By Rob Krone| April 18, 2021 at 10:42 PM EDT – Updated April 18 at 11:37 PM
WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) -The Watertown Red and Black, the Watertown Wolves and the Watertown Rapids all provide a high level of entertainment for local sports fans on the gridiron, ice and diamond.
With the arrival of the South Jeff FC on the local sports scene, area soccer fans will be afforded that same opportunity with a team that plays a 12 game schedule in both the spring and the fall.
South Jeff FC opens it’s 2021 UPSL season Sunday, April 25th, as they travel to Rochester to face the Roc City Boom in their first ever game. It’s the culmination of 2 years of hard work for Trevor Perry to bring his dream of providing a higher level of competition for area players to their own back yard.
”This is something that, again, I tell everybody this community needs. It’s been starving for it. We’ve got similar levels of hockey, similar level of baseball and football and with the growth of soccer to educate the community and to just bring the fans something of the same caliber as the other sports,” said Trevor Perry, General Manager of South Jeff FC.
For the 11 players on the roster that grew up locally and played soccer in the North Country, the opportunity to play such a high level of soccer in their own back yard is a dream come true and an opportunity they thought they would never have.
“Yeah, well it’s cool to have this level of soccer here at home. You know, it’s nice not to have to go abroad to find it, and it’s cool because it’s something for the youth kids in our area to look up to. It’s exciting times here,” said Chris Rowland, a South Jeff FC player and IHC graduate.
”It’s awesome. Just getting ready for college soccer, it gets me ready conditionally and I get to play with all my buddies which I’ve played with over the past couple of years. Just getting together and having this atmosphere, just playing really hard every day and getting better as a team, so it’s really good,” said Riley Williams, a South Jeff FC player and South Jeff graduate.
Craig Wilkinson will lead the team into their first season of competition. And the former Medaille and Colby Sawyer coach says he is pleased with the roster that has been put together, with a mix of high school players, college players and players from Fort Drum.
”For me, it’s definitely exciting. I’ve been waiting for this game ever since we started talking about the UPSL, so it can’t come here soon enough. These guys are excited about it. We’re training 3-4 times a week right now, so everyone’s excited. There’s a buzz going around town about it, so we’re just looking forward to getting on the field and performing well,” said Craig Wilkinson, South Jeff FC Coach.
South Jeff FC opens the home portion of it’s 12 game spring schedule Friday, May 7th when they host FCY New York at IHC with the contest set to start at 7 PM.