By Jude Allume Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) – The Syracuse Strong are hoping to become Syracuse’s next beloved minor league ball team. The semi-professional football organization was created in 2014 and has enjoyed quite a bit of success so far.
In just their fourth season in existence, the Strong have already won two league championships and traveled to New Orleans last season where they won a Glory Bowl Championship against the Michigan Hurricanes. They reached New Orleans by way of personal funds from members of the team. It’s the same way they pay for uniforms, for equipment, for pads and for registration fees among other cost associated with playing for the team. To them, it’s a small cost in to pay in order to do what they love.
“It’s just the love of the game,” says Rashad Burns, a running back for the team. “At the end of the day, it’s not about being paid. It’s about having fun, doing it with your friends and you can create a lot of friendships. A lot of people you don’t know come in to semi-pro and you can just build a brotherhood. So just coming out every week, knowing the next guy on the side of you, in front of you, behind you, they got your back. So every week, you know that person got your back, you’re in a dog fight every week.”
The team hopes citizens of Syracuse will notice their success and the passion, dedication and commitment with which they play, and in time embrace them as they do with Syracuse’s other minor league clubs.
“Our effort here is to be on par with the local minor sports teams,” says Khalid Bey, the teams board president. “We spend a lot of time trying to build the brand to ultimately build our gate. It’s all about building our audience, trying to make a spectacle and creating something different for the city.”
This season, the Strong are off to a three and one start and looking to end their season with another championship. Their next game will be at home, Saturday June 30th, in Syracuse as listed below:
- 6/30/18 Versus Broom County Stallions, Valley Sports Complex – 100 Amidon Drive
- 7/7/18 At Troy Fighting Irish
- 7/14/18 Versus Carthage Revolution, Valley Sports Complex – 100 Amidon Drive
- 7/21/18 Versus Watertown Red & Black, Valley Sports Complex – 100 Amidon Drive
- 8/4/18 At Broome County Stallions
- 8/11/18 Versus Auburn Pride, Valley Sports Complex – 100 Amidon Drive
- 8/18/18 Versus Troy Fighting Irish, Valley Sports Complex – 100 Amidon Drive
- 8/25/18 At Carthage Revolution