Welcome back, Simtropians!!
Well it's the saddest day of the year in Westover: the end of the professional soccer and competitive rugby seasons. The games are finished, the points are in, and champions have been crowned in each of the four divisions. Dragons are this year's Elite champions, although it was hard-fought near the end. They had to worry about a late surge in form by runners-up Gremlins. Fortunately, Dragons were able to take it a little easy on the last day of the season as it was impossible for Gremlins to catch up to them. The Elite and Premier leagues have only been around for 26 years, but have made steady progress improving not only the quality of play on the field, but the passion and pride in the fan-bases supporting each team. There are twenty teams in each division. The bottom three Elite teams are relegated to Premier, while the top three Premier teams are promoted. Unlike some divisions out there, there are no playoffs for any of the relegation or promotion spots.This year Eagles, Knights, and Wrens were relegated and will have to fight to bounce back up next season.
Earning the promotion spots were the Rebels, Admirals, and Lumberjacks. We'll see whether or not they're able to keep up with the bigger dogs of the Elite league and avoid dropping back down at the first try. The financial incentives to stay up are pretty good, and have been used by most clubs to finance not only better talent, but stadium improvements and training academies.
This is a nice view of Dragons' home ground (The Lair) in Menokin. Situated in a mostly residential part of the city, it seats a modest 22,436 fans in relative comfort. Not the fanciest of venues, it is a fan-favorite with its excellent sight-lines, wonderful pitch, good transportation connections, and cleanliness.
Here, we have Gremlins' stadium (Erco Arena) in Germanna. Slightly smaller with only 19,537 seats, it's still a great place to catch a match.
And finally, this is the home of the Premier League Kingfishers in Chericoke. An up-and-coming team, they finished fourth in the lower league this year, and are hoping to break into that top three tier in the next couple of years. This stadium only seats 6,297 fans, but they're passionate and love to sing the team off the field at the end of each game.
Although there is not enough fan interest in Westover to build and sustain a professional rugby league, there are lots of adults who take out stress from their daily lives on the rugby pitch. Some of these clubs have huge numbers of participants and field teams in several different age and skill groups. They also start 'em young, with introductory sessions for elementary and middle school students. Tournaments are regular occurrences on the sports calendar in Westover, and teams come from all over the country to participate. Just as in the soccer leagues, the bottom and top three teams swap leagues at the end of the season. There are no major financial incentives, but the competition is stiffer in the upper league and local bragging rights are important.
As you can see, there are a lot of Eastside teams in the league right now. As the largest club in the region, Eastside has a large representation in the leagues. But, as the leagues become more popular and other clubs form, the Eastside teams will undoubtedly lead the charge in forming a new league format. They have a fairly large field complex and host one of the largest tournaments in the country every year.
Finally, we get a quick look at some of the other sports facilities in the region.
Thanks for visiting again!!