveled and see some lovely places and met some amazing people it is such a pleasure & honor to represent my beautiful country of Trinidad and Tobago in the NACRA Canterbury U19’S Championship. Respect to my coaches and managers whom I had the privilege to work with and help me to be a better player and by extension a better person.
Trinidad and Tobago will open their qualifying match against the Cayman Islands on July 12th at 12:00pm EST. You can catch the match on Gift-Time Rugby Network TV