TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) — Athletes laced up their cleats to show off their skills, hoping to land a spot on Topeka’s arena soccer team, the Topeka Tropics.
The head coach says they only wanted to fill six spots, but about 60 athletes take the field at Stormont Vail Events Center, vying for a spot on the Topeka Tropics roster.
The Topeka Tropics arena soccer team will soon be competing at the Stormont Vail Events Center.
“It sets everything in motion. the fans are starting to get excited,” said JR Bond, owner of Topeka Tropics. “We actually have the turf in the arena, we have football players on the field.”
As this is Topeka’s only professional sports team, the coaches are looking for the right talent.
“We’re looking for guys who want to come back here and use this as a springboard to get them to the NFL, or the CFL, or somewhere higher in life,” said Topeka Tropics head coach Tyus Jackson. “We are looking for guys who want to keep living the dream and who want to come and have fun.”
“It’s a big moment for Topeka. Everything has been very supportive across the community,” Bond added.
“My biggest thing is just finding guys involved in what we’re trying to do and how far we’re trying to go,” emphasized Topeka Tropics athlete Jared Milo.
JR Bond says the team has already signed up 15 players, “they are mostly veterans or highly recruited into division one college players.”
An open tryout Friday to fill out the roster attracted athletes from far and wide.
“Some have come as far as from the west coast, from the northwest, all the way from Topeka’s backyard,” Jackson said. “There are people who are looking for dreams and just finding their chance, trying to get that nitch, trying to find their way in, keep going and compete in something they love to do.”
Milo says there are plenty of opportunities for athletes in arena football: “A lot of people look down on arena because of the pace of the game and the indoor, but it really is an opportunity, the opportunity for film, the opportunity for growth and like I said that it’s a really good environment.”
One that the Tropics hope to last for the long haul.
“We are here for the long term. we’re making an investment in the community and this team will do that for a while,” Bond emphasized. “I know a lot of Topekans say you know they won’t be there in a few years. You can take it to the bank, it will be here for a long time.”
Topeka Tropics’ first game is on March 12.
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