It’s been a true building from the ground up when it comes to the West Coast Soldiers.
The Soldiers started up as a team back in 2013 in the United Football Federation of America (UFFOA) and ended up getting into the postseason Year 1. Every season since then, West Coast has taken its program to another level and the Soldiers are looking to do the same as they enter its first season in the Florida Football Alliance.
West Coast, which is owned and operated by Ed Meyer, originated out of Hudson, FL and initially played their home games at Veterans Memorial Park before shifting its home venue to Land O’ Lakes before finding a more permanent venue at where they dub ‘The Sticks’ off Denton Ave in Hudson, FL.
Now heading into what might be the organization’s toughest challenge yet, head coach Troy Ruthruff knows what the Soldiers will be up against Week in and week out.
“We know that as the level of our competition continues to raise, we understand that our focus, preparation, and overall play has to rise as well in order to be competitive in this great league,” Ruthruff said. “We are very much looking forward to the new challenges that we face in the FFA. We expect to be placed in the same division as the back to back league champion Southwest Florida Gladiators. We come in with a very talented team from the top to the bottom, and believe that we can compete with any team on any week. It promises to be a fun year and we come in knowing that we will have to earn our respect within this league, and that is exactly what we intend to do.”
The Soldiers and Southwest Florida Gladiators are likely to be placed in the same division in the FFA, as both clubs reside out of the Tampa Bay area and each team has seen its fair share of success in the past few years. One thing that has been missing from the Soldiers’ championship case is a league title, in which In came close twice in the UFFOA in 2017 and 2018.
Now with likely battles against the Gladiators, Dunedin Pirates and first-year teams like the Bay Area Panthers, Orlando Generals, the Soldiers know now that they must play at a higher level than they’ve ever been at before.
West Coast returns a very talented offense, led by quarterback Nick Martino. Ruthruff returns offensive coordinator David Bailey, who helped orchestrate a couple of the team’s best offenses in franchise history. Along with the return of a bevy of other starters, the Soldiers have a chance to do something special in the spring of 2020.
“For the 2020 season, the 2-time National Champion West Coast Soldiers are joining the FFA,” Ruthruff added. “In the past 5 seasons, the Soldiers have a record of 45-10, with three division championships, two conference championships, back to back National Bowl Champions, with back to back undefeated regular seasons and back to back league championship appearances. We are very excited to compete in one of the best and most talented football leagues in the country.”