goalWA.net continues a special series of features today with a visit with midfielder / forward JJ Schmeck. JJ is one of the guys who has put on the shirt of the South Sound Football Club. SSFC (“The “Shock”) is a grass-roots community club that has been able to do remarkable things in the greater Tacoma area. The club has played indoors and out, gone to nationals in various competitions and in the summer of 2014 was a founding member of the Evergreen Premier League (EPLWA). John Crouch, the club’s owner, is most proud of the chance his club gives players to take their game to the next level. Here’s our fourth chat with an SSFC player: Made in South Sound: JJ Schmeck.
It’s a great time to check in the South Sound FC player JJ Schmeck. Just this week JJ scored four goals in a single match as his Edmonds Tritons won another match. Schmeck is another example of a guy who is using his experiences at SSFC to get better at the game he loves. We visited with the Orting High School graduate from Covington, WA about his life so far as a soccer midfielder / forward.
“After my first college season last year I was looking for a team to play on over the summer to stay in shape and called Darren Sawatzky, the coach of the Sounders U23. He said to give South Sound FC owner John Crouch a call so that is what I did. I first put the jersey on for SSFC during the indoor season where I got my only minutes on my dad’s birthday which made the day even more special.”
Schmeck got to know some of his Shock teammates indoors, and then moved over to the Evergreen Premier League with the club in 2014. He’s happy with the association.
“Playing for SSFC is important to my career is because it helps me get ready for going and playing at a University with older guys that have more experience. Playing for South Sound has helped me out a lot because I made the Sounders U23 but wasn’t getting minutes with them. Playing with the Shock started to give me more and more confidence in my play because I started to see that I was able to play at the EPLWA level, and when that started to happen my overall play started to increase.”
Schmeck also has traveled to USASA Nationals wearing the South Sound FC kit. He lists it as one of his favorite times with the club. “My favorite memory wearing a Shock kit would honestly have to be when I was able to travel with the U23 team over to Philadelphia to play in nationals. Even though the other clubs weren’t what we were expecting we still made it out of the group stage. My favorite part of that whole trip was when Taylor Jackson scored a free-kick that tied the game and secured us our first ever points at the national tournament.”
JJ is a sophomore in terms of playing status, and as mentioned in the introduction he’s playing with Edmonds Community College in the NWAC. The Tritons are having a great season. “Things at Edmonds are going great. I am having a great individual season as well as the team is having a great season. This season I have the honor of wearing the number 9 jersey for my school. The reason this is such an honor is because that jersey is selected by Coach Brandon Mitalas and is usually given to the person who is expected to have a good season in front of the goal. I have scored ten goals this year and have three assists. I am leading the conference in goals.”
JJ got nearly half of his season total this week. “The last game we played was Wednesday October 15th vs. Everett where I had the best scoring game of my college career. I had a slow start to the game but netted my first goal in the 48th minute. That was only the first of three more to come as I also scored in the 55th, 78th and then the 83rd minute. I ended with four goals and that’s the most I have scored in a competitive soccer game. The team is doing great things as well. With the 7-1 win vs. Everett we took over first place. Next we play the 2nd and 3rd place clubs, and that could help us take the conference title if we get those wins.”
Schmeck seems to be coming into his own. He’d like his next stop to be in Division One. “What comes next for me is hopefully attending Seattle University in the fall and getting to call myself a Redhawk. If things don’t work out there then I will try and play for a school closer to home or maybe make a move out of state. Something that is going to happen for sure is that I will be playing indoor and then over the summer coming home and playing for the Shock and going to Nationals this year and finally bringing home the Cup. I have always had the dream of being a professional soccer player and playing for the Shock is helping me reach this goal.”
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