HERE WE COME!ARSENAL ARSENAL
MAKES FOOTBALL HISTORY
by Jaime Johnston
by Thomas Tomczyk
tying Santa Barbara the week before, it had come down to this sudden
death match; if Arsenal emerged victorious, they would be the first
team in the history of the Bay Islands to become classified in the
mainland's Division II League. "We have to play with confidence
and smarts," said Coach Emilio Martinez as he addressed his team
before the game. Outside the locker room, over 1000 fans restlessly
awaited Arsenal's presence in the stadium. As the players took the
field, the crowd erupted with cheers. The island was ready.
The opening minutes of the game were filled with nervous energy that
resulted in errors for both teams. Santa Barbara set their characteristic
quick pace and Arsenal responded with determination. French Cay teased
the crowd with moments of offensive brilliance; three near goals in
two minutes had fans in a frenzy. Hustle by Alexander Martinez and
Quelty Norales kept the ball in front of the Santa Barbara goal, leaving
their opponent with limited opportunities to score. Halfway through
the first half, Arsenal Captain Carlos Martinez was awarded a penalty
kick and scored the game's first goal. The audience exploded with
a roar of firecrackers, noisemakers and applause. Minutes before the
close of the half, the ball was centered from deep in the corner to
Andres Amador who kicked in Arsenal's second goal. Amador's teammates
surrounded him at center field and fans danced around in awe of their
team's 2-0 lead.
At halftime, the Santa Barbara coaching staff tried to regroup their
players. "The goals in the first half were results of our own
mistakes," said Santa Barbara Assistant Coach Orlando Enamorado.
With a two-goal cushion, Arsenal confidently opened the second half
with numerous shots on goal by Ruben Martinez. Ten minutes later,
Santa Barbara came alive. They charged down left field and scored
a quick goal before Arsenal could react. "When we were up 2-0,
we got too comfortable, like we had already won the game and we lost
focus," said Arsenal forward, Quelty Norales. Moments after,
Santa Barbara dominated the Arsenal defense and scored a breakaway
goal to tie the game. The stadium was silent but for the small group
of Santa Barbara supporters. French Cay fans were stunned; Arsenal
had lost the lead and control of the game.
"We tried to control Santa Barbara's No. 20 and not give him
any chances. If you let down your guard, he will take advantage. He
got an opportunity and, with that, they put in a goal. Then, they
tied us and, after being ahead 2-0, it was worrisome," said Coach
Martinez. Hanford McLaughlin and Jay Hynds were late substitutions
for Arsenal. "There were some tired players which is logical
because they had played already for 60 minutes and their strength
starts deteriorating. But, I made changes thinking it would help and
it did,"explained Coach Martinez.
Those in attendance clenched their fists and held their breath in
suspense, while Arsenal and Santa Barbara battled through the last
quarter of the game. For the first time ever, the crowd began chants
of AR-SEN-AL, ARSENAL Santa Barbara lost possession mid-field
and Arsenal pushed the ball deep in front of the goal. Alexander Martinez
wove through the defense and scored for Arsenal. A. Martinez ran over
to the sidelines, yelling and waving, climbed the stadium fence and
celebrated in front of his family. "The crowd was the twelfth
player on the field for me tonight. They gave me such a boost,"
said A. Martinez. With a standing ovation, the fans echoed his enthusiasm;
people threw their drinks in the air, ignited firecrackers and began
the celebrations. Minutes later, time was called and the crowd was
ecstatic; Arsenal had done it. A group of French Cay players ran victory
laps around the field as fans tried to charge their way through security
to join the center field party. "There aren't words to explain
the happiness one feels to be champions, undefeated in the region.
To be the first championship team in the Bay Islands, it's an enormous
happiness," said Coach Martinez.
Kenny McNab faced intense second half pressure by Santa Barbara
and credited his team's cohesion for the victory. "It was a
hard game, especially after their two goals. But, we trust each
other; we just kept confidence in everyone and kept our emotions
down so we could focus," said McNab. Both McNab and Norales
emphasized their coach's influence on the team's approach. "As
both a coach and a friend, he is a good person. He is very calm
and professional because he always believes in us," said Norales.
Watching as Arsenal celebrated their North Western championship,
the Santa Barbara team sat in disbelief at the other end of field.
"It was supposed to be a different game," said Enamorado.
A 67-year-old club, Santa Barbara has competed three times for a
Division II entry, but never managed a victory. "Santa Barbara
is the best team we've played," said Arsenal's Schenley Pouchie.
The team trained in San Pedro Sula to prepare for Roatan's climate.
"It was a tactical mistake that cost us the last goal. We took
out an offensive player to put in an extra defense. (...) Arsenal
has very strong players. Norales, Ruben Martinez and McNab are the
three core players for their team," said Enamorado.
The championship comes to Arsenal after only a few years of play.
Roatan Champions for the second consecutive year, this is Arsenal's
third title in four seasons. Arsenal remained undefeated against
mainland teams throughout the postseason as they worked toward the
North Western Championship. No team has ever climbed so quickly
into the Division II League. "Today is what the Bay Islands
are all about; people live sports on this island and Arsenal represents
our integrity and our support to athletics," said Bay Islands
Congressman Evans McNab. Arsenal President Leland Woods expressed
gratitude to the community for their support of the team, "We
couldn't believe it. We sold 800 tickets and had to stop selling
because the stands were so full." The new classification will
mean heightened publicity for Arsenal and increase the volume of
visitors to the island. "I would think that Arsenal's win here
should mean more income for local businesses. Teams will travel
here and need food, transport, and accommodations. It's good for
the area," said Congressman McNab..
The Division II season opens on August 29. There are 12 Division
II teams in the competing for the North Division title. Arsenal's
first scheduled home game was September 6, but the team first must
modify their home field. "Our field is too small and we're
going to have to make changes. We might be playing in Oak Ridge
or French Cay once we make changes there; we really don't know yet.
Most likely, we'll practically have to build a new stadium to meet
official requirements," said Woods, "We negotiated to
play our first home game on the mainland instead of here and hopefully
by September 20, our next scheduled home game, we'll have a field
ready on the island." The field in Los Fuertes measures 58m
by 87m and league regulations require minimum dimensions of 68m
While Arsenal's Board of Directors finalizes stadium plans, the
coaching staff looks to make roster additions. "We're going
to look for players who want to help Arsenal in Division II. We're
not going to get players from the coast; they're all going to be
from here on the island," said Coach Martinez.
six months and eleven issues, the Bay Islands Voice staff is set
to take a break. We've survived rodent invasions, man-made disasters
and that's just the beginning... TOP TEN REASONS WHY WE NEED A VACATION:
We escaped the red eye epidemic for this long, but we can't push
our luck forever.
Shopping for clothes- all the summer clothing sales at Barney's.
Somebody stole all my shoes. And there is only so many places you
can wear flip-flops and bowling shoes.
It took five months to finally repair the phone
We really, really need a hot bath.
My cable reception is so bad that I missed the entire season of
"Sex and the City."
Deadlines. When your start making your dog work on the deadline,
it's time to take a break.
My old supply of hair products is dwindling fast
We made Coach Martinez promise that Arsenal wouldn't win any more
championships while we are gone.
There is only so much paradise you can take before you need a break.
will return to print on September 11 with Issue 12.
Thomas, Rochelle & Jaime
Bay Islands Voice Staff
GETS RED EYE
A wave of conjunctivitis, commonly known as red eye, has swept through
Roatan starting in the last week of July. The eye infection is easily
spread from person to person and causes irritation, swelling and
discoloration of the eye. Bay Islanders have experienced how quickly
the infection transmits. "We have had about 200-300 people
come in with red eye and want to get eye drops. We are keeping a
lot of the drops in stock; we just ordered 250 more boxes of all
the different brands," said Pharmacist Victor Toro of the Roatan
There are two different strains of conjunctivitis- one bacterial,
one viral. Cloranfenicol and Neomicina are common treatments for
bacterial conjunctivitis, while the viral kind will clear up within
7-10 days. "We don't know if there are both types of conjunctivitis
on the island because we can't test for it.
who present with symptoms of red eye are prescribed the medicines
whether or not they actually have a bacterial infection," said
Head Nurse Delia Jones of Roatan Hospital. Jones advises residents
to wash their hands frequently and to avoid sharing personal items
such as towels and linens.
The recent invasion of the infection has had a major impact on the
hospital in Coxen Hole. Their volume of patients has sharply increased;
in nine days, doctors saw 199 cases of conjunctivitis. The hospital
staff have also been affected. "We have seven nurses off with
red eye right now. It's been very busy because we had to cover a
lot of shifts. There were two doctors out with it also. It can get
pretty crazy here sometimes," Jones said.
Salvadorians are Coming! San Salvadorians are Coming!
of San Salvadorians escaped to Roatan recently for their Agostinas
holiday. Each of El Salvador's 14 departments has their own celebrations;
San Salvadorians holiday from August 1-6 to honor El Salvador del
mundo. The celebration is a symbol of Catholic faith, highlighted
on August 5 which honors Santo Patrono.
Many residents chose to travel for the holiday and the Bay Islands
is a popular choice. "There are so many companies in San Salvador
who operate tours to the Bay Islands. Many of us come for diving and
snorkeling and it is inexpensive for us to spend our dollar here,"
said San Salvadorian Monica Paredes who arrived in Roatan on August
2. Despite the festivities in San Salvador, which include parades,
carnivals, and sporting events, students and workers are tempted to
stray from home for the holiday. "We have some nice beaches in
El Salvador but none are as beautiful as here. Everyone at home knows
about the beauty of this island," said Jamye Aparicia who stayed
at Luna Beach Resort with 30 members of her Miramundo Tour group.
For five days, it seemed one was more likely to meet a San Salvadorian
than a Bay Islander in the West End-West Bay area. "We keep running
into other people from San Salvador. [They are] people we didn't know
before we came, but our country is so small that it feels like meeting
old friends," Paredes said. The volume of San Salvadorian tourists
meant a boom in business for local restaurants, hotels, and tour operators.
"San Salvadorians are our best customers. They rent cars for
a whole week at a time," said Bessie Giovanni of Arena Rent-A-Car.
BOATS TO SHOWER STALLS
LOCAL ANSWER TO BIG BUSINESS
Arch's workshop is a builder's playground. There are material scraps
and unfinished projects littered around the yard; stacks of supplies
crowd the storage shed. In Arch's mind, every scrap has potential;
every structure has a purpose.
A boatbuilder from French Cay, Arch understands the nature of island
business. He began building boats 40 years ago helping his father,
Wilson, in the afternoons. "When I was 15, my father died.
I just continued his business," explained Arch. In the late
1970s, Arch saw a huge demand for fiberglass boats and started constructing
them for clients in all three Bay Islands. "Lumber is ok but
the upkeep is very high. Build a good fiberglass boat and they go
a real long time," said Arch.
Just as the fiberglass boom began, Arch branched into the tourism
business. In 1980, he started Arch's Iguana Farm. "People were
hunting them a lot for food and the population on the island was
low. I just wanted to help save them; it turned into a little business,"
Arch said. Now home to 3000 iguanas, the farm hosts several busloads
of tourists daily.
In the early 1990s, a friend came to him with an unusual suggestion.
"My friend knew I was working with fiberglass and asked why
I didn't start building tubs; everyone had to buy from the States
and the shipping costs were high," said Arch. Almost overnight,
Arch's third business was born.
After ordering materials out of Tampa, Arch built a mold for the
first bathtub. "When it comes to fiberglass, the process is
the same whether it's boats or tubs," said Arch. Each tub is
five feet long and 34 inches across, with six foot walls attached.
Arch prepares the mold with release wax and sprays the color- white
is the island's most requested. Building around the outside of the
mold, he then cuts down the fiberglass cloth and layers it. He uses
five layers of cloth on the bottom and four layers on the sides;
he uses plywood bracings for support. A catalyst is mixed with resin
and poured over the cloth. "I prefer a polyester resin. I think
it's a better product," said Arch. A 'bubblebuster' roller
is used to smooth the air out and flatten the surface. The tub dries
for about three hours, is separated from the mold and polished.
Arch estimates they can build about two tubs per day. Each tub uses
30 pounds of fiberglass cloth and eight gallons of resin. Arch orders
the fiberglass in 212 lb. rolls which cost $400 each.
Once Arch began building the tubs, word spread quickly and orders
followed. "We built tubs for lots of resorts like Henry Morgan's,
Anthony's Key Resort, Luna Beach, and Sea Grapes Plantation. Our
biggest order was 40 shower stalls for Henry Morgan's," said
Arch's shower stalls and tubs sell for $450; in the States, a midrange
tub is about $400 before taxes and freight costs. "Sherman
does a good finish. His products are more durable than American
ones; they have a double floor on them," said Julio Galindo
Jr. of Anthony's Key Resort. Galindo estimates that the resort has
purchased 15 of Arch's shower stalls since Hurricane Mitch. "Our
maintenance crew prefers to handle Sherman's stalls over any other.
They're real commercial grade," said Galindo.
Arch produces about 50 shower stalls annually. He hopes to open
a store at the workshop with finished models for public viewing.
"It's not a big money-making business, but it's been good over
the years. I tell everyone: 'if you ever have a problem, just bring
it back'. Well, I'm pretty happy because no one ever has,"