October 2018 Volume 15

The Roper Cup New York Edition

George B. Bell
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The Father Jack Roper Memorial Football Competition was conceived in 1964 by a few past students of North Street giants- Kingston College and St. George's College. This was in honor of a St. George’s alum (who was also a star football player) and priest, Clarence ‘Jack’ Roper. The idea behind this joint sports venture was to capture the symbolism of brotherhood between these schools, with KC being the younger brother. These two high schools have enjoyed fierce competition in various sports discipline much to the delight of both fraternities.

Click here to view Roper Cup Photo Gallery https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ir7nc6ihe9fzzlh/AAASmIn94A5tOmILh9QG6rHXa?dl=0

On September 8th, 2018, Kingston College Old Boys Association USA Inc. (KCOBAUSA) and St. George’s College Old Boys Association North East (STGCOBANE) staged the inaugural Roper Cup New York Edition. Jamaica College Old Boys Association New York (JCOBANY), Calabar Old Boys Association (COBA), and two Local football clubs: Rosedale Soccer Club & Central Brooklyn Soccer Club were invited to the day of family, fun and football.

This event was held at the Rosedale Soccer Field in Queens, NY. The day was initially threatened by rain, but it turned out to be a cool and pleasant day for football. Friends and family of the high schools mentioned, along with fans of the football clubs came out in droves. The atmosphere was ripe for the rivalry that was about to burst onto the field.

The stage was set - tents were erected and schools displayed their merchandise while sweet reggae music echoed from a DJ booth. Fans represented their alumni associations by regaling in their school colors: purple & white, light blue, dark blue, and green & black. There was a certain energy in the air, as this event clearly attracted lots of millennials, the types that do not usually support the more formal events.

The attendance was very encouraging as the organizers welcomed a nice mix of attendees on the younger side, who readily identified with the event. Alumni associations routinely struggle with finding ways of attracting young and new recruits; however, the event appeared to be an oasis for recruiting. Apparently, the "formal thing" (Dinner Dance etc.) just does not appeal to them.

This informal outdoor family style setting was just what the doctor ordered. To top it off, there were lots of food items that were affordably packaged - Escovitch fish, Curry chicken, bun & cheese, beef patties, and potato pudding, to name a few. But it was the veggie soup that was the clear favorite. Yeah man, the soup "sell off"!!

The ref's whistle signaled the end of the first featured match - the masters (over 35) between KC and St. George's, which was very entertaining and ended with KC 3, St. George's 1. It was great to see former high school stars from the 1980s etc. renewing their rivalry from decades ago. KC won the Sydney “Foggy” Burrowes Trophy with Dean Streete (KC) being named the game’s MVP. The under 35 game was naturally more fast paced (no knock on the ‘elders’) and it was won by St. Georges 2 to nil, making them the winner of the inaugural Roper Cup New York Competition. Kendan “Pim Pim” Anderson (STGC) was named the game’s MVP. The first game was a local youth (under 16) game between Rosedale Soccer Club and Central Brooklyn Soccer Club. Notable, both clubs are coached/managed by a Fortis. The scheduled Roper Invitational match between JC Masters and Calabar Masters did not materialize.

The day was a resounding success and this was echoed by all who were in attendance. Thanks to all the members of the UJAA family who came out and supported the event. A very special thank you to the players and supporters of the various organizations involved: KCOBAUSA, STGCOBANE, JCOBANY, COBA, RSC, and CBSC. Congratulations also to the organizing group from both KCOBAUSA and STGCOBANE. They were given one month to pull this off and they did so in fine style. This was a solid first step….good job guys!! Of course, the successes of these events are usually hinged on the level of sponsorship, and for this reason, we want to give a big shout and thank you to Tower Isle ( www.towerislespatties.com) and National Bakery ( aTasteOfJamaica.com ).

The overall responses and feedbacks have fueled the organizers as they already commenced planning for next year’s Roper Cup NY, which is expected to be even bigger and better.

Brian G. Morrison

George B. Bell

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