By Carlena Knight
Following a successful collegiate career, national goalkeeper-coach, Janiel “Board” Simon has been selected by his alma mater, Bryant & Stratton College, to give the feature address at their Athletic banquet later this month.
After completing his high school education at the Jennings Secondary School (JSS), Simon gained an athletic scholarship to Bryant & Stratton College and played there from 2000-2002. He later continued his career at the University of South Carolina and then Clayton State University.
The former SAP player is now the Technical Director of the club.
Simon, who hails from Bolans, received news of the prestigious selection earlier this month and shared the news on the Good Morning JoJo Sports Show on Wednesday.
“I was most likely shocked. I had to read the text twice to make sure I was indeed the chosen one to give that speech. I know when we won our first championship in 2001, it wasn’t easy and a lot of hard work. Plus, the weather was different. It was the first time for me in going to the United States and living in that climate and I got introduced into Syracuse where majority of the time it was cold. It was tough but I am more than happy to be the one that gives that feature speech.
“From day one, I always tried to make my mom proud. She has all boys with no father support, so I always tried to be the best so that my brothers can look and see what I have done. When it comes to education and football, I always pushed myself to the limit. I definitely have big expectations of myself when I go to college, not only on the field. I wanted to do well but also in the classroom,” he added.
His former coach at the New York based college, Nick Dimitrievski, who was also a guest on the show on Wednesday morning spoke highly of the former national player.
“We are going to have our athletic banquet and I contacted Janiel to be our guest speaker because he has been one of our most decorated goal-keepers since our existence 22 years ago. I am just so proud of him. I know he works as the goalkeeper-coach for the Antigua and Barbuda national team and to get a talent like that here was just phenomenal and he didn’t disappoint.
“He’s got a lot of hardware and I am just so excited to have him come and present after all these years back to his alma mater.”
The banquet is scheduled to take place on March 21 on the school grounds in Syracuse, New York.