If it's possible for a sports organization to leave 2020 on an all-time high note, FC Wichita has done just that. During one of the most trying times in history the Wichita based soccer club has found togetherness.
It's said that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. So when the covid-19 pandemic shut down the country in March, the FC Wichita directors sprung into action, says FC Wichita Technical Director Bryan Perez. Perez credits both his staff and parents in the youth organization for working together to build unique programming. That platform ultimately provided the community with a daily mental and physical regime that went well beyond the game of soccer.
"When we found ourselves in a shutdown it gave us the time to really realign our values and shine as a company," said Perez. "We found that many of our employees and youth academy families were excited to take the initiative to build important resources and programming. It was awesome to be a part of and was truly a moment where we just might look back and say we improved our club culture forever."
The culture Perez speaks of proved to be the inspiration needed for FC Wichita ownership to put more resources behind the momentum.
"It was great to see that the work our staff put in was well received by so many in our community," said FC Wichita CEO Blake Shumaker. "It proved to create a tremendous amount of support and it has truly become one of the driving forces behind our commitment to take the next steps for Wichita's soccer pathway."
Shumaker, who's also a co-owner of the Wichita Wings professional indoor soccer team, says the club is excited to share some new partnership news and growth plans for soccer in the City of Wichita in early 2021.
Below is a list of some 2020 milestones and important dates in January of 2021.
Joined the girls Elite Clubs National League/Regional League and announced a joint initiative to begin a partnership with Kansas Rush Wichita.
With the senior team shut down for the summer the U20 academy boys competed in their stead during the Heartland Super Cup, a tournament which included semi-professional teams from numerous leagues around the region. While the team was very young and consisted of 12 current high school age players from the youth academy, they managed to win 5 consecutive games before losing in the cup final to Cedar Rapids of the United Soccer League.
Wichita is selected to host 3 ECNL league play weekends. Teams travel from out of state to compete at Stryker Soccer Complex.
Wichita hosts 2 ECNL league play weekends. Teams travel from out of state to compete at Stryker Soccer Complex.
FC Wichita hosts 1 ECNL league play weekend. Teams travel from out of state to compete at Stryker Soccer Complex.
High School Boys: FC Wichita academy players sweep the local Kansas HS Player of the Year awards. Cade Martin (Valley Center HS), Lalo Derath (Wichita East HS), & Raul Gerhardus (Maize South HS). Those selections make it 2 years in a row after Ethan Doud (Eisenhower HS) & Ivan Quezada (Wichita East HS) achieved it last season as well. All player are currently members of the FC Wichita U19's who intend to represent FC Wichita in the summer of 2021.
FC Wichita co-hosts a College ID event for local players. Event is live streamed to coaches across the country. Within just 30 days of the event 16 athletes are offered a scholarship.
FC Wichita Academy boys announce that every single player in the 2021 graduating class was offered an opportunity to play college soccer.
The club will have press releases on January 9, 18, & 19.