No team in Bay County has ever won a President's Cup National Championship. In fact, no team from Bay County has ever played for a President's Cup National Championship- until now, as one local squad is looking to make history.
The President's Cup is one of the highest levels of youth soccer there is, and earlier this month, the U13 Bay United Sharks won the United States Youth Soccer Region III President's Cup to seal up their bid to play for the National title.
On Thursday, the ladies hit the field to perfect their skills before the head to Nationals, where they'll face three other regional winners in the U13 age group from across the country. Sharks head coach Jon Rhodes says to reach this level of competition is huge not only for the girls, but the community as a whole, and that his team is ready for the stuff competition that awaits them.
"Hopefully the magnitude of it doesn't hit them until we won it, just like every other trophy, because you don't want nerves to play a part in it," said Rhodes at practice. "You want it to be for the love of the sport. When they play they do very well when they are relaxed so if they actually realize what they're playing for, they might get nervous and it might affect their game so, the fact that they're so laid back and 13 year old girls and kind of silly, that's good for us."
"We're go big or go home and we fight from the beginning to the end," said Sharks captain Savannah Gibbs. "Coach always says that the last five minutes is when you win or lose a game. This is important to all of us. It's dear to our hearts and this is what we do."
Nationals kicks off July 11th in Auburndale, Florida with pool play, with the Championship match held on the 13th.
For more information on helping out the U13 Sharks, you can check out their website here.
For more information on the President's Cup, click here.