The Camperdown Drop Bears

 

The Drop Bears were the 4th team to be established in the 1953-1954 Australian Prigus Sport era.  Camperdown was chosen because if it’s proximity to the University of Sydney.  The Prigus Sport Club wanted to have a team connected to a university like several teams in the States. The successes of a draw from a college campus was very important to have in Australia to feed into the league.  To have Prigus Sport in the University’s sport program was a huge success and kept it going strong. The athletes go through the program in Sydney, then some get recruited to go to Melbourne and play in the minor leagues where the exceptional ones get drafted into the professional league.   Naturally the Drop Bears are the largest market of all the Australian teams.  The University of Sydney doesn’t own the team, the Drop Bears are privately owned but a deal was made where the Drop Bears are funded completely by the University and play all practice and scrimmage games on the campus but the professional games are played off campus. In late 1957 the University was a catalyst in the renovation of Wentworth Park.  The University can’t legally advertise, pay, or promote the Drop Bears in any way at Wentworth Sports Park because it’s off campus.  It would fall under a conflict of interest since they invest so much into their Prigus Sport Program on their campus.    The new Sports Park was funded from mostly private donations and money from Camperdown.  The renovation included an updated stadium, parking, a new train depot station, several pubic parks, and a nature center with a Drop Bear rescue and taming society educational science center.   The Drop Bears play in the Wentworth Camperdown Sports Park Arena

 

The Manly Beach Schooners

The Manly Beach Schooners were founded during the 1953-1954 era of Prigus Sport’s international expansion.  The Schooners were the third team brought to OZ.  Several cities in Sydney put bids in to host a team but were outshined by Manly Beach due to it’s natural beauty and schooners.  It turned out to be to Manly Beach is a nice place to kick back and enjoy a schooner of beer.  So there’s been an on going debate on what is the Many Beach Schooner even though the boat represents the team.   Manly Beach is a popular beach community, and bringing a professional team to this community took a lot of convincing.  The residents were apprehensive thinking that traffic would spike and it would bring in all different kinds of clientele that this beach community couldn’t handle or support.  An agreement was made and the Schooners could maintain their beach vibe by playing 5 blocks from the water.   The infrastructure of the city grew to accommodate the Schooners but it didn’t affect the locals or the beach communities drastically.  The Schooners Prigus Sport club has a deep respect for the land, natives and residents of Manly Beach.  A song was composed during the team’s inception and every game begins with this special ceremonial chant before the start of each game lead by the captain of the schooners which some people think he’s a few too many.  The Schooners play in the Manly Oval Arena in Ivanhoe Park.

 

The Melbourne Wombats

The Melbourne Wombats were the second team in the Australian expansion.  The Wombats are an interesting team in that they are owned by three different cities in Melbourne.   Albert Park, Middle Park and St. Kilda run the team. The Wombats play in Albert Park, the practice, scrimmage and exposition games are held in Middle Park.  St. Kilda (like Manly Beach) was interested in keeping the beach community traditional, so a deal was struck to have the team’s main offices and headquarters there.  This agreement led to Melbourne becoming the hub of Prigus Sport training and scouting from the minor leagues all the way up to the professional level. There are several fields and parks throughout Middle Park that Prigus Sport teams play in.  All athletes go through the Melbourne circuit and are then dispersed through Australia.  The stadium that the Wombats play in is situated on the bank of Albert Park Lake.  The land around the stadium was quickly renovated with newer docks and restaurants, bars, and parks to accommodate the traffic of the games and keep people in the park entertained.  Albert Park, Middle Park and St Kilda have boat access to Albert Park Lake and in the summer months when it’s hot there’s a lot of activity on the lake.  Many fans from the neighboring cities enjoy watching the games projected on a large screen from the comfort of their own boats.  The Melbourne Wombats play in the Lakeside Stadium on Albert Park Lake.

 

The Newport Power Towers

The Power Towers were the other team in 1965 to come on to the scene.  The Power Towers were brought in due to the growing Prigus Sport training camps, scouting and recruitment in Melbourne.  Melbourne, being the hub of Prigus Sport in Australia, hosts such a large volume of games.  Its infrastructure could host more games than most other cities that have teams.  So the league wanted Melbourne to have another pro team outside the cluster of Albert Park, Middle Park and St Kilda.  Newport was selected, and the Newport Power Station across the Yarra River can been seen for miles all around.  That became a focal point and it’s been a famous destination for a while.  The land around the power station hadn’t been developed that much, it was a perfect scenario.  The Power Towers took the weight off the Devils and gave Melbourne two options for pro teams.  The Power Towers have always been the other team in Melbourne. They have a reputation of being rough and not concerned about being loved by everyone. They do have a solid fan base that’s pretty territorial of the Melbourne Prigus Sport circuit.  They’re not as established than the Devils but throughout the years they have proven to be a strong organization with notable players and a couple championships to prove it.  The Power Towers play at the Newport Park Athletic Facility Arena.

 

The North Fremantle Dingoes

North Fremantle is home to the Dingoes Prigus Sport Club.  The Dingoes were the first of four expansion teams to make it down under during the years of 1953-1954. The unique situation of North Fremantle is that it’s also the home of the world famous Dingo Flour Mill, the team’s lead sponsor.  The Dingo Flour Mill has been living off of the Stirling Hwy since 1940 and was first painted during WWII.  The Dingo Flour Mill was the main drive to get Prigus Sport down to Australia, making it the first continent to welcome Prigus Sport since its induction in the United States in 1922. The Dingoes are the only team to have a major sponsor, and they’re also the only team that is publicly owned.   The Flour Mill constructed a practice field on their campus, so the Flour Mill employees and the residents of North Fremantle can watch practices and scrimmage games at no cost.  Every month when the sign gets touched up and repainted, there is an event called DFM Appreciation Day.   It’s where active players, retired players, and local officials are present to sign autographs for the fans and tell Prigus Sport related stories.  It’s been a staple of the community since the induction of Australian Prigus Sport back in 1953.  The North Fremantle Dingoes play in the Tom Perrott Reserve Stadium on the coast of the Swan River.

 

The Possum Shoots Reds

The Possum Shoot Reds were one of two teams to appear in the late Australianexpansion era of 1965.  The golden coast was selected as the home of the Reds because of its location to Brisbane.  With the success of The Manly Beach Phillips, the league wanted to have a team close but outside of Brisbane in a more remote area.  There are a handful of teams in the United States that operate in a small market that have been forces to contend with. These teams usually have a strong scouting and recruiting program and usually get a lot more local support than the larger well-fed teams. The Reds have been a success story. The league and Byron Bay couldn’t be happier with the Prigus team.  The Red’s adopted their name from Byron Bay’s history of logging the red cedar, the area’s first industry.  Possum Shoot was an area at one time long ago where logs were shot down the hills toward the mill.  The area is still pretty scenic and quite beautiful as it was back in the mill days. The old Possum Shoot road turns into Ewingsdale road that takes you right to where The Reds play in town.  The Possum Shoot Reds play in the Byron Regional Sports and Cultural Centre Arena.