By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
THE University of the Bahamas will continue to spread the wings of its Mingoes' Athletic Department on the collegiate scene in the United States this weekend when a five-member team will travel to Texas to compete in their first judo competition.
The team, coached by D'Arcy Rahming Jr, is comprised of captain Kentico Forbes, a senior accounting major who is a black belt, vice-captain is Desmondo Bootle, an engineering major who is also a black belt, Artio McPhee, a freshman who competes as a brown belt, Taryn Butler, a female bronze belt in her junior year and Raven Pennerman, a female blue belt in her sophomore year.
"I expect my black belts of course to win," Rahming Jr said. "Hopefully for my brown belts, I would like to see them win their black belts, but in order for them to do that, they have to beat an American black belt. "And my blue belt is there for a reason. She's the dark horse. She could win the whole thing or she could not. We see a lot of potential in her. That is why she is on this team."
Rahming Jr said he's delighted to head the UB's judo varsity sport with the five members as they make their maiden voyage to represent the Mingoes.
"All of the competitors have represented the country before so these are not super green people," pointed out Rahming Jr, a member of the Bahamas Judo Federation, the governing body for the sport in the country. "But being student-athletes have their own challenges and getting used to the vigorous academy and strenuous training programme is something they are adjusting to. This is what we hope for in all of our athletes."
During the tournament on Sunday, the Mingoes will be matched against athletes from Texas A & U and other universities and colleges invited to participate.
The team will leave Saturday and should arrive just in time for the weigh-in that night. Once they have completed competition on Sunday, they are scheduled to return home on Monday.
The judo team is following on the heels of the Mingoes' basketball, track and field and soccer teams that have already represented the Mingoes with impressive showings so far during the academic year. So far, the Athletic Department, headed by Kimberley Rolle, has enjoyed a great level of success and they are hoping that judo will continue the trend.