Gavin Baker commits to national champion Franklin Pierce University

Gavin Baker commits to national champion Franklin Pierce University

[May 1, 2024 – Harmon, Guam] Guam’s Gavin Baker, a senior at Barça Residency Academy in Arizona, committed to two-time defending NCAA Division II National Champions Franklin Pierce University Ravens during a signing ceremony recently held at the Arizona campus.

“I am extremely grateful that I am able to continue playing the sport I love while pursuing a higher education, and blessed to say that I am a new member of the Ravens family,” said Gavin Baker via E-mail. “Knowing that Franklin Pierce is a two-time defending championship team, I feel ready to rise to the level of competition they bring to the table.”

The Ravens went undefeated in its past two seasons that culminated in back-to-back national championships, according to the FPU Ravens Athletics Web site. In the 2023-2024 season, the Ravens finished with a 21-0-2 record, and a 100 percent winning percentage in its Northeast-10 Conference matches. The team scored 73 goals in 23 matches and kept opposing teams to just a 0.68 goals allowed average. In its 2022-2023 season, the Ravens finished with a 25-0-1 record, scoring 92 goals in 26 matches. Opposing teams were kept to a 0.35 goals allowed average in that season. The team’s only loss in the last three seasons came on Oct. 23, 2021, a 1-0 loss to Stonehill College. Following the 2021-2022 season, Stonehill College accepted an invitation to NCAA Division I, according to the Stonehill College Skyhawks Web site.

“We are thrilled to announce Gavin Baker as a new addition to our program for the upcoming season,” said Travis Brent, Head Coach of the Franklin Pierce University team, through a university news release. “Through our rigorous recruitment process, we have identified Gavin as a tremendous person, pupil, and player with great potential. We believe that Gavin will help elevate our program to new heights. We are excited to welcome him and look forward to seeing the positive impact he will bring to our team.”

Baker, who previously attended Father Duenas Memorial School for two years before moving to Arizona following his acceptance into the prestigious Barça Residency Academy, is an integral part of Guam’s youth national teams. Baker captained the Guam U17 National Team in its 1-1 draw with Malaysia in the AFC U17 Asian Cup Qualifiers in 2022 and later was called up to the Guam U23 National Team for the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualifiers in 2023.

“My experience at the Barça Residency Academy and playing for Guam’s national teams have been invaluable in shaping me as a football player and a person,” Baker said. “Barça provided me with top-tier coaching and a high performance environment. The Guam National Program afforded me opportunities in international competitions against teams with diverse playing styles. My experiences at both have molded me into a well-rounded player with the skills, mindset, and leadership abilities to make a significant contribution to the university’s program. I’m excited to bring my passion for the game and my experiences to help elevate the team to new heights.”

According to the university’s news release, Baker’s “exceptional skills and dedication to the sport have earned him a coveted spot on the top-ranked Division II team in the United States … completing his junior and senior high school years at ASU Preparatory Academy in Casa Grande, Ariz. with Summa Cum Laude grades, (Baker) showcased his exceptional abilities, catching the attention of collegiate recruiters across the nation.”

Baker started playing the sport when he was six years old for the ASC Trust Islanders FC. He also later played for Wings FC and one season in the elite youth league for Tumon Typhoons FC.

Baker entered Guam’s National Academy program when he was eight years old and successfully matriculated onto Guam’s National Teams.

“On behalf of Guam Football Association, I would like to congratulate Gavin on his achievements,” said Joe Cepeda, GFA General Secretary. “We look forward to tracking his progress in this exciting opportunity at the intercollegiate level and continuing to support his footballing aspirations.”

Baker is the son of Lloyd Jr. and Roanne Baker and has one brother, Carlos, and one sister, Thea.