SPRING HILL- There’s a new team in town when it comes to adult amateur football in Hernando County.
The Hernando County Hawks, founded by Austin Webster, are starting up operations this summer and are looking to start league plays in the winter-spring of 2023. The Hawks have applied to join the Federation Football Alliance (FFA), a league based out of Coral Springs, FL.
“As the newest team in Hernando County, we are looking to rebuild the semi-pro football culture in the area,” Webster said. “With so much young talent that may have gone without a chance to play at the next level, we are looking at the Hernando County Hawks as a stepping stone to the next level while being a powerhouse at the semi-pro level.”
Webster said that official tryouts will be hosted at Deltona Park on August 27th & 28th from 3pm-6pm and also on September 3rd & 4th from 10am-1pm. It’s not the first time Hernando County has had semi-pro teams hit the scene, as there have been clubs like the Hernando Eagles, West Coast Bears, and Brooksville Ballers in the recent past. Now it’s the Hawks that look to be the next new kids on the block.
“Football has always been a sport where people can go to have fun, relieve stress, and all-around grow as a person,” co-founder Isaiah Howard said. “Who says that has to stop after the high school level? That’s what we are looking at the Hawks, as a place where people can come and enjoy football after the high school or even college level.”
The Ballers last had a team back in 2016 before ceasing operations altogether but were able to win a championship in 2013 as part of the United Football Federation of America. The Hawks look to join the FFA, a coalition of teams throughout Florida, which already includes nearby teams like the Southwest Florida Gladiators (Bradenton), Dunedin Pirates, and the Tampa Bay Thunder. Hernando County looks to play its home games at Ernie Weaver Park in Brooksville.
“Not only are we going to be building a culture around brotherhood and family, but also a culture where all ages can come out and feel a sense of belonging together in a community through football,” co-founder Travis Loder added. “We have a great group of leaders with integrity being led by select coaches that have a high standing with the community as well. At the end of the day, it’s all about bringing everyone together and the tool we’re using is football.”
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.