Heritage Academy Girls Kick Butt
As the girls’ varsity soccer coach at Westtown School in Pennsylvania for many years before going to Ghana in 2004, I naturally selected and trained a girls’ team right after Heritage Academy opened, and the school became the first in the district to have a standing, well-equipped girls’ soccer team at a time when the standard practice was for basic schools to have a standing boys’ team but wait until the week before the inter-schools games festival to pull together a group of girls who played kick-and-run for two or three games and then went their separate ways until the next year!
It was difficult to find good competition during that first year but the other schools caught on quickly, and the quality of the girls’ tournament improved steadily both in soccer and other sports. Several of our stars including Sandra Arkoh-Arthur, Sarah Nyame, Gloria Nyame, Elizabeth Amoah, Janet Osei, Ruth Arkoh-Arthur, and Jennifer Mensah were invited to the zonal and regional tournaments in multiple years, with many of them going on to stardom on their high school soccer, volleyball and track teams. After winning the championship or finishing in second place in multiple sports over many years, we were finally knocked out in the semi-final match of the soccer tournament last fall. But we are not complaining; we will be back!
Outside of sports, Heritage girls continue to win many accolades each year in reading and spelling competitions, science and current affairs quizzes, and precision marching during independence day celebrations. I always smile when I think of Benedicta Bondzie winning the district spelling competition by one point over her older brother, Kelvin (the defending champion at the time), or Dorcas Abban beating out much older students to represent her new high school at a regional quiz competition last year. However, my favorite girl-kicking-butt story of all time involves Comfort Mensah, a 4th grader who petitioned her way into the Reading Club a year early and then proceeded to win the reading competition in the spring, win an endowed scholarship, perform in the graduation play, and win an award for academic excellence.