Photo | Mobile United’s last local championship men’s team wearing the uniform kits they will be wearing in 2020.
While the AFC Mobile soccer team announced its season has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, another local squad is still hoping to see action this summer.
It was announced earlier this year that the Gulf Coast Premier League (GCPL) was adding Mobile United FC for the 2020 campaign. The club will compete in the first division of the GCPL.
AFC Mobile had played the last three years in the GCPL. However, they were moving to the National Premier Soccer League before officials cancelled all action.
The GCPL organizers, though, are taking a wait-and-see approach. On the league’s Facebook (@gcplsoccer) page, Executive Director Sean Esker said the league would push the starting date to May 12. “Thank you for your continued support and we hope to see you all this summer,” he concluded.
Mobile United Executive Director Wayne Etheridge now tells Lagniappe action is still scheduled, but just a little later than originally planned.
“The GCPL was making a decision so I didn’t want to give you bad information,” Etheridge said. “They announced the tentative start date is June 6th, but it is predicated on the social distancing being lifted.”
Established in 2010, Mobile United is entering its 10th year of operating as a youth organization and currently stands as the longest serving youth club in the Mobile area.
“We are excited for this opportunity to continue Mobile’s representation in the GCPL,” Etheridge said. “Mobile United FC’s goal in being part of the GCPL is to showcase our local college players who return home for the summer, area college players who play for Spring Hill and the University of Mobile and graduating high school seniors who will be starting their college playing careers.”
“Our goal is always to develop and highlight local talent,” head coach Kevin deLange said in a news release when joining the GCPL was announced. “There are so many quality local players who go on to compete in college beyond the Mobile area, who can contribute to the team, as well as graduating highly skilled area club players.”
According to the news release, Mobile United joins the ranks of many youth clubs that have created senior teams to further the development of their up-and-coming players looking to continue their careers.
“It’s encouraging to see the collective effort by the youth organizations around the Gulf South adding another element to their clubs developmental process.” said league President Jeremy Poklemba. “This has been a part of our vision since day one and we’re excited to have Mobile United join that movement.”
Etheridge said a tentative schedule has been put together, but without any confirmed dates. After opening at Pensacola FC, Mobile United will host the Gulf Coast Rangers from Baldwin County. Villa del Rey restaurant is serving as Mobile United’s sponsor.
The club is set to play its games out of the University of Mobile complex known as “The Jungle.” For more information on Mobile United, please visit https://www.mobileunitedfc.com. Details on the Gulf Coast Premier League are available at https://www.gcplsoccer.com.
College track updates
* The Sun Belt Conference has announced its indoor track and field all-conference teams. Among those honored were 14 University of South Alabama student-athletes for their performances at the 2020 Sun Belt Indoor Championships.
Christian Ellis (triple jump), Autavia Fluker (shot put), Noah Mumme (pole vault) and Rickssen Opont (shot put) earned first-team all-Sun Belt honors after winning their respective events.
Ellis bested his program record that he established at last year’s league championships by jumping 15.73 meters in the triple jump. Fluker defended her title in the shot put by winning the Sun Belt title for the second straight year throwing 15.34 meters. She also placed third in the weight throw with a personal best of 18.83 meters. Mumme improved on his third-place finish from last year’s league championship by winning his first Sun Belt title in the pole vault. He jumped a career best 5.11 meters at the championships. Opont also won his first career Sun Belt title by winning the shot put (16.47 meters), and placed sixth in the weight throw with a career-best mark of 17.57 meters.
Emilie Berge (pentathlon) and Carolien Millenaar (3000 meter, 5000 meter) took home second-team all-Sun Belt accolades, while eight individuals claimed third-team honors: Connor Allred (pole vault), Harry Barthelemy (high jump), Silje Lindstad (mile), Hanna-Mai Vaikla (pentathlon) and the women’s distance medley relay team consisting of Cierra Hedrick, Shay Lee, Adele Magaud and Abbey Wietenbeck.
* Angel Peterson and Chelsea Kendall from the University of Mobile women’s indoor track & field team competed at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Championships. Peterson, a junior from Saraland, qualified in the high jump while Kendall entered the long jump.
Peterson finished 16th overall with a mark of 1.60 meters (5 feet, 3 inches). Kendall placed 23rd with her mark of 5.18 meters (16 feet, 12 inches).
* The all-academic individuals and teams for the NCAA Division II Cross Country season have been announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Spring Hill College’s Meghan Sullivan and the women’s squad appeared on both lists.
Sullivan, a senior, finished in third place at the 2019 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Championships with a time of 20:07.9 over 5,000 kilometers in Rock Hill, S.C., and in 71st place at the 2019 NCAA Division II South Regional Championships for 67 points at 25:00.83 over 6,000 kilometers. She is an English major with a minor in Business.
The SHC women’s team finished 2019 as the SIAC Conference Champions while holding a 3.1 team grade point average. In only their team’s second appearance at the Regional Championships, the Badgers finished with a total of 368 points and a combined team time of 2:06:33 in Lakeland, Fla.
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