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Commonwealth of Baker Park Sports News

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Commonwealth of Baker Park Sports News

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:23 pm

OOC--This will be the place for news and results for the Commonwealth of Baker Park sporting universe. There may be opportunities for others to post IC related things as I get more involved in certain NS events and tournaments, but ask first via TG.

A brief OOC introduction, if you don't mind...when I was growing up I spent a lot of idle time creating my whole conceptual nation with all of the things that people here have crafted in the world of NS. All of my work was in notebooks, hand written and sometimes not completely well thought out, which meant I ended up revising things quite a bit. But of course when you get to a certain age, you leave behind your childhood stuff, so all of the things I came up with eventually went into the trash. Then in the adult computer age, I found outlets to sort of recreate that vision (mainly SimCity 4 which I still mess around with). Now, after stumbling upon NS I can resurrect the more detailed narratives I imagined as a pre-teen. It was my sports leagues that I missed the most, so to be able to have a spot to start all over again is a bit of a guilty pleasure.

OK, that's all for the nostalgia...in spite of what I wrote at the top, this particular post may be commented upon freely OOC by anyone without prior permission. All post from me that follow will be IC unless specifically noted.

Thanks for taking the time to read....
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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brief glossary of abbreviations & references used in this th

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:20 am

we will begin with an explanation of the various leagues, news outlets and general information that will be standard throughout the posts:

broadcast TV
CBC--Commonwealth Broadcasting Corp. (largest commercial television network; formerly owned in government-private partnership, now publicly traded company)
NTS--National Television Service (2nd largest commercial television network; publicly traded)
BPTV--Baker Park Television (3rd largest commercial television network; private company)
TVE--Nationwide TV Entertainment (4th largest commercial television network; private company)

cable TV
CN1--Cable News 1 (24/7 news; private company--also see other channels below)
CN2--Cable News 2 (weather/business & economic news/lifestyle/entertainment)
CN3--Cable Network 3 (movies, series and episodic programs/specials)
CS1--CommSports 1 (sports news/programs/events)
CS2--CommSports 2 (special programs/events)

radio
NRC--National Radio Corporation (news/public affairs/information/sports/entertainment; government funded, service of the Ministry of Telecommunications & Broadcasting)
NWR--Nationwide Radio Networks (music/entertainment/sports; publicly traded company)
RSO--Radio Syndicate Organization (music/entertainment programming; private company)

wire service
CPA--Commonwealth Press Agency (wire service for TV/print/radio aimed at overseas audience; publicly traded company)
BPNS--Baker Park News Syndicate (wire service for TV/print/radio aimed at domestic audience; private company--owned with RSO)

print media
The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday (Belle Haven)--largest & oldest national daily broadsheet; stories aimed at national/international audience, owned with CBC
Daily News (Belle Haven)--weekday only tabloid; local coverage, owned with The Daily Mail
The Times/Times on Sunday (Belle Haven)--daily broadsheet; stories aimed at local/metro audience, owned with BPNS/RSO
West County Reporter(Clayton)--weekday only tabloid; local/suburban coverage, owned with The Times
Sporting Times Daily/Weekend (Riverside)--daily tabloid, national/international sports coverage
The Western Observer/Sunday Observer (Oceana)--2nd largest national daily broadsheet; stories aimed at a national audience
The Post/Weekend Post (Endborough)--largest national daily tabloid; stories aimed at a national audience
The Mirror/Sunday Mirror (Endborough)--daily broadsheet; stories aimed at a local/metro audience, owned with The Post
The Guardian (Ezriquay)--2nd largest national tabloid, weekdays only, stories aimed at a national audience
The Ezra Tribune/Sunday Tribune (Ezriquay)--daily broadsheet; stories aimed at a local audience, owned with The Guardian
Journal-Herald (Coolville)--daily tabloid, stories aimed at a local/regional audience.
Coolville Afternoon News (Coolville)--weekday only broadsheet, stories aimed at local/regional audience, owned with Journal-Herald


media markets/largest cities
Belle Haven--national capital, largest population, primary financial/media/cultural/business center
Endborough--2nd largest population, state capital of Endover, major educational/business/industrial center
Oceana--3rd largest population, state capital of Oshena, major industrial/transportation/financial center
Ezriquay (ez-re-kay)--4th largest population, state capital of Ezra, major industrial/seaport/business center
Coolville--5th largest population, state capital of Midalia, major industrial/transportation center


governing bodies
FAC--Football Association of the Commonwealth of Baker Park (governing body for soccer; member of FIFA [1934], founded in 1901)
UAC--Baker Park Universities Athletic Coalition (governing body of intercollegiate athletics; founded in 1929)
OCC--Olympic Committee of the Commonwealth of Baker Park (governing body of amateur sport; member of the IOC [1947], founded in 1934)
CHF--Commonwealth Hockey Federation (governing body of ice hockey; member of the IIHF [1959], founded in 1948)
BPB--Baker Park Basketball (governing body of basketball; member of FIBA [1952], founded in 1947)
CRU--Commonwealth of Baker Park Rugby Union (governing body for rugby; member of World Rugby [1988], founded in 1954)
ACC--Athletics Committee of the Commonwealth (governing body for track & field; member of the IAAF [1946], founded in 1930)
CVBA--Commonwealth Volleyball Association (governing body for volleyball; member of FIVB [1976], founded in 1967)

professional/semi-professional leagues
BPBA--Baker Park Baseball Association (professional baseball league)
NSL--National League (professional soccer league)
CBL--Commonwealth Basketball League (professional basketball league)
CLH--Commonwealth League Hockey (professional hockey league)
PFD--Pro Football Division (professional football league)
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:44 am, edited 5 times in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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Commonwealth of Baker Park
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Posts: 1226
Founded: Jan 10, 2018
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Overview of the UAC--Part 1

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:43 pm

The Baker Park Universities Athletic Coalition is the primary organizational and governing body for intercollegiate athletics in the Commonwealth. Founded in 1929, it today sponsors 14 men's and 12 women's sport championships for its' 35 4-year institutional members; it also is a co-sponsor of several sports for 16 2-year community & junior colleges.

Each member subscribes to the UAC Code of Conduct for Intercollegiate Sports, which spells out the guidelines and limitations for participation. The UAC is dedicated to the concept of fair play and equal opportunity for all students wishing to broaden their university experience by taking part in the sport(s) of their choice.

Colleges and universities in the Commonwealth have since its' inception organized contests between students from their own and other schools. Some of the earliest events included inter-school soccer, rugby and cricket matches, as well wrestling and track & field meets. These were the sports popular in Great Britain among public school and university attendees as well as the working and middle classes, so the earliest immigrants to Baker Park brought these pastimes along with them.
At the turn of the 20th century, cricket began to fall out of favor as the popularity of American baseball increased. As the country entered into the second decade of the 1900's, another American import--football--started to attract the attention of young men at the leading universities--University of Baker Park, University of Ezra and the University of Osheana. In October 1911, a group of students from UBP challenged a club at their sister school, the Agriculture & Mining College of Baker Park, to a game of 11-a-side American football, to be played under the latest rules in use in the United States. The mining students had the advantage of having several of their number who had studied in the U.S. and had seen & participated in the sport.
The game was held on a Thursday half-holiday at a park near the A&M campus. A small crowd of students from both schools watched as the Baker Park contingent outlasted their hosts 10-5.

The rules in use at that time stipulated that touchdowns were worth 5 points and field goals 3; the field was 110 yards in length and kickoffs were made from midfield. All of these rules were similar to the rugby union code that was then in force. Forward passes were legal, but no pass could be caught more than 20 yards from the line of scrimmage and no pass could be caught beyond the goal line. This rule proved not to be a factor in the UBP-A&M game, as neither team attempted a forward pass. Also, teams were only allowed 3 downs to advance the necessary 10 to retain possession.

Approximately 2 weeks later, another student club at University of Osheana, with members who had experience in America with the game, challenged a group of interested men from the University of Ezra. The connection that led to this matchup were a pair of cousins who shared a fascination with the sport--Donald McInnis and Peter Frasier--who were members of the Osheana and Ezra clubs, respectively. They made arrangements for the Osheana team to travel by train to the University Park campus of U of E on a Saturday morning, for a contest to be played that afternoon, followed by a stag mixer. The hosts came out on top in this contest 8-5 and all of the players considered the game a success and arranged to play again the next year with Osheana hosting.

The report of the game in Ezra reached Belle Haven several days later--it was erroneously called the first game of "gridiron" in the Commonwealth--and the team at UBP decided to see if the Ezrans would be interested in a match against them. Peter Frasier canvassed his teammates and the vote was taken to accept the challenge. Frasier communicated that they would be unable to travel until the term ended at the University. This was agreed to by the prospective hosts and a date was set for December 9, the Saturday following St Nicholas Day (December 6th), which was then the traditional end of the academic term in most colleges in Baker Park.
The game was played with UBP dressed in blue shirts and Ezra clad in hunter green. These would become the colors associated with the athletic teams of each school within a few years.
Baker Park won the contest 13-8, and with it the "title" of football champions of the Commonwealth. The hosts followed their visitors' hospitality to Osheana by arranging for a post game meal and offered the guests overnight lodging before returning home.

The tradition of the hosting club inviting the visitors for post match refreshment became common between UBP, Osheana and Ezra in 1912. A&M also extended their hospitality to their foes when the 4 schools agreed to play one another in rotation that year. Other schools that took up the sport in the years prior to World War 1 also participated in the ritual. However, when students in the Commonwealth again began playing the sport in the fall of 1919, the practice fell away save for the occasional times when newly established teams visited.

The game's playing rules changed dramatically in the United States in 1912, but the Commonwealth clubs continued with the old rules through 1915. The return of the game in 1919 saw clubs adopting the updated, liberalized code, and the game grew in popularity throughout the 1920's as colleges all over the country began taking up the sport.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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Commonwealth of Baker Park
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Posts: 1226
Founded: Jan 10, 2018
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Overview of the UAC--Part 2

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:51 am

The growth of football through the 1920's, as well as the prevalence of other student organized contests in other sport led the leadership of the country's higher education institutions to call for a meeting to discuss the concerns of control over these extra-curricular activities and the the varying standards that student clubs used in allowing participation in these informal games. There had been conflicts among certain teams with opponents who fielded athletes who were not registered students and these disagreements had led to acrimony and a refusal of some clubs to continue their established rivalries with those who they believed were violating the spirit of friendly competition.

The conference of school administrators was held in April of 1929, at the Monmouth Hotel in Belle Haven. All 27 of the then existing colleges and universities sent representatives, but on the second day of the meeting, the University of Ezra--who had been the most vocal critic of clubs who allowed non-students to take part in athletic contests--left the meeting, along with those who represented their state's branch campuses, the University of Ezra campus at Middletown and the Ezra Western Normal School; their fellow delegates from the nations's two military training academies, the Commonwealth Military School and the Commonwealth Naval Officers Academy also withdrew in protest.

The 22 remaining institutions negotiated the outline of the charter that established the Baker Park Universities Athletic Coalition, which was ratified on April 29, 1929, although 3 other attendees withheld their endorsement--the University of Baker Park branches located at Lima and Jamestown and the Osheana Aviation & Technical School.

The 8 holdouts met in June to organize their own league, the Amateur Sports League of Baker Park; they agreed to not arrange contests with teams from the UAC, and drew up a set of regulations which minimized the influence of official school administrators as much as possible and emphasized the club structure of sport at their schools.

A few weeks later, representatives from the UAC members from Midalia, St Leon and Lynchana met & agreed to an outline of mutual cooperation and to common schedules for their football teams, as well as several other sports which the members sponsored. This resulted in the founding of the Southeastern Colleges Conference. Within a year, the league was regularly referred to by newspapers as The Big 6 (which was both ironic and pejorative, as the schools were among the smallest in student enrollment in the country), and the members accepted the reference with pride and good humor (the conference would adopt the name "Big 8" as official in 1977, following the addition of Kellerville State College to the league; the University of Baker Park at Jamestown having joined in 1938 after it had established its football program 2 years prior).

The schism that resulted from the establishment of the UAC and the rejection of the ASL members to its authority severed athletic relationships among some the earliest rivalries between the top Commonwealth universities; the University of Ezra would not schedule their original opponent Osheana again until 1945 (they had traditionally closed their season against one another every year between 1912 and 1929 except for 1915, when their game opened the season); they did not resume a series with the University of Osheana branch campus in Oceana until the year after that, in spite of being that teams' first ever opponent; they would not face the University of the Commonwealth until 1951 after having a series that dated from 1914.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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Commonwealth of Baker Park
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Posts: 1226
Founded: Jan 10, 2018
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Overview of the UAC--Part 3

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:09 pm

The recriminations lasted longer than the ASL did. For the 1932 season, the UAC adopted 2 rule changes that the University of Ezra insisted on, and the ASL disbanded; their members agreed to institutional control of athletics and limits on the length of seasons & the number of contests that could be scheduled. In 1929, the six football playing ASL members played a schedule of home & away games against every other member, and after the Middletown campus of the University of Ezra began playing in 1930, the football season consisted of 12 games each in '30 & '31. The UAC specified that only a maximum of 9 contests for football could be played, although some teams did not play that many every year.

A second group of colleges in geographic proximity decided to band together in the same way the Southeast Colleges Conference had for the 1934 season; the 3 schools in the University of Osheana system--the main campus at Dalton, the Normal School and the branch in Oceana--along with the UC campus also located in Oceana extended invitations to University of Baker Park's Lima branch as well as to Osheana A&T (which was a state controlled college, but considered independent of the state university system) to form a league to make scheduling easier. The 2 former ASL invitees suggested that perhaps their ex-ASL brethren from the Ezra Western Teacher College and the Middletown branch of the U of E be sounded out about possible inclusion. The advantages were clear--like the Osheana schools, they were located conveniently near the main rail line, and their proximity to the Dalton campus made them natural rivals.

The Ezra pair were open to the idea but did not want to take a decision that might create a problem with the leadership of state's major university. But the Board of Overseers made the decision to allow the branches to pursue a course in their best interests.

Thus, the Western Conference was formed with 8 charter members (although the Ezra schools couldn't actually join until the next season as they had already committed to schedules that they did not want to break) and solidified the landscape in regards to cross country travel being reduced for a majority of the UAC members. With the limit on the number of games, schools would not have to make 2 or 3 long trips per season if they were able to secure regular annual games with closer schools.

The four Belle Haven schools had the advantage of being centrally located, so it did not create as many issues for them to travel out from the capital, or to host visitors coming in. They generally had a level of reciprocal scheduling among their various sports that each sponsored that was satisfactory all around. They did however need to accommodate the non-football colleges within the wider capital region, so they joined together to organize a formal league for all sports except football in 1939 with the establishment of the Metropolitan College Association (later to become the Metropolitan College Athletic Conference).

That left the axis of colleges that were diagonally opposite to one another--Ezra, the UC branch at Ezriquay and the Naval college in the southwest & the three Endover based teams--the University of Endover, the UC branch at Endborough and the Army cadet school in the northest. Ezra had developed rivalries with the military schools during their time in the ASL and Endover had solidified their relationships with both of the Commonwealth satellites. Ezra and Endover had also enjoyed a competitive series against one another; in fact they had been two of the game's top teams during the post-war, pre-UAC era. They six schools discussed having an informal agreement among themselves few a few seasons, then review the circumstances. However, they didn't get around to formalizing their league until 1947, when they took on the name the Endover-Ezra League (later they changed 'league' to 'University Conference').

Now that we have established the basics, we shall take a closer look at the individual institutions themselves and fill in a bit more background.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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Commonwealth of Baker Park
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Founded: Jan 10, 2018
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The UAC--member school profiles

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:00 am

An overview of the institutions of higher learning that comprise the Universities Athletic Coalition, beginning with the national capital city of Belle Haven, in order of precedence by date of their founding:

University of Baker Park

location--Broadmoor, Belle Haven, State of Baker Park

Founded--1888

School Colors--Blue and Red

Enrollment--27,642 undergraduate/5,231 post graduate

Nickname--Bears (the original club that played the first game in the Commonwealth had an authentic bearskin rug in the main sitting room at their common student residence. It was the team from the University of Ezra who came to play in 1911 who popularized the story of the bearskin rug to their other competitors. The name stuck and the other sports teams at UBP used the name off and on until 1933, when it was officially adopted as the school's official nickname.)

The University of Baker Park was founded in 1888, the first institution of higher education in the Commonwealth. It was initially located just east of the city limits and the area that developed around the small campus eventually became known as University Park. In 1896, the Baker Park State Assembly purchased a tract on the southern bank of the Belle Haven River and the University moved its operation to that site beginning in 1898.
University of Baker Park boasts the largest post-graduate degree program in the Commonwealth; the College of Law and the College of Business Administration have long been among the very best professional schools in the country.
The football teams plays its home games at The University Stadium, a 23,000 seat on campus facility completed in 1920 and extensively renovated in 1985-86. The men's and women's basketball, volleyball and gymnastics teams and the men's wrestling team call Treadway Arena home, with a capacity of 9,350. The University also is home to one of the finest aquatic facilities in the nation, Leider Natatorium, which has hosted the UAC swimming & diving championships on 33 occasions since 1973.

University of the Commonwealth

location--College Hill, Pleasant Township, Belle Haven, State of Baker Park

Founded--1899

School colors--Black and Gold

Enrollment--38,425 undergraduate/4,429 post graduate

Nickname--Warriors (uncertain origin, various teams called themselves The Blacks, Nationals, Golden Knights and Corinthians prior to 1926; the use of the name Warriors first appears in the school spirit song "Fight for the U of C" written in 1927, and gained wider support from students in years that followed.)

The University of the Commonwealth was founded by an Act of Parliament in 1898, in response to the University of Baker Park moving their campus to the unincorporated area of Belle Haven County, leaving their original grounds vacant. The first classes were held in the next fall, and plans to add additional classroom and laboratory buildings were drawn up. However in 1902, a proposal to move the university to a larger property just to the northeast of the city of Belle Haven in Pleasant Township found more support than putting money into expanding the existing campus footprint, which had become closed in by the neighborhood around it. So for a second time, the University Park location was abandoned and UC opened it's new main campus in 1904.
The Warriors play their home football and soccer games at Jacob F Gleason Field, named for the first athletic director of the school who served from 1928-1945; completed in 1954 it is currently configured to seat 47,306 spectators. The main indoor athletic facility is the Desmond Multi-Purpose Center, home to basketball and hockey with a capacity of 11,200 (9,800 in hockey configuration), constructed in 1983. Other sports use the former campus gym, Madison Hall for their home matches.

University of Belle Haven

location--University Park, City of Belle Haven, State of Baker Park

Founded--1901

School colors--Red and Gray

Enrollment--14,500 undergraduate/700 post graduate

Nickname--Bullets (originally attributed to the track team and later the successful basketball teams of the early years of the school, for their speed and quickness. Some clubs used the name Reds or Citizens, but Bullets became official in 1932.)

The University of Belle Haven was the third school to occupy the campus in University Park, taking possession at the opening term of the 1904 school year, and after the Corporation of the City of Belle Haven eventually completed its annexation of the University Park area a few months prior. Classes had been previously held at a number of scattered locations around the city following its inception as an adjunct of the city of Belle Haven government. It was for much of the first decade of the 1900's a tuition-free learning establishment for residents of the city proper, and specialized in offering continuing education and night-school courses for those who wanted to improve their station in life. 1909 saw the first graduates of the four year bachelor degree course, and although the college shifted some of it's emphasis to full time students, it continued to provide low cost or free education to city residents who demonstrated financial need until the 1950's.
UBH's limited campus size has forced it to play host to opposing football teams at the Hillsborough Stadium, about 2 miles north of the school since the 1930's. The stadium seats 17,500 and the Bullets share the ground with Hillsborough FC, one of the country's top soccer clubs. Their basketball and volleyball programs call Perander Gymnasium home, a 6,200 seat facility completed in 1955, replacing the University Student Gym; from 1939 through 1953, excluding the years of World War 2, the UBH men's basketball team won 79 straight games at the USG, still a college record.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

User avatar
Commonwealth of Baker Park
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Posts: 1226
Founded: Jan 10, 2018
Left-wing Utopia

member schools continued

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:46 am

Baker Park A&M State University

location--Hempstead Park, Belle Haven, State of Baker Park

Founded--1904

School Colors--Cherry Red and Gold

Enrollment--20,042 undergraduate/2,550 post graduate

Nickname--Miners (a reference to the school's fundamental educational mission, the training of mining and metallurgical engineers; the general term Aggies never played an important part of the description of the teams.)

Baker Park A&M University was founded as a sister school to the University of Baker Park; the functions of the College of Mining Engineering and the College of Agricultural Management were separated from the main campus at the time that UBP moved to Belle Haven County. The state authorized a program of construction for the new college on the northern edge of the City of Belle Haven, in an area adjacent to the borough of Hempstead Park. The football team hosted the first game ever played in the Commonwealth in 1911 at a park close to the campus where horse riders in the immediate area had previously been allowed to exercise their mounts. This site was later used by the Victoria & Albert FC as a home field, but became the university's athletic field in 1921. The resulting improvements to the park to make it usable as a stadium were done between 1924 and 1927. It was named Hempstead Park Mews on completion and had a capacity of approximately 12,000; later additions to standing areas increased the capacity to 14,700. The V&A club continued to play occasional matches at the field until the 1980's, as night matches were prohibited at their regular home in the West End of Belle Haven for safety reasons. A new facility for basketball and volleyball was completed in 1991, the Jefferson Center which seats 7,000; this replaced the antiquated Exhibition Building that A&M had called home from 1914.

Belle Haven State University

location--Clayton, West Belle Haven County, State of Baker Park

Founded--1925

School colors--Crimson and Sky Blue

Enrollment--9,500 undergraduate/300 post graduate

Nickname--Bobcats (winning entry in contest to choose a name in 1932, attributed to Audrey Grant, class of 1934)

BHSU was established as a result of the State of Baker Park wanting to shift certain professional training away from the University of Baker Park; the School of Education was separated into its own campus in the growing area of Clayton Borough, about 10 miles west of Belle Haven, which was becoming important as a shortcut for goods headed inland to western and northwestern Baker Park.
The student body was largely female until after 1945, so the few teams the school fielded consisted of women, or those that only required small numbers of the few male students in attendance.
The men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams play in the 4,600 seat Emily & Joyce Markham Athletic Complex, which was completed in 2003 and named for the sisters who were BHSU's first great all around athletes.

Belle Haven Valley College

location--Riverside, State of Baker Park

Founded--1933

School colors--Light Blue and White

Enrollment--3,300 undergraduate/110 post graduate

Nickname--Blue Jays (the first athletic teams adopted the light blue of the school's seal, and were usually called the Light Blues or just Blues. Sometime after 1950, students began to use Blue Jays more often, and it was made the official nickname in 1956)

Belle Haven Valley College is a private, coeducational institution established by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Baker Park. Private education was extremely rare in the Commonwealth and religious denominations having control of private education was even rarer. The ELC gradually withdrew its oversight and the college became fully secular in 1951.
As one the smallest members of the UAC, BH Valley doesn't offer a large program of intercollegiate sports, but they have had success in the past in women's softball and in both men and women's cross country and track. Their main indoor facility is Underwood Gym, completed in 1938 and renovated and enlarged to its current seating capacity of 3,725 in 2000.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:11 am, edited 4 times in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

User avatar
Commonwealth of Baker Park
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Posts: 1226
Founded: Jan 10, 2018
Left-wing Utopia

member schools continued

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:15 pm

Belle Haven County College

location--Prince's Charter Township, BH County & Brentwood, BH County, State of Baker Park

Founded--1934 as 2 year college, attained 4 year status in 1954

School colors--Red and Gold

Enrollment--7,800 undergraduates

Nickname--Rivermen (winning entry in contest to choose name in 1953, attributed to Harold Phillips, class of 1954)

BHCC was founded as a 2 year community college with a focus on vocational and skilled trade training. It has retained some of its original Associate Degree programs, but expanded the curriculum to the awarding of Bachelors Degrees after it absorbed some of the continuing education programs from the University of Belle Haven in 1954; this was concurrent with the establishment of the North Campus in Brentwood, which allowed the school to admit many more students than had been possible at the original campus in the unincorporated area of Belle Haven County.
The Lawson Physical Education Center at the Brentwood campus was opened in 2010, with a capacity for basketball of 4,100. It replaced the Men's Gymnasium, built in 1954 with a capacity of 2,800. The soccer, baseball and softball teams have their home games at the South campus.

Commonwealth Methodist University

location--Northfield Borough, North Ridge County, State of Baker Park

Founded--1908 as 2 year seminary, became a full 2 year junior college in 1947, granted 4 year degree status in 1986

School Colors--Red, White and Blue

Enrollment--4,100 undergraduate/270 post graduate

Nickname--Mustangs (both the name and colors were suggested in reference to the athletic teams at Southern Methodist University in Texas; adopted in 1948)

Commonwealth Methodist University is the the lone institution of higher education that is privately controlled by a religious body in the Commonwealth, the Methodist Church of Baker Park; it is also the most recent member of the UAC, having joined when they attained 4 year status at the end of the 1986-87 school year. They won 6 junior/community college football national championships between 1951 and 1984.
The football team plays their home games at Loren Abernathy Stadium, built in 1950, and expanded to its current configuration and seating capacity of 11,000 in 1992. The basketball and volleyball teams call the Moore Center as their home; completed in 1999, it seats 4,200.

and now we will finish off this section with the 3 other universities in the State of Baker Park:

Northern Baker Park State University

location--Lima, State of Baker Park

Founded--1919

School colors--Hunter Green and Red

Enrollment--16,850 undergraduate/900 post-graduate

Nickname--Lions (popular use, the name along with "Lima" being alliterative. Became official in 1935)

Founded as a branch of the University of Baker Park, the school has been an independent institution since the 1980's. One of the schools who rejected the UAC, they were members of the ASL from 1929-31, and then joined the Western Conference where they had established rivalries before the break. The football team plays their home games at Lions Stadium, completed in 1937 and expanded in 1968 to 26,500. The basketball, volleyball, wrestling and gymnastics teams call the Connover PE Center home; built in 1970, it seats 5,600.

University of Southern Baker Park

location--Jamestown, State of Baker Park

Founded--1927

School colors--Green, Red, Blue and White

Enrollment--10,200 undergraduate/550 post-graduate

Nickname--Highlanders (the school's location in Highland County as well as its large Scottish population made the name a popular choice in the early years.)

Founded as the Jamestown branch of the University of Baker Park, also rejected the formation of the UAC. Following the dissolution of the ASL the school joined with their similarly sized neighbor colleges as member of the Southeastern Colleges Conference in 1938. The football team plays at Wright-Stearns Stadium, which seats 23,700 and has undergone several renovations since it was completed in 1948. The main indoor athletic complex is Dunleavy Hall, completed in 1966 and later expanded in 2004 to its current capacity of 6,200.

University of Jacksonville

location--Jacksonville, State of Baker Park

Founded--1967

School colors--Maroon and White

Enrollment--3,500 undergraduate/ 150 post-graduate

Nickname--Panthers (winning choice in contest to choose name, not attributed)

The University of Jacksonville was established to provide further 4 year educational opportunities to residents in the northern areas of Baker Park State than were previously available. The primary sports facility is the Charles Young Athletic Center, which was completed in 1985 and seats 2,600.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:32 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
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AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
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World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
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Overview of the FAC, part 1

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:58 am

we'll now take a step away from the intercollegiate sports scene for a diversion into the sport of soccer/football. The Football Association of the Commonwealth is the oldest organized athletic body in the country, established at a meeting of approximately 15 amateur sport clubs held at The Builder's Arms tavern in Belle Haven on March 7, 1901, making it one of the 20 oldest national governing bodies for football in the world. Of these charter members, 10 are still active clubs and are among the country's most well known sporting concerns:

Victoria & Albert FC, Belle Haven
Hillsborough FC, Belle Haven
Corinthians FC, Belle Haven
Newmarket FC (now known as Newmarket Saxons), Newmarket, State of Baker Park
Dalton Town FC, Osheana
Great Northern FC, State University, Osheana
Western & Southern RR FC, Southend, Ezra
Newport FC (now known as Newport City), Newport, Ezra
Metropolitans FC (now known as Shirley Metros), Shirley, St Leon
McIlroy Station SC, Shirley, St Leon

Over the next four years, more than 30 clubs joined the association as word spread about the availability of matches among a wider range of opponents nationally. Sports clubs sprang up in every newly settled area of the Commonwealth among people with similar nationality or social ties. The diversity of the clubs was as varied as the makeup of the country itself. In 1906, the FAC held its' first Cup competition, open to any club that could pay the entry fee of £7 whether they were members of the FAC or not. 44 clubs accepted the challenge, and on August 24, 1906, Corinthians FC defeated non-FAC member St Pat's AC from Endborough 4-2 at Civic Park in Mansfield, with a crowd estimated at 4,000 witnessing the first Cup Final in Baker Park's history. St Pat's requested to become members of the FAC immediately following the match, and the number of new clubs increased every year for the rest of the decade.

The inevitable controversies over payments to players for reimbursement for expenses, and the desire for small borough clubs to not have to travel great distances to play matches led to the 1909 FAC General Conference, where both problems were addressed head-on. All clubs that wanted to operate on a semi-professional level would be organized into a league, while the rest of the clubs that didn't want to extend their club purpose beyond amateur recreation would be grouped into regional competitions with other clubs of a similar mind. The Cup would remain open to any club that chose to enter regardless of their status.

The National League of Football began in 1910. 20 clubs made the choice to play in the competition with players given compensation for their travel and lodging on a monthly basis by their team, not to exceed £8 or 14 CBP dollars for the duration of the season (clubs often paid for their players to travel to matches as a group, and at the time, a typical day's wages for a workingman were about 2 CBP dollars; the compensation was more than reasonable relative to the cost of living of the time). There were 2 divisions of 10 teams each with one up, one down promotion; the remaining clubs were grouped into 6-8 team leagues, with clubs able to schedule an occasional extra game or two against a club in a different setup.

The professional/amateur divide between clubs continued to be an issue for the next several years; the suspension of the National League during World War 1 led to a period where small borough or village teams had a run of success in the Cup, but the resumption of the established setup in 1919 rekindled the debate about compensation and competitive balance.

The 1922 General Conference sought out compromises that would satisfy the membership and assist in the development of the game in the hope that the FAC could look towards fielding a National team at some point in the near future. The top 2 divisions were made fully professional and a third division was introduced to the League, for clubs that still wished to continue to operate on the semi-professional level or clubs seeking to transition from purely amateur to a paid player basis. It was at this time that a second cup competition was organized, open only to clubs that chose to remain outside of the National League structure. The FAC Trophy was first contested in 1923 and continues in its original purpose today.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
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The FAC, part 2

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:57 am

The game continued to grow from the grass roots level throughout the 1920's, as more towns and townships formed clubs to participate. The FAC sought to bring a structure to the development of the sport by arranging for clubs to sponsor age-limited teams that could compete with other regional clubs in small scale competitions, with the idea that youth players could receive the support of their local club, and progress through the age groups to eventually become players for the club's senior team. Beginning in 1931, the Association began to ask clubs to divert a small portion of their gate receipts from Cup matches in order to be able to subsidize these initiatives. The larger clubs in the cities were willing to help the smaller clubs, but by 1937 began to discuss the possibility of of a prospective policy which would allow clubs to negotiate among themselves as to the transfer of registrations for players across the National League-amateur divide. The 1938 General Conference debated several proposals, but no consensus was able to be reached. In 1939, the issue came to the fore again as the General Conference entertained proposals and counter-proposals from both sides; the final breakthrough came when the professional clubs agreed to a equal split of receipts for FAC Cup matches with the amateur and semi-professional clubs, as well as system of reimbursement to smaller clubs for players that reflected the age that an amateur was transferred to a professional club.

The full implementation of this new system was delayed until 1946, but it was mostly honored in principle by clubs during the period of WW2. By 1949, a further reorganization of the National League was needed; the interim division for semi-professional and transitional clubs was made fully professional and another division for clubs in the semi/full professional gap was introduced.

There was a period of relative stability during the 1950's, as small clubs settled into their place within the sport; this was soon replaced by a widespread trend towards professionalism at the borough and township clubs beginning in the 1960's. The structure of the game made it almost impossible for fully amateur clubs to continue as solvent entities; more than a dozen clubs were merged or absorbed between 1964 and 1971. The last fully amateur club to play in the final of the FAC Trophy, Oglesby Community AC in 1970, was consolidated with 3 other neighboring clubs to form ROCK United FC in 1973.

The FAC harbored ambitions to have a Commonwealth of Baker Park national team from as early as 1922, but the lack of professional standard players to be able to compete with even the least regarded soccer nations forced the governing body to remain a strictly domestic operation. It wasn't until 1934 that there was a general feeling about organizing a team to play a match against another nation. That first match was against Switzerland, who had qualified for the World Cup in Italy; the game was played at the Wankdorf Stadium in Bern, with Switzerland winning 9-0.

It would be 14 years before another Commonwealth National Team played a match, a 7-1 defeat against Wales at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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The FAC, part 3

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:07 am

Domestic club competition in the Commonwealth in the 1940's & 50's was marked by the general adoption of an attacking style of play among most of the major professional clubs; the 2-5-3 formation that had been popular in England and several other countries before the war remained a staple of National League until the start of the 1960's, when new coaching methods became more widespread in Baker Park. High scoring games were the popular entertainment in the Commonwealth, with football, basketball and ice hockey all providing the public with an opportunity to see points scored often and teams playing aggressively, albeit with not as much skill and athleticism as demonstrated in other nations.

This style of play was of course carried over to the national team, where fast passing and aggressive forward play came to symbolize the national ethos. Additionally, the FAC sought to be at the forefront of expanding participation among young women, following on from the popularity of women's basketball as a popular sport in schools and colleges.

The national team broke through in the 1950's with their first successful results against other nations; Trinidad & Tobago were the the opponents when the Commonwealth won their first international contest at Port of Spain in 1952; Jamaica were the first team to play a match in the Commonwealth in 1953, a tour of 4 matches with each side winning once and drawing the other two matches; a 1954 match against Northern Ireland in Belfast was the first victory over a Home Nation; 2 victories over a regional Saarland FA team in 1955 & 56; a 1958 match against South Africa in Pretoria that saw the Baker Park side field a non-white player over the objections of the South Africa Football Association (South Africa won by a score of 4-2); that match was preceded by a game in Accra, Ghana which was the first time a Commonwealth side played on the African continent (a 2-2 draw); and a 1959 match in Dresden, East Germany where the National team first wore an alternate kit to their traditional Black and Gold, when they appeared in an all blue strip in a 5-2 defeat.

But the 1960's did not prove to be as fortunate for the Commonwealth. It was forced to travel a great deal to play matches against newly independent or constituted countries, and often it went for long periods with playing any matches. There were extended tours of countries where the National Team was really more of an All-Star team of the National League, that played against club sides (and usually low level club sides). In the last couple of years of the decade, the FAC was able to see some of the fruits of its work as a few native players signed contracts with overseas clubs, usually in countries where the player had a recent ancestral connection. Poland, England and Norway were 3 of the nations where Baker Park had players competing in domestic leagues.

In 1969 the Commonwealth played in the most significant match in its history, against the reigning European Champions (and eventual World Cup finalists the following year) Italy. On Wednesday May 28 at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Baker Park played a 2-2 draw with the Italian side. For many years afterward Italy refused to recognize the game as a full international match, but Northern Ireland's Pat Jennings equaled Italy GK Dino Zoff's record for most caps by a keeper in 1985 with 112. The FAC then presented FIFA with evidence that Zoff was awarded a full international cap for a match which Italy claimed was a 'B' international. The Italian Federation quietly changed its stance and reclassified the Baker Park match as a full international. However, regardless of the technical designation, the match was a milestone for the FAC; the resulting newspaper coverage in Italy praised the BP team for its effort and spirit and gave the nickname of il bombi "the Bumblebees" to the team, who wore black and gold hooped shirts for the contest. Il Bombi has since been understood as the term to describe both that team and the black and gold hooped shirts they wore.
In 2009, for the 40th anniversary of that game, the FAC arranged for Sampdoria, the Italian Serie A club that calls the Luigi Ferraris stadium home to come to Baker Park for an exhibition; the Commonwealth side wore replicas of the hooped shirts for the match played at Keller Field in Belle Haven. Sampdoria came away 4-1 winners on the day, but the celebration was not dampened by the result. The FAC hopes to be able to arrange a match in 2019 against the Italian National Team to mark the 50 year anniversary, with discussions ongoing.

The Italy match was the high water mark for Baker Park's National teams, with the 1970's producing more disappointment than optimism. The Commonwealth was having to expand their search for opponents to even more far-flung nations and the standard of play domestically receded as clubs looked more towards bringing their own players along through youth teams rather than allowing the FAC to share the in the development.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Thu May 24, 2018 7:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
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WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
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The FAC--conclusion

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:30 pm

Changes came to the FAC naturally and relatively ahead of the times; teams for women were established at existing clubs as early as 1978, with several clubs evolving into being more well known for their women's teams than the play of their men. Women had the added advantage that the sport was quickly taken up at secondary education and intercollegiate levels fairly early, so the level of skill and standard of play developed exponentially rather than slowly; the Commonwealth followed a similar trajectory in women's soccer development to the United States and the Scandinavian nations, although the athletic ability in Baker Park was lower than those other pioneering women's soccer nations.

The FAC established a third cup competition in 1974 for those clubs in the National League who were not in the Championship Division, the National League Cup.
The first FAC Women's Cup was contested in 1978 and the first FAC Men's Youth Cup occurred in 1992 with the FAC Women's Youth Cup beginning in 2001. It was this proactive policy that swung the balance of youth development back towards the Association at the start of the 21st Century.

The FAC have adopted a structure to improve skill and technical ability, the FAC Development Program and invested in a substantial amount of money into the establishment of the FAC Training Center in Charter Township, State of Baker Park.

The last 10 years have produced a mountain of evidence that the improvement of the level of play in the Commonwealth among women's domestic competition has been on par with several major nations that are regular qualifiers for the Women's World Cup. This has become an emphasis of the FAC governing council, while the task of thrusting men's junior age group teams into the spotlight remained an additional goal of the council.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
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Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:41 am

There are a wide array of stadia in the Commonwealth, from modern all seater facilities with roofs to old style open terracing. The following list will discuss the country's major outdoor athletic venues.

Keller Field, Belle Haven--capacity 56,500
The stadium is the largest in the Commonwealth; it was originally conceived to be the centerpiece of an Olympic bid for the games which eventually were awarded to Montreal, Canada. The design called for a 76,000 seat oval shape with a running track and the capability to reduce the capacity following the conclusion of the competition. When it was completed in 1973, the possibility of a quick temporary expansion was built into the finished structure; even today there are a series of concrete footers in the parking lot which serve as lampposts, to be utilized as supports for an addition to the north of the current grandstand. It serves as host to many major events on the sporting calendar--it is one of several venues that hold the UAC National Football Championship playoff game, the FAC Cup Final, and the Professional Football Divison Championship game. It serves as the home of the Belle Haven Royals of BP Baseball Association, the Belle Haven Cardinals of the PFD and hosts many college football games as a neutral venue for teams around the nation.

Sportsmen's Park, Belle Haven--capacity 39,000
Opened in 1921, Sportsman's Park was the largest stadium in the country for much of its first 45 years, and hosted many significant milestones in sport--the first nationwide radio broadcast of a sporting event, the first sporting event played under floodlights (until 1946 it was the only stadium in the country with lights), the first televised sporting event, and the first international soccer match played in the Commonwealth, to name just a few. It is the home of the Belle Haven Capitals of the BPBA and Belle Haven RFC in the CRU's domestic competition. It also hosts many of the same events that Keller Field does.

The Queen Victoria Stadium, Ezriquay, State of Ezra--capacity 37,475
"The Vic" has been home of the University of Ezriquay's football, men's and women's soccer, and track teams since 1931. Built upon the site of the city's Queen Victoria Park along the riverfront, it was initially just a single grandstand on the river side (west) of the park, later it was expanded upon a design influenced by Wembley Stadium in London. It is the only major stadium in the country that retains a running track around the field; the track is considered one of the best in the Commonwealth and has hosted numerous national championship meets over its history. It is home to the Ezriquay Black Rhinos of the PFD, Ezriquay United FC in addition to the University events. It is also a venue for high school teams in the Ezriquay City School District's City Championship football competition.

State Fairground Stadium, Springfield, State of Baker Park--capacity 36,000
Springfield has the largest stadium in the Commonwealth in a city with no major university or PFD club. The Baker Park State Fairground Authority sought to replace the all wooden grandstands that had been used at the venue for events in 1975, and raised a bond issue to construct an all-purpose stadium across the street from the main fairground location. Completed in 1978, it's first event was the final of soccer's National League Cup, which drew a sellout crowd of 24,000. The capacity was expanded in 1987 with the addition of a second tier to the west side of the structure and a new south endzone stand. The venue is host to many events, both sporting and related to the fair itself; concerts, exhibition shows and other entertainment are scheduled over the 12 days of the country's de facto national agriculture show. It also plays host to several important football rivalries, notably the annual matchup of University of the Commonwealth and University of Endover, the nation's two most successful teams, as well as occasionally welcoming the game between the Naval Officers Academy and the Army's Military School & Springfield City FC occasionally use the stadium to host high profile matches.

President's Park, Shirley, State of St Leon--capacity 26,115
Like it's counterpart in Ezriquay, President's Park was developed on the site of an existing city green space downtown; Metropolitans FC and USL's fledgling football club both found the wide open treeless area on the east side of the park optimal. Both teams brought temporary seating to increase their attendance, but soon it was clear that a solution had to be found. In 1920, the University and the state agreed to build a permanent, covered grandstand, which was originally called the City Stand (as it was on the 'city' side of the park, rather than the river side) and when it was completed in 1923, it's roof was the largest cantilevered under truss structure in the Commonwealth. Further additions to the seating capacity evolved over the years, but the stadium retains its charm as a mismatched amalgamation of open bleachers and covered areas. Aside from USL and Shirley Metros FC (the successor to the Metropolitans), the Shirley Pioneers of BPBA and the Shirley Dragons of PFD call the stadium home; it is also the favored venue for the Commonwealth's National Men's Soccer team.

Hamilton City Stadium, Hamilton, State of Baker Park--capacity 22,000
One of the more modern venues, HCS was completed in 2008 and is host to the UAC Women's soccer championship, Hamilton Wanderers FC, and West County RFC. Also, state high school playoff games take place at HCS for men's and women's soccer and football.

Newport Stadium, Newport, State of Ezra--capacity 25,000
Completed in 1972 and expanded in 2006, the Newport Stadium is home to Newport City FC as well as home games for the Commonwealth Naval Academy's football team and PFD's Newport Broncos. A popular outdoor concert venue, it is a source of civic pride for the Lewis Center region.

Collins Park (Park Stadium), Oceana--capacity 47,000
The stadium is actually the third structure to stand on this site; The State of Osheana Stadium was the original sports venue, built in 1949. In the 1960's the Collins Park Stand was constructed to make the stadium four sided and allow for a re-configuration for baseball, followed by the original State Stadium seating replaced over the next several years, the ground finally being officially called Collins Park Stadium. In 1998 it was proposed that the entire stadium be rebuilt from scratch, and this was undertaken beginning in 2002. The rebuilt facility was ready by the beginning of the 2006 baseball season, and it's proper name is The Stadium at Collins Park, although no one actually refers to it by that name; it's always called Collins Park or Park Stadium. It is the second largest multi-purpose ground in the Commonwealth, as it plays host to Oceana Diamonds baseball team, Oceana Tigers, who play in the PFD and to West Osheana & Stonebridge RFC in the Montieth Shield professional rugby competition.

Rogers Stadium, Endborough--capacity 46,750
Another facility that has undergone a radical rebuild, Rogers Stadium started from small origins. It was strictly the home of the Endborough Gold Sox baseball club from 1926 until 1975, and it was a dedicated baseball ground. The capacity of the stadium was never higher than 24,000 during the 50 years it hosted a single tenant.
The stadium began an expansion after Endborough Eagles professional football team made a deal to move away from their longtime home at Moreland Stadium beginning with the 1977 PFD campaign; the Eagles financed about 70% of the cost to build an entirely new stand that would run along the center & right field side of the park, that was mostly completed by October 1977. This stand was given a second deck just 11 years later, and the Endborough City RFC offered to pay half of the cost to rebuild the left field terrace (now known as the South End) which was completed in 1996, allowing the rugby side to leave their Edgemont home.
As mentioned, the occupants are baseball's Gold Sox, one of the country's most successful clubs; the PFD's Eagles, who have been transformed by their move downtown in the 70's; and ECRFC, who have brought--along with their state rivals from New Richmond and Castleford--huge crowds to Rogers for Montieth Shield and RFU Cup matches.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:47 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
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UAC members--continued

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:24 pm

University of St Leon

Location--Shirley, State of St Leon

Founded--1906

School colors--Red and Black

Enrollment--24,200 undergraduates/2,700 post-graduate

Nickname--Red Raiders (the earliest teams wore red, and Howard Robinson, writing an account of the 1915 victory over U of Endover in The Exponent, referred to the team as Red Raiders, and name took hold among students.)

Founded as the Shirley branch of the University of the Commonwealth, the school was the focal point of state pride from its beginning. It's location in the mountainous southeastern part of the country saw its College of Engineering grow to rival that of Baker Park A&M, and the two schools remain the top destinations for students wishing to embark upon careers in mining and petroleum engineering; in addition, chemical and electrical engineering are offered. It also was the site of southeast's only medical school until St Leon, Midalia and Lynchana agreed to cooperative sponsorship of Kings' College of Medicine in 1964. This was also the beginning of a divestiture of control from the Regents of the University of the Commonwealth to the House of Delegates, which was completed in 1974. The football, men's & women's soccer and rugby teams play their matches at President's Park, with a capacity of 26,115. The basketball, volleyball, men's wrestling and gymnastics teams all use the 12,200 seat Corder Memorial Arena as their home.

Lynchana University

location--Alton, State of Lynchana

Founded--1910

School Colors--Silver and Purple

Enrollment--10,700 undergraduate/900 post-graduate

Nickname--Knights (uncertain origin, name was already in use at the time the school's first football team began play in 1921)

Lynchana University was established with a significant financial boost from Parliament; while other state capitals had locations of the University of the Commonwealth, the relative population of the Alton area was seen as undesirable to the Regents. A deal was struck with the state Legislative Council that Parliament would provide enough funding to a state established college in proportion to the amounts other UC branches received. War Memorial Stadium is the home of the football team & soccer team; it has a current capacity of 23,000, as a result of 2 different expansions since the original construction was completed in 1924. In 2004, the 10,200 seat First Lynchana Bank Center was opened to be the home of the school's basketball teams while other indoor sports use the Cole Gymnasium.


Marshallton University

location--Marshallton, State of Lynchana

Founded--1928

School Colors--Black and Tan

Enrollment--12,100 undergraduate/800 post-graduate

Nickname--Cougars (winning entry in contest to choose a name in 1935, attributed to Samuel Bullard, Class of 1938)

Marshallton was able to be established as a branch of Lynchana University because of the funding received from Parliament; it was primarily an extension of the main campus, but became a separate institution within the state system in 1933. The football team plays at Marshallton Municipal Stadium, which was opened in 1948 and seats 15,700. Basketball and volleyball host matches at Darnell Fieldhouse on campus, capacity 5,200.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
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UAC basketball overview

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:27 am

The men's and women's collegiate basketball seasons are coming to their end, and a brief look at the state of the game in the Commonwealth will provide some background.
Over the last 35 years, the UAC has widened the participation in the end of season national championships. For much of the first 50 years of intercollegiate basketball, the tournament consisted of just the four champions of the conferences; initially as a 3 day round-robin event with the best record winning the title, in 1933, the format was changed to a single elimination tournament.
In 1982, the format was changed to include the top 8 teams--2 per conference--who played a 4 day single elimination tournament at a single site. In 1996, the field was expanded to 12, with 2 guaranteed spots per conference and 4 others chosen from the remaining schools on the basis of record, and held over 2 weekends with four 3-team sections and the winners of each advancing to a final single elimination tournament.

Basketball became popular as a sport in the Commonwealth from about 1908. It was seen a reasonably simple game for students to play during the winter months, so it became a staple of physical education in high schools. The added advantage was that it could be adapted for coeducational teams to compete against one another, which laid the foundation for the rise of the sport among females from an early point in the development of the game.

Organized competitions between different schools started to take hold around 1913; there were usually male, female and mixed-sex contests played at a single encounter, generally consisting of two 10 minute halves per match. Passing was stressed as the most expedient method of moving the ball, with a wrinkle to the traditional rules implemented to limit dribbling to 5 bounces of the ball per player at any one time. This was a similar restriction that team handball, another developing sport based on basketball, used as a limitation on individual ability being an important factor. The dribbling limitation only lasted a few years, as mixed-sex teams gradually gave way to single sex entries during the period between 1916-1920. After this, rules generally conformed to American collegiate standards.

In the period just prior to and following the formation of the UAC, basketball became an important part of the intercollegiate sport program at universities. There was still a strong emphasis on passing, dribbling mainly being a way to shake free of defenders for an open shot. Combined team scores generally averaged around 80 points per game in the mid to late 1930's, and teams like the University of Belle Haven and University of Oceana averaged well over 50 points per game on their own.

The women were also playing, although the growth of the sport only took off from 1946; Endborough College and University of Endover, as well as Belle Haven State Teachers College and Osheana State Normal College were the dominant schools in the late 40's and through the 1950's. The national governing body for the sport, Baker Park Basketball Confederation (later dropping Confederation from their name) joined as full members of the international governing body, FIBA in time for the Commonwealth to field a women's team at the inaugural Women's World Championship tournament in 1953, predating the men by 5 years.

As the game grew in popularity and the skill level progressed, the 1960's saw a rise in scoring and an increase in the competitive balance between the larger schools and smaller colleges; since relative differences in enrollment were mitigated by the fact you only needed 5 good players, the non-football playing members of the UAC were able to hold their own in conference play. Both the men's and women's championship tournaments were televised nationally for the first time in 1963, just in time for the country to see the rise of the game's most dominant women's program reach it's pinnacle.

Endborough College was the lone holdout when the state of Endover enticed many of the small private colleges run by differing religious sects and ethnic communities in Endborough to come into the fold when the University of Endover was established. Their resistance and continued independence meant they were able to structure their curriculum and standards as they saw fit. EC was coeducational from its founding, but the proportion of women to men was skewed heavily towards female students until well into the 1950's. As a result, their women's athletic teams were generally regarded as the finest in the Commonwealth.

It was the period from 1961-66 that cemented the Lady Germans' place as the model basketball team. Although they had won National Championships in 1953, 1955, 1957 and 1959, they were still considered just one of a handful of schools who had a claim to be the nation's best. In 1960, they lost in the semi final and the consolation round, but the next season EC's ladies went undefeated at 22-0, and wouldn't lose another game for 5 years. Between 1962-64, they were led by the Commonwealth's most prolific scorer, Mary Ellen Domagal, whose point total remained the standard for college basketball--male of female--for 46 years. She was the first player to score over 600 points in a season as a junior, and the first to break 700 when she was a senior; her career total of 1,936 stood as the all time record until 2010, but her single season average (32.0) and career average (29.3) still stand. EC's 103 game winning streak was broken in 1965 by their arch-rival University of Endover, but they proceeded to win 42 more games in a row until another loss to Endover in 1967; that works out to a record of 145-1 over six plus seasons.

Among the men, there has never been a school that has displayed the same dominance nationally, although a few schools have put together years of conference superiority that have led to intermittent National Championships.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:14 am

FAC hold presser for U21's, National Team to discuss future

by Oliver Stanley
The Post Soccer Correspondant

Charter Township, Belle Haven--The Commonwealth Under-21 team touched down at BHI around noon, and received a hero's welcome from their fellow players and the staff at the FAC Training Center here. As the players were given medical debriefs by the physios and doctors, U21 manager and FAC Director of Player Development Liam Sullivan spoke to the media, along with National Team manager Trevor Richmond, and FAC Executive Director David Carlson.

Carlson--"If Liam had been honest with us up front that he actually intended to win a couple of games (laughter) I might have decided to tag along and get my expense account back into top shape. (more laughter) But seriously, you have to give him a great deal of credit; he was doing the job of 3 people while he was there--team manager, Player Development director and face of the team and the FAC to the media. I'm not sure when he found time to sleep, as Trevor & I took up a lot of his time when he wasn't running training, facing the media or brushing his teeth and washing his face. (more laughter) Liam, we are extremely proud of the job you did, along with George (Prather, assistant U21 manager), Will (Barnard, coach and FAC Assistant Director of Technical Development), and April (Powell, physiotherapist). We know you all put in many hours long after training and the matches were over."

Richmond--"As much as I want to know everything that Liam learned during this trip, I'm more concerned with allowing him some time--and the rest of the players and the staff--to decompress and just have an opportunity to recharge and rest up. We are approaching an important period and I need the expertise they can share with the full national team. We have time to allow a period for them to forget about the sport for a few weeks, but we are going to need all hands available when we get into the next training regime."

Carlson--"We are currently in line for a place in the pre-World Cup tournament for first time entrants, and then a qualification process for the World Cup which will be as intensive a program of matches as we've encountered for some time. The matches are going to come fast and frequent, and we're going to need to draw upon all of the resources we have if we want to make a statement going forward."

Sullivan--"I think we learned a lot about our ability to compete on the world stage against countries that at first glance looked like they had a much more accelerated development than we had...we were technically as good as everyone we faced in the tournament, and we didn't really have a deficit in the athletic or physical aspects of the game. We have guys who are ready to step up into the senior team who proved their ability against excellent competition. As Dave said, we have a whole lot of matches ahead of us and the fact we have a core group who have played their last game for the under-21's that we can call upon for all of these upcoming matches and work into the national team setup makes us all optimistic about the next 6-8 months.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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UAC members-continued

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:44 pm

University of Coolville

Location--Coolville, State of Midalia

Founded--1908

School colors--Orange and Black

Enrollment--11,107 undergraduates/1200 post-graduate

Nickname--Tigers (popular usage based on the school's colors, became official in 1930)

The University of Coolville was established as another branch campus of the University of the Commonwealth system; it had a strong curricular relationship with the State College of Midalia campus in the city from an early date, the schools sharing sponsorship of several programs of study. It was granted institutional self-determination in 1970 while remaining a part of the UC structure.
The football, men's & women's soccer and women's field hockey teams play home games at Laidley Field in Coolville, which was completed in 1939; It's current capacity is 21,000 and it was the first stadium in the country to have an artificial playing surface installed in 1973. The basketball and volleyball teams play at the 6,200 seat Physical Activities Center, opened in 1986.


Coolville State University

Location--Coolville, State of Midalia

Founded--1899

School Colors--Midnight Blue and Gold

enrollment--12,900 undergraduates/1000 post-graduate

Nickname--Vikings (a reference to the fact that the first football teams had an unusually high participation rate of men with Scandinavian sounding surnames; a small immigrant wave from Scandinavia arrived in Midalia in the early 20th century and the first generation of children born to them attended the State College in large proportions relative to the rest of the enrollment.)

Founded as the State College of Midalia, the first institution of higher learning in the state, as noted above it shared many programs with the UC branch yet was far more affordable for students to attend. It was re-named to Coolville State in the 1970's when the State College system was reorganized. The main outdoor sports host matches at State College Stadium, an on campus field that has a capacity of 18,000. Basketball and Volleyball take place at Charles G Schraeder Arena, opened in 1958 and renovated in 1994 to a capacity of 4,875.


St Warren State University

Location--St Warren City, State of Midalia

Founded--1909

School Colors--Dark Green and Gold

enrollment--10,800 undergraduates/750 post-graduate

Nickname--Bulldogs (the school had a bit of a self-image crisis in its early years as a little sister to the main campus in Coolville, but students were often characterized locally as tenacious and unyielding, taking a huge amount of pride in their ability to get the most out the meager resources available. Early sports clubs and teams also showed spirit and determination; an early newspaper story about a St Warren football game against St Leon made reference to the "bulldog" spirit of the players who weren't as skilled as their opponents but would fight for every inch. The name stuck.)

Established to provide training for teachers and agricultural extension, St Warren attracted different kinds of students than the main campus; for years it was regarded as academically inferior to it's neighbors USL and the two Coolville colleges, but came to regard themselves as more down to earth and welcoming, not to mention happier as students. They gradually earned a certain level of acceptance and respect, especially through the period in the 1960's when their football teams were among the nation's best. Their home is the 23,000 seat MacIlwaine Park Stadium, and the 6,300 seat Garvey Events Center hosts basketball, concerts and more.

Kellerville State University

Location--Kellerville, State of Midalia

Founded--1955 as the Joint Agricultural Training School, gained 4 year degree status in 1969

School Colors--Cornflower Blue and Yellow


enrollment--6,300 undergraduate/350 post-graduate

Nickname--Rams (there is no evidence that the choice of Rams was a ironic wink to the school's previous incarnation as an agricultural school, although some interpreted it just that way when it was the overwhelming winner in the contest to choose a name in 1970; not attributed to any one winning entry--14 submissions was more than any other name suggested--but it forever earned Kellerville's students respect from their rivals for their proud self-deprecation and good humor.)

Kellerville was the last remnant of the cooperative arrangement between the State College and the University of Coolville; those students who elected to major in agricultural business, animal husbandry, conservation and wildlife or any other of the 13 majors on offer within the curriculum of the Joint College of Agriculture and Farming usually spent at least a third of their college experience at the Kellerville branch.

In truth, Kellerville was actually established in the 1940's; St Warren used a large farm between Kellerville and Mansfield for their practical AgSchool curriculum. The State College system chose to take the agricultural extension programs out of St Warren's hands (they did not object even mildly) and consolidate at a new off campus site. One of the advantages Kellerville was able to take advantage of when it became a full branch of the State College system was it had been extremely well funded as a result of the joint State College/UC program; it had new, state of the art buildings and equipment relative to St Warren and the main campus, and it was opened just months after the completion of a major expressway cloverleaf project in Kellerville, providing much faster access to the area from all directions.

The major athletic facility for Kellerville State is Princess Helena Sports Park; originally a small field and running track for the Kellerville High School, the State College regents put in an investment to upgrade the seating, lights, locker room facilities and to construct a new running track and facility adjacent to the original field. It was later expanded in the early 1980's to include practice fields for the Kellerville State, Kellerville HS and Kellerville AFC soccer teams. The new stadium was finished in the summer of 1972, just in time for the fledgling Kellerville State football team to host 2 seasons of junior college competition before becoming full UAC and Big 7 conference members (and to inspire the KHS football team to win the Midalia State football championship the same year).

It was dedicated to Princess Helena, wife of the 2nd Prince Regent of the Commonwealth, Prince William I and mother to the two sons who succeeded their father--Prince Robert and Prince William II--and grandmother to the then reigning Prince Regent, Prince Daniel. Ranked as one of the 10 most influential people in the history of Baker Park at the 75th Anniversary Jubilee in 1967, Princess Helena fought for the rights of women to be given equal respect and opportunities through both World Wars and beyond once she was a widow.
Her funeral in 1970--the first Full State Funeral for a woman in the History of the Commonwealth--was the most viewed television program in history in Baker Park; it also drew the largest estimated crowd to witness the procession in person--between 700,000 and 800,000 along the routes the carriage traveled.

Oh, the stadium seats 11,800;
the main indoor facility for basketball and volleyball is colloquially referred to as the "Old Barn" Gym, constructed on the site of an agricultural barn that was burned to the ground in October 1977 in a massive student protest against the government of then Prime Minister William Jones; Jones dissolved the government two days later. The subsequent area was declared the "October 11th Park" by students; they declared that the ground where they stood was a monument to total democracy and should be dedicated to the 100 or so people who refused to allow firefighters to extinguish the blaze.

In 1980, the Board of Trustees of SCM Kellerville presented a plan to construct a 5,200 seat arena on the site of the "Old Barn" protest, and include a substantial monument to the October 11th uprising. There was even an idea proposed that the facility be called the "October 11th Arena". Eventually the facility was named the Paul Crawford Arena, after the man who was the President of the college at the time of the October 11th uprising and who gave it tacit support by not ordering a state of emergency or an armed police reaction. The main plaza area in front of the arena is the "October 11th" Plaza, where there are several memorials and tributes. It has been passed down as tradition to all incoming freshman and as part of the lore and story presented that Kellerville is the place where the activism and spirit of Princess Helena's life has taken root.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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Rugby--History of the CRU

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:14 pm

The Commonwealth of Baker Park Rugby Union was founded in February 1954; it succeeded the individual state unions that had administered the sport since the turn of the century.

Currently, the CRU organizes the country's domestic club national championship, the Monteith Shield, as well as the Westerly Challenge Cup, open to all professional and amateur clubs.

Rugby was popular in the first decade after the founding of the Commonwealth; as American-style football grew in participation, rugby clubs saw a decrease in the number of registered players at established clubs. Into the 1920's, rugby saw their decreasing numbers level off and by 1931 there was a renewed interest in the game in certain areas of the country. Towns and boroughs with significant Welsh and Scottish populations led the way as rugby made inroads on the number of young men who took up active sports club memberships. The Ezra Rugby Football Union (ERFU) and the Endover Rugby Union (ERU) had far more clubs competing than their counterparts in the Baker Park Rugby Federation (BPRF) and Osheana Ruby Union (ORU); throughout the period between 1935 and 1950, Endover and Ezra clubs won all but 1 of the Challenge Cups contested.

There had never been a unified convention of the various state bodies until Sylvester Monteith, Chief Secretary of the ERFU, proposed a meeting in the winter of 1953. He wanted to find some common ground between the state organizations in order to work on increasing participation and a possible fully national body to help with technical development of players. His proposal for the formation of a Union made up of all the state level competitions was unanimously approved at the Fraizer House Hotel in Hamilton, which marked the beginning of the CRU.

The national club championship was established in 1956 with a structure of two 8 team divisions with promotion and relegation playoffs, 3 years later it was expanded to 10 teams each; it was known as the Frazier Shield until 1971, when it was renamed for Sylvester Monteith, who had been elected the first Chairman of the CRU and was the first representative of the Union to have a seat at the International Rugby Board.

The influence that the ERFU had over the sport after the formation of the CRU can still be seen today; the national team's shirts are Dark Blue & Gray hoops, which were adapted from the shirts worn by Ezra's most successful club, Middletown Old Boys, originally made up of ex-students from the University of Ezra branch, whose colors were also the same. In addition, Barnitz Stadium in the city has hosted more international test rugby matches than any other ground in the country.

Prior to the rise of officially sanctioned professionalism, clubs were generally restricted to fielding players from their own state, or specific areas in neighboring states. The CRU faced professional contract offers with a series of rules designed to minimize a destabilizing upheaval; players 20 years of age or under could only sign entry-level "apprentice" contracts of a maximum duration of 2 years, at which point they would have the choice to sign full-wage deals with their home club, or leave the club and sign with another. Those initial deals, which were the same for players who were over 21 years, were also limited to maximums of 2 years, after which a player could sign with any other club of their choosing, on one year only contracts. There were also scaled wage rates depending upon age and number of years as a full professional.

Today, the spirit of some of those original rules continues; clubs are made up of a core group of between 12-17 "pool" players, who are permitted to be given long term contracts (not to exceed 3 years if signed by the player when over the age of 22, 5 years max for ages 21 and under) and the remainder of the squad filled out with other signings on one year contracts. This allows player movement and prevents rich clubs from hoarding talent.

Over the last 10 years, 7-a-side rugby has grown in popularity in the Commonwealth, especially at youth levels and among women. The CRU has embraced the spread of Sevens as a way to expose more players to the sport, and supports summer fun leagues for both boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 18.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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FAC--National Team Staff Bios

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:07 am

A guide to the background and careers of the FAC's top level personnel

Trevor Richmond--National Men's Team Manager/Director of Technical Development (Age 51)
2018 will be the 6th year that Trevor Richmond will lead the Commonwealth Men's National side as well as being Technical Director of the FAC program. His leadership of the FAC Technical Department has seen major advances in the Development Charter Program to improve the level of play across all areas of the sport in the Commonwealth.

Richmond was born in Belle Haven, but was raised in Holden Borough, Endover. He earned his B.A. from St Stephen's College, University of Endover and was a 2 time captain of the Endover Varsity Soccer Team. After graduation, he was signed on a tryout contract with Riverside City FC, which became a full professional deal soon after. Between 1988-90, he made 32 first team appearances but elected to end his playing career at the end of the 1990 season. During the period when he was employed in the private business sector, he was approached to help coach on a volunteer basis a 11-12 year old recreation league team.
This was followed by an approach to assist with a 15-16 year old club side in East Liverpool and then an offer to become a youth team coach at Monmouth Park FC in Endborough. In 1998, he became the assistant manager at Brentford FC and in 2000 was elevated to club Manager. He led the club to promotion to the Championship Division that season and the following year guided them to 4th place in the final table.
In February 2003 he was hired away by Clayton City to keep the club from being relegated to the Third Division; he kept the club in the Second Division that season and earned them a promotion back to the top flight in 2004. In 2007, he led the club to the FAC Cup Final where they lost to Hillsborough 2-1 and the next season guided Clayton to the National League title, their first since 1969.
In 2009, he was hired to lead Jamestown City FC, and earned 3 straight top 3 finishes. He was named Manager of the National Team in July 2012.


Pamela Scott--National Women's Team Manager/Associate Director of Technical Development (Age 49)
Pamela Scott enters her 7th year as the FAC's National Women's Program boss; in addition to her role leading the Women's Senior National squad, she is the Director of the FAC Development Charter Program for women's soccer. She is the winningest manager in the history of the women's National Team and the first woman in the Commonwealth to earn a major regional federation coaching badge when she was awarded a UEFA Pro License in 2016.

Scott was born in Lima, and spent her early years in New Bremen, State of Baker Park. Her family moved to Ezriquay when she was 13 and she spent 2 years in the youth program at Ellesmere Woods FC before she carved out a stellar scholastic career at Hillside HS in Ezriquay, being named to the All-Ezra Interscholastic Association First Team in both her Junior and Senior Years; after 4 years as a letter winner at University of Osheana, which included 12 appearances for the Commonwealth Under-21 women's squad, she signed a professional contract with Hamilton Wanderers Ladies FC, appearing in 97 out of 112 matches over a 4 year period, along with 20 caps for the full national side.

She earned a Masters Degree in Sports Science from the University of Western Ontario, Canada and began her coaching career in 1996 when she was named assistant coach for the women's soccer team at West Virginia University; following similar posts at University of Maryland and University of Illinois, she returned to Baker Park to take the position of Head Women's Coach at Northern Baker Park State University in 2004. She led the Lady Lions to the UAC National Championships in back to back seasons (2007-08) before being named as Manager of the Westwood Sprites Ladies in July 2008. She led the club to 2 Women's National League titles in her 3 seasons and was hired as FAC Women's National Team Manager in August 2011.
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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FAC preparations for World Cup 80/BoF Tournaments

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:37 am

Belle Haven--FAC Executive Director David Carlson announced plans for the FAC's participation in the upcoming qualifying for the World Cup 80, the finals of which will be hosted jointly in Starblaydia and the Equestrian States, as well as the Baptism of Fire 67 tournament to be co-hosted in Banija and Qasden.

Carlson: "We have started the detailed planning for these two events, which will see the Commonwealth take part in for the first time. We have been busy with identifying a player pool to draw from for both competitions, and we have chosen to pool the resources of all of the National Team staff and operate 2 teams concurrently, with players available for both squads. Men's National Team Manager Trevor Richmond will oversee the World Cup preparation and Women's National Team Manager Pamela Scott will be in charge of the BoF team, along with their assistants and our other national setup coaches. We have full confidence that the Association has all of the resources needed to make this plan successful; it is really the culmination of our years of work under the Development Charter Scheme and a chance to make a real leap forward in our growth of the sport and our ambitions to make the Commonwealth a formidable International team."

The Board of Governors of the FAC agreed last week to put the recommendation of FAC Director of Player Development Liam Sullivan to integrate the National Team setup into mixed-sex sides on a fast-track plan; the Association is attempting to stay ahead of a changing landscape for the future of sport in the Commonwealth as well as the political and social ramifications from the Government's decision to align the nation's interests with the Atlantian Oceania alliance.

Carlson, again: "It has been a whirlwind that we have been reaping over the last several weeks. No one can ignore the changes that have been brought about by the University of the Commonwealth's performance in the NS College football competition. It has opened up all kinds of new opportunities, which obviously the Government has seen as advantageous not just for sports, but for the country as a whole. Things have certainly converged in a short period of time--our participation in the Di Bradini Cup in Valanora opened up possibilities, the fact that the host nations of these two upcoming events are all in the AO--and I've had a couple of productive meetings with Melissa Sweeney-Allen (the UC Director of Athletics), who has been effusive in her praise and respect for the people she dealt with in arranging the details of the football competition, especially in Banija and Valanora. Her help in putting us in touch with some officials in Banija is already paying dividends for us. Pam (Scott, Women's Team coach) and Allison (LeFleur, Deputy Executive Director) have just arrived in Herzegovina City in Banija to look for training bases for the BoF, a contact we probably wouldn't have made on our own."

Carlson also is keeping an eye on the progress of the Under 18 National side competing in Abanhfleft, the first experiment in the coed team concept. "I feel like I have a personal stake in how those players perform and how we are able to solve situations as they arise. I had the chance to say a few words to them before they left and told them that this wasn't about winning or losing, it was about being a team for all of Baker Park to be proud of. They were pioneers and years from now people would speak about them with reverence and awe."
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:20 am

FAC prep for first senior team tourney

Frank Armitage
The Mail on Sunday Chief Soccer Writer

Exclusive to the Mail on Sunday:

We sat down with FAC Executive Director David Carlson and Men's National Team Manager Trevor Richmond to talk about the upcoming Baptism of Fire 67 Tournament that will be taking place in the co-host nations of Banija and Qasden, where the Commonwealth will be participating in the leadup to the World Cup qualifying.

MoS:so give us a little bit of background about the event.

DC:"this is the pre-qualifying tournament, so to speak, not that it has any bearing on who is drawn into WC proper, but more a place where nations who are participating for the first time can get some match prep against other teams in a competitive situation."
TR:"we have put the coed team idea on a fast track, so this will be a good opportunity for us to see how it will fall into place from a practical standpoint. We had a 2 day meeting recently with all of the National Team senior staff to hear ideas and develop a strategy for getting the men's and women's programs aligned to be able to maximize the resources available. The opportunity to have a test run is really fortunate to get good info on what we will have to concentrate on down the road."

MoS:is this going to mean an end to separate national teams for men and women?

TR:"I personally don't think so; there is far too much history and tradition to just abandon the idea that we can field competitive teams for both make and female soccer players in this country at a high level."
DC:"there isn't any suggestion that we will ever give up the identity of our national teams individually for a single unified mixed-sex side. This is something that I think will expand available player pool for international competition as well as open the sport up to a massive potential improvement for all of our players. The upsides are far and away higher than the relative downsides might hold down player development."

MoS:so what is the status of the preparation today?

DC:"after we came up with a list of players from across both setups, we have put a lot of time into communicating with clubs as to how we were going to call players up for training camps ahead of the BoF and the WC process. We are right in the middle of the final stages of our league seasons, and no club is going to want to just have key players disappear when there is promotion, relegation and championships at stake."
TR:"we have no intention of sending a second rate team of fringe players and reserves to compete under our flag; if we did that, Dave and Pam (Scott) and I should lose our jobs, because that isn't even close to what our responsibility to this association, or this country, entails. To answer the question a bit more precisely, we are at a point where we have the roster pretty set; we are calling up a mix of senior team players with varying degrees of experience along with some of the guys--and gals--from the U21 teams that have played their last games for those squads. Pam (Scott, Women's Team Manager) is going to be in charge, along with her assistant Kate DiMarini and Mike Haddad, who is a coach for the men's team. Ally (LeFleur, FAC Deputy Executive Director) is going to be the Team Coordinator, in charge of all of the off field responsibilities, and Darren Kirby from the U17's is going to be another coach, and Will Barnard has volunteered to be available to the staff, if they need him, to fill in anywhere he might be needed."

MoS:so it sounds like you're pretty far along?

TR:"yeah, it's coming together quickly, that's the advantage when you have a great staff and a pool of coaches to be able to call upon. Pam, Ally and Will have just come back from Banija where they were able to secure a training site, thanks to some helpful contacts we were put in touch with. Just like at the DBC, where the local club AS Sharala, were welcoming in every way, the people at Herzegovina City FC have put their facilities at our total disposal. They are just getting ramped up for their domestic season, but they said they have plenty of room to accommodate us. You'll probably remember that the UC football team played in Herzegovina City against Northern Moravica University, and the folks at the city soccer club said it would be their honor to host us. I mean, that's a pretty nice display of respect that you can get as the result of good sportsmanship. Another unexpected benefit of the new move to the AO."
DC:"I think what we have learned from our people who were in Valanora with the U21's and what we will learn after the Sporting World Cup about the general logistics of moving people around a foreign country--and that includes not just the team, but all of the people who come along: families, media, officials--is helping us build a portfolio of issues that have to be taken care of that we maybe wouldn't have considered before. So I think we are pretty confident right now about where we are at. We'll have the squad at the Training Center starting tomorrow afternoon to get a good camp under our belts before we head out for the tournament."
Last edited by Commonwealth of Baker Park on Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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UAC Basketball Championship results

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:07 pm

The final weeks of the UAC Men's and Women's Basketball Championships have been completed and both tournaments threw up their share of surprises.

Men:

The conference tournament championships held mainly to form, as the regular season champs won three of the four tourney titles.

Endover-Ezra Universities League
semi-finals
#1 University of Ezra 77-71 #4 Ezra Tech
#3 University of Endover 69-53 #7 Commonwealth Naval Academy
final
#1 University of Ezra 72-63 #3 University of Endover

Western Athletic Conference
semi-finals
#1 University of Oceana 83-68 #5 University of Jacksonville
#3 University of Osheana 71-63 #2 Osheana State University
final
#1 University of Oceana 80-63 #3 University of Osheana

Big 8 Conference
semi-final
#1 Marshallton University 75-66 #4 University of St Leon
#2 Coolville State U 95-81 #6 St Warren State U
final
#2 Coolville State U 87-72 #1 Marshallton University

Metro Conference
semi-final
#1 Belle Haven State U 77-70 #5 U of Belle Haven
#3 U of Baker Park 66-64 #2 Belle Haven County College
final
#1 Belle Haven State U 79-53 #3 U of Baker Park

National Tournament
first round
Marshallton 80-71 U of Baker Park
Endover State 90-79 U of Middletown
Belle Haven CC 72-71 U of Osheana
U of Endover 70-60 Osheana State U
second round
U of Oceana 87-82 Marshallton
Endover State 91-77 Coolville State
U of Ezra 71-55 Belle Haven CC
Belle Haven State 81-69 U of Endover
semi-finals
Endover State 88-82 U of Oceana
Belle Haven State 70-62 U of Ezra
final
Belle Haven State 73-69 Endover State

Belle Haven State won their 3rd Men's National Championship with a close fought victory over Endover State at the Midalia State Civic Center Arena in Coolville in front of 18,650. The Bobcats justified their season long top 3 ranking by holding the UAC's leading scoring offense in check throughout the game. BH State finishes the season at 30-2 while Red Devils close out at 25-6.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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UAC Basketball, con't

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:00 pm

Women's:

on the ladies side, the biggest shock came in the EEUL tournament, where University of Endborough became only the 4th different member school to the win the post-season final, after they upset 4th seeded Ezra Tech on day 1, then beat rival Endborough College in the semis for the first time ever in the tourney, and dispatching University of Ezriquay in the final.

Endover-Ezra Universities League
semi-finals
#5 U of Endborough 67-65 #1 Endborough College
#2 U of Ezriquay 77-71 #3 U of Endover
final
#5 U of Endborough 68-59 #2 U of Ezriquay

Western Athletic Conference
semi-finals
#1 Northern Baker Park 79-65 #4 Oceana City College
#2 Osheana Capital U 84=77 #3 U of Osheana
final
#1 N Baker Park 80-70 #2 Osheana Capital

Big 8 Conference
semi-finals
#1 U of Coolville 78-65 #4 Kellerville State
#2 U of S Baker Park 67-57 #3 Coolville State
final
#1 U of Coolville 75-71 #2 U of Southern Baker Park

Metro Conference
semi-finals
#1 U of the Commonwealth 85-70 #5 Baker Park A&M
#2 U of Belle Haven 85-75 #6 Belle Haven Valley
final
#1 U of the Commonwealth 85-78 #2 U of Belle Haven

National Tournament
first round
U of Baker Park 76-73 U of Southern Baker Park
Endborough College 80-68 Osheana Capital Univ
U of Ezriquay 75-69 U of Belle Haven
Coolville State 70-69 U of Endover
second round
U of Baker Park 79-67 U of Endborough
Endborough College 79-59 U of Coolville
N Baker Park 79-73 U of Ezriquay
U of the Commonwealth 85-66 Coolville State
semi-finals
U of Baker Park 79-76 (OT) Endborough College
Northern Baker Park 80-74 U of the Commonwelath
final
N Baker Park State Univ. 80-75 (2OT) U of Baker Park

Northern Baker Park won their 4th women's national championship in the last 11 years with a double overtime victory at the OGE Center in Oceana in front of 17,530. The Lady Lions finished the season with only a single loss, 31-1 and the runner up from U of Baker Park, after being upset in their conference tournament came back to advance from the 1st round to end at 23-8.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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Founded: Jan 10, 2018
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Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:28 am

© Sporting Times Daily 2018
The Kids are Alright--Under 18's Win Sporting World Cup 5
by Fiona Devlin, Staff Soccer Writer

All of us can relate to the first day of a new term when you begin your fresher year in high school, or even university. Learning the school songs, finding your way around, learning the names and faces of new classmates. Hoping to meet others who have similar likes and interests as you.

For the members of the Under-18 national squad, the first day at the FAC Training Center in Charter Township was just like new term for many of them; with the exception of knowing that the one thing you had in common with everyone else was you were all soccer players and you were all chosen to represent the Commonwealth of Baker Park and wear the Black & Gold shirt you've probably dreamed about since the first time you kicked a ball.

For the 23 young men and women gathered to get their first words of wisdom from Manager Tony Weiss and Assistant Manager Jennifer Prescott, this was the first time that any of them were going to experience being a part of a team made up of both male and female players probably since they were in junior midget youth leagues.

Weiss made it clear from the start to everyone--they were all in this together, for good or ill, and no one was bigger than the team. They were all going into the history books, so they might as well go in as an example of everything that people can point to with pride as to what makes the country uniquely special.

After every player was made to stand on front of the group and give their full name, place of birth, current hometown and their most recent team, Prescott told them that they would be expected to know everyone else by their first name and address them as such during training, meetings and activities. She also said that any personality conflicts or interpersonal animosity would be sorted out and resolved in the open, in front of the rest of squad.

The first training session came just 90 minutes after that meeting; it became evident that these were young people who understood what was expected of them. The more experienced players who were part of professional club setups were vocal in their encouragement and support of others during the technical and conditioning drills. Within a few days, this became an established and enduring feature within the whole squad; the amount of verbal communication in training was much higher in this team than most age-group national teams developed, according to Weiss and Prescott.

The team building continued into the dining room as well; round tables with 8 seats or rectangular tables with the same number of chairs were the rule. The staff often inserted themselves into places which forced a great deal of variation into the seating arrangements.

With a week left before departing for Abanhfleft, there was a solid camaraderie established, as the players began to come up with friendly nicknames for the other members of the squad; at this point, the first name only rule was essentially abandoned and the familiarity amongst the team began to be encouraged.
A talent show competition was organized between the midfield & forwards and the keepers and defenders for the second to last night of the camp; the two groups allowed to arrange themselves into whatever combinations they saw fit. At the conclusion, FAC Executive Director David Carlson and National Team Managers Trevor Richmond & Pamela Scott declared the winners, and Weiss had the team and the staff join arms in a circle and sing "Hear Our Voices Commonwealth".

Weiss asked the players to vote by secret ballot for their choice for Captain on the morning of the talent contest. He announced the result of the vote after dinner the next night before the squad were due to fly out for the tournament, with all of the player's families and loved ones invited to participate. He said later that he was fine with having only one captain if the vote went that way, but Sam Harrison and Samantha Bradley "essentially" tied so he chose to go with co-Captains.

Weiss and Prescott both talked about what the preceding weeks had shown to them and thanked the squad for rising to the challenge that they had been offered. Carlson spoke to the team about how the importance of what they were about to embark on wasn't going to be measured in wins or losses. He stressed that this was an opportunity for them to show their skill and dedication, to have fun and to represent their families, friends, club and school teammates to best of their abilities.
Bradley and Harrison then rose and "excused" everyone who wasn't part of the squad from the meeting; 35 minutes later the players emerged and had an hour to spend with their families before curfew and their departure the next morning.

(continued in part 2)
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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Commonwealth of Baker Park
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Posts: 1226
Founded: Jan 10, 2018
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Commonwealth of Baker Park » Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:16 pm

The Kids are Alright--Under 18's Win Sporting World Cup 5 continued:

I was waiting for the team when they arrived at the hotel in Suwkpel; a miscommunication between the FAC and the editors here meant that instead of flying in with the rest of the media and team, I had taken a flight a day earlier with two changeovers and a layover in between those. It actually ended up not being such a hassle, as I already had a trump card to play that the other media didn't: I'd found the best Dim Sum in Abanhfleft (or so they were proud to tell me) and I know from having been friends with Tony Weiss since we were at University of Endborough (full disclosure--I met my husband through Tony and he was in our wedding party, too) that he will drop everything for Dim Sum at any hour of the day or night!

It was the first time I'd actually had a chance to get to know most of the squad; Zack Emmitt's mother is a teacher at my son's school and I interviewed Dan Prior after he turned pro for Brentwood Borough, but the rest I'd never met at all, though I knew about a couple of them from reporting.

They were all chatty and happy and down to earth. A couple weren't all that comfortable talking about themselves or being questioned by a reporter for a national newspaper, but that's to be expected; some of them are still juniors in high school, and this was certainly not typical high school life.

In the leadup to the first group stage match, the days were pretty routine for them--meeting, training, lunch, another meeting and conditioning, dinner and still another meeting then usually a team function such as watching a movie or maybe an outing to the mall. At the times I crossed paths with them, I got the sense that they could've been mistaken for a school tour group rather than athletes preparing for a competition.

After having spent nearly 2 weeks in Suwkpel, the change of scenery to Uranium City was a welcome development for the players, not to mention for the staff and the media as well. I don't think Tony would've minded staying on, as he was something of a newfound celebrity at the Dim Sum place; the team got two chances to dine at the restaurant and the folks who owned it couldn't have been more welcoming and hospitable. After the first visit, the next time Tony, Jennifer and the other coaches and myself and Oliver Stanley from the Post went in for lunch, the staff fell over themselves with commenting how wonderful they thought the "kids" were.

And they were wonderful; everywhere they went it was hard not to be impressed with how they handled themselves among the locals, their enthusiasm and infectious spirit won people over easily. They even got a taste of the star treatment when they were mobbed by a group of 10 year olds waiting to use the pitch, who were waiting outside the training ground one afternoon. Lainey Wadsworth told me later than she was almost in tears on the bus back to the hotel, one little guy had seemed very shy about asking her for an autograph and after she signed his backpack, he leaned up and whispered "thank you miss, I think you are very pretty".

The two matches in U-City couldn't have been more different; the Humaliwo game wasn't the struggle that the scoreline suggested, but the quarterfinal against Mercedini was probably even more of an epic war of attrition than that score reflected. Even in the press box the tension was evident and the feeling that somehow the defending champs would come through in the end was not to be taken for granted. About half of the players seemed like they were out on their feet through most of the extra period, except for Wadsworth and Pryna Rasanmira who came on for the final 15 minutes. Where Nicki Stone found the energy to make her mad dash following her winning goal I have no idea, but it was a scene that I'll never forget.

I don't know how they might have coped in the semi final without the extra couple of days rest before the Melbergia match. It was a unfortunate that the Melbergian side got a case of food poisoning just prior to the semis, Even with their makeshift side they gave Baker Park all they could handle. The sight of the teams swapping shirts--a practice that seems to have gone out of fashion--was another one of those memories I'll never forget.

The Final against the hosts was, looking from how far the team had come since they first got together, probably the least the Commonwealth deserved. They had played excellent soccer and had managed to come through a tournament they had no real expectation of even getting to the knockout rounds when they stepped foot off the plane for the first time.

I did not say I thought the Bees were a heavy favorite; imagine my surprise when I heard the Abanhfleft manager replying to a question suggesting that was what was being reported here. It was a TV commentator from Melbergia and also a writer from Juvencus that said that to me, separately, without prompting. And it was the columnist from the main national Abanhfleft newspaper who said he had a fear of the BP team, in the context that the pressure was clearly on the home side who had finished runners up in three of the previous four tournaments and now they were here in their own stadium with the expectations running high.

But back to the real heroes of the story. The looks on their faces when the whistle blew for full time was something to behold. I don't think they could even believe it themselves that they had actually won, and done so in such a convincing fashion. Seeing their pure joy on the stage when they finally had the trophy is something that made my allegedly objective viewpoint disappear for a minute. Their emotion, and the fact that I had been privileged to have been witness to their remarkable spirit, camaraderie and togetherness through it all brought out all of my national pride, not to mention my happiness for my friend Tony, and for Jennifer, who I got a chance to get to know better throughout the competiton, as well as Chris LaRue and Elaine King who got their first opportunity to be on a coaching staff for the national team, and not forgetting Gina Damicone, trainer and physiotherapist extraordinaire who was always smiling first thing every morning, though I wondered when she found time to actually sleep.

I saved the best part for last; I thought about the title of this story for only a few minutes, because it was the obvious and most precise description I could give those 23 remarkable young ladies and men. I don't think any of them had ever heard the song by The Who, or could even tell you the first thing about that classic rock band. But somewhere along the line they stumbled upon it and from that point it became their anthem; they sang it on the coach after every match, at full volume and in terrible but beautiful harmony. One of them would sing out the first line and the rest of them would fall in line. It never ceased to bring a smile to Tony's and Jennifer's faces when they broke into it. Or mine for that matter. They were definitely All Right.
Soccer--2x Under-18 World Cup (SWC 5&9) Champions
Baptism of Fire 67 Runner-Up
AOCAF Third Place LVIII (co-hosts), LX
World Cup 85 Fourth Place
World Cup 84 Co-hosts
World Cup 81/82/83/84 Round of 16
World Cup 80 Group Stage
Football
NSCF 21 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff semi-finalists
NSCF 18 Mineral Conference Champions
playoff quarterfinalist
NSCF 19 & 20 Mineral Conference Champions
Lacrosse
WLC 34 Fourth Place
WLC 30/31(host)/32/33 Quarterfinal
WLC 29 Playoff Round

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