MUTARAE – The Copa Coca-Cola football fiesta makes its final stop in Mutare Saturday where only 12 teams remain from the over 2 000 schools that lit up the grassroots tournament when it was launched in June.
Harare provincial representatives Churchill High School will be the team to beat in the Under-16 boys’ category following their championship winning feats in 1992, 1994, 2000 and 2008.
The Bulldogs have a chance to lift the title for an unprecedented fifth time.
But standing in their way are defending champions and Matabeleland South representatives Mzingwane High School, who they are likely to meet in the knock out stages.
Whilst focus will be on Churchill and Mzingwane, Masvingo provincial representatives Mwenezi will fancy their chances of going all the way to bag the $6 500 prize money.
Their confidence will be high following their giant killing act which saw them dump 2007 champions Pamushana High School at the provincial finals to become Masvingo Province flag bearers.
Mashonaland Central representatives, Howard High School also see themselves with a chance to upset the big guns following a fine run that saw them beating Muzarabani, Chipadze, Katakura and Centenary High School at the provincial finals.
In the Under-16 girls category, the spotlight is likely to be on Vainona High School, who have held the title for the last two years.
They will face stiff competition in Pool A from Mosi-a-Tunya and Silonga High School.
Pool B will see hosts Sakubva, Matinunura and Rutanhira battling for the quarter final slot.
Pool C consists of Mbare High, Sodbury and Masocha.
Rukweza, St Francis and Chidyamakono have been grouped in pool D.
The appeal for the 2013 Copa tournament rests in the fact that at the end of the final match, a select squad will be announced, which will take part in the international Copa Coca-Cola Camp in South Africa.