Lincoln Park Barons
Who are the Barons
Taking their name from one of the team’s former bars (Der Red Baron), the Barons are Lincoln Park’s Old Boy team.
While the speed of their games may be a little more on the leisurely side, they do not lack the blood and thunder of the contact: many of these old boys played in eras where scrums and rucks were dark, foreboding places.
These days, the games are often an excuse for a half-time whisky tasting.
Whether you are an LPRFC alum or just an old rugger looking for the occasional game, our Old Boys welcome you you join us.
The schedule is haphazard and typically a couple of games a year, but one of the regular fixtures is when we answer the call of the bagpipes and strut our stuff at the annual Illinois St. Andrew’s Society Highland Games.
Old Boy Player Profiles
Discover more about some of the players who have played for Lincoln Park throughout our history.
We’ve now been going for over 50 years and over that time, we’ve had an eclectic group of characters who have worn the green and gold jerseys.
Each has their own story to tell. Each was a part of the history of our club.
Years with LPRFC: 2011 - 2017
How did you first start playing for LPRFC? I played with Darren Wall in College at Nebraska and once I moved up to Chicago he kept asking me to come out and play. After about 6 years, I hadn't heard from him that preseason so I called him up to get the details and went to training that Thursday.
What's your favorite thing about rugby? The camaraderie and family that you build with your teammates, think we exemplified that culture at Park.
What's your favorite memory from your LPRFC career? The D4 run to the MW Finals....that and being a handful of votes away from sweeping the awards at the banquet, taking home Forwards MVP and the Bevins, but missing Backs MVP by a handful of votes.
What is something you love about living in Chicago? That we can all walk to the bar, no one has to worry about driving.
What was the last LPRFC match/event you attended? 50th Anniversary Banquet
If you ever took pride in playing for Lincoln Park you will read on. I played for 15 years with this team and I take great pride in the honor that I had to play with Park each and every year. When I retired from playing this year (Saturday, notwithstanding) I felt compelled to give something more.
As of spring I set up a reoccurring donation to Lincoln Park for $10 a month. I set it and let it go. I quick clicked through a link and I don’t have to bother with it any more. One good pint, glass of Scotch/wine to raise up to the team once a month. It is a small something that still means much to the team.
As a rugger you all know that a team of 15 working together can do so much more than an individual. And as the 50th reminded me, we are a team of hundreds. Hundreds of alum and legends who take pride in our days with Park. We still have the chance to give to our team.
For the curious, yes our team still charges dues for each season. The dues are well over $200 per season. And though dues have gone up, so has the cost of everything else. The cost of practice fields are over $200/hour. Homes matches average $1,150 per home match, and because we have teams in two divisions that are not always home on the same weekend there are often 4 or more additional home matches to pay for per season. These are the minimal expenses that the dues are expected to cover.
However, there is more that is needed to keep our beloved Park on par with the rest of the Midwest. No I am not talking about a field house or owning a pitch, that is unrealistic in Lincoln Park proper. But most other Midwest teams now pay for coaching. The other teams have scrum sleds and plentiful tackling pads and gear. These are things needed just to try to keep up.
But we are Park! We have always been professionals on and off the pitch. We have come to expect better for our team on and off the pitch. The team has some goals that would make us proud to help achieve. Recently, though mostly player expensed, our team took the opportunity to travel to Ireland to practice against a semi pro team from Ireland. Having gone myself I can tell you that this was no tour. We practiced twice a day for most of the short duration. We played more rugby in the 3 days than we have on any tour this team has ever taken. It was a fantastic learning experience to be coached by international coaches and compete with international players. It helped most of us achieve another level. We could make this more than a once in a life time opportunity.
Lastly, I had the opportunity to look at the books. Our team is a certified 501(C) (3) organization. The books must be accurate. Unfortunately, that means the donations received was accurate and quite embarrassing. It is embarrassing for both the active team that needs to reach out to us to help preserve the stories, songs and legends, and for us who have left this team as if we were the Lions. Simply put: IT IS THE ONE THING THAT THE LIONS DO BETTER THAN LINCOLN PARK.
Join me. Let’s change that. Let’s raise one pint a month to our beloved team.
Your brother in arms,
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