Tyrese Spicer

READY TO STEP UP:Tyrese Spicer, left, in action last year for St Augustine Secondary against Carapichaima East Secondary in Secondary Schools Football League Premier Division action .

THE ONLY thing holding back Tyrese Spicer from picking up a full athletic scholarship is a flight to the United States.

Last year’s Secondary Schools Football League’s (SSFL) top goal-scorer Spicer is due to leave this month for NCAA Division 1, Lipscomb University in Tennessee on a full athletic scholarship. Both Spicer and Trincity Nationals’ teammate Ian Christian Cowie have both secured athletic Scholarships to study abroad, with Cowie due to attend Eastern Oklahoma State College, who play in the National Junior Athletic Association (NJCAA).

Both young men have been outstanding players in the SSFL. Cowie was a key defender with St Anthony’s College last year. Meanwhile, former national youth striker Spicer led St Mary’s College to North Zone InterCol glory and the national quarter-final in 2018. A year later he was also a star player for St Augustine Secondary, where he played for his father, head coach Trevor Spicer and was the top-scorer with 13 goals in 15 matches played.

Had he to pay to attend the private Christian college, Lipscomb, it would have cost Spicer’s family a huge amount of money. Therefore, attaining a full scholarship is a big achievement for the 19-year-old, who needs to travel this month. However, due to the border closure resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, Spicer needs a national security exemption and Caribbean Airlines flight to get to the United States.

“I really need to go,” stated Spicer, a recent member of coach Terry Fenwick’s national senior men’s team training squad.

“It not just a scholarship, but a full academic and football scholarship,” Spicer declared. “I made my family proud. To all who supported me, thanks to them.”

He specially mentions Trincity Nationals head coach Joel Warrick and St Mary’s College coach Ryan Chin as being instrumental in his development and getting him the opportunity abroad. Spicer is son of Trevor and Rosetta Spicer. In addition to St Augustine, Trevor has also coached at El Dorado Secondary, and St Mary’s. Tyrese has one brother, Terrell.

Spicer has been involved with football since age six at Trincity Nationals; has been around both national Under-15 and Under-17 teams and Central FC in the Youth Pro League. His notes the role his father has played in his career to date.

“I played for my father in St Mary’s College and St Augustine. It has been a great experience playing for my father because he taught me from small. Everything I know is because of him,” Tyrese said.

The younger Spicer added:“The experience could be challenging at times because I get it on the field and at home at the same time, so it can be challenging. But it’s all good, because we have the same goals.”

The younger Spicer also relished a recent men’s national senior team stint with former England defender Terry Fenwick and was among several talented young players vying for future national selection. Spicer was thrilled with the experience under Fenwick, and stated it would serve him well while in the U.S.

“That was great experience to see the rise in the level of intensity going up from schools league to the national team,“ he said.

“He picks out individuals and tells them how they could improve and he always has a winning mentality,” said Spicer, who described Fenwick’s sessions as brilliant.

“I will be more than prepared for when I go up there. I want to be fitter than the guys when I go up there. Although it’s my first year, I want to show them that my level of consistency and mentality is right, because I want to make it in professional football,” Spicer said.

The six-foot-one inch footballer will major in Nutrition & Kinesiology and Sports Management at Lipscomb. It is a continuation of the physical education studies which have already seen him get a top grade (Grade One).

“I have studied physical education and I love sport. So when I finish with my football career, I would like to be in a sport field, no matter what kind of sport it is. Kinesiology is about the bones and the body and is related to physical education which I got a (Grade) one in.”

Meanwhile, Lipscomb University men’s team head coach Charles Morrow recently announced the 2020 recruiting class of 10 newcomers to the Purple and Gold—among them Spicer—and expects great things of them.

The 2020 class is one of the most formidable in the history of the private Christian college, with the staff bringing in players from four different states and four different countries to bolster a roster that lost five seniors from last season’s squad.

“We are not only happy with this mix of players from the level of play that they are bringing in, but we’re really happy with the styles that each one of them have,” Morrow said. “Just from what we’ve seen in person and the more we research, we really think that all these guys will play well together and have the ability to mesh quickly.

“I think what I’m most pleased with in this class is we were able to address some deficiencies within our group last year,” Morrow said. “We should come out of this with a much more potent offence and some dynamic attacking players. Not only were we able to really address that portion of what we thought we needed with the team, but I think we were also able to pick up some quality players to fill holes from graduating players last year.”

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