Collegiate athletics are winding down, but one local team is getting ready to kick off its season.
The Mississippi Fuego Women's Premier Soccer League team is gearing up for its first season in the Hub City.
With players from Southern Miss, William Carey, JCJC and PRCC, the team creates a competitive atmosphere for the players during the offseason.
"It's a really great opportunity for all these girls from different universities and high schools, and [for] those who've played and aren't playing, just to come together and just play soccer, and enjoy the game," says Fuego head coach Danny Owens.
Owens says it's much different than his nine year tenure as William Carey's head women's soccer coach.
"Just kind of putting this team together and getting going straight away is probably the most different, difficult part of it. But also it's been a lot of fun."
Despite having spent little time together, William Carey forward Darby Nettles looks forward to building chemistry with her new teammates.
"I'm very excited. At first I didn't know hardly anyone, but we've become really good friends."
Southern Miss centerback Temple Hughs describes the team as diverse, and says it's good to play with other high caliber players.
"It's just good to get to know different people and where they come from, and it's also good to play with really good players from each university or each school. It's just a lot of good competition out here."
Owens agrees, and says the high level of competition is good for the game as a whole.
"It's a great opportunity for our girls to be able to train, and keep playing, and then just for the Hattiesburg area to have this level and quality of competition. I think it's great. It's great exposure for the game."
The Fuego play their home opener on Saturday at JCJC against the Georgia Revolution at 6:30 p.m.
For more information on the Fuego, visit their website at http://www.wpsl.info/team/index.php?tid=141.
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