JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. –
Last year, service members from the 11th Civil Engineer Squadron water and fuel systems maintenance shop here started playing soccer during their designated physical training on Friday mornings.
Now, these individuals are known as the Civil Engineer Futbol Club and are preparing to enter the base intramural league.
"We started going to DC United games last year and I've played soccer for 15 years," said Senior Airman Philip Vohwinkle, 11th CES water and fuels maintenance journeyman. "So I asked others in my shop if they wanted to play soccer on option day and it just started being a usual thing."
The group started as a small group of Airmen from their shop and, over time, came to include members from all over the squadron.
"There are about 15 of us with jerseys," said Staff Sgt. Shane Simpson, 11th CES water and fuel systems maintenance craftsman. "It seems that the other members of the squadron could be forming another team so it could be the start of an everlasting rivalry."
Each practice helps contribute to unit cohesion, stress relief and their skills as a team.
"We exchange witty banter, talk about what we did the night before, then next thing we know we are sprinting for the ball," Simpson said. "It's a great workout for speed and endurance and it's become healthy competition that we look forward to every week."
The CEFC members have also traveled to multiple states and Canada to support their favorite professional team and say they enjoy atmosphere of soccer as well.
"My favorite thing about the team is the culture it brings," Simpson said. "We have members that were stationed overseas in Germany and England where soccer is very big and they brought that culture with them here."
Rather than focusing on the competitive aspect of the sport, these footballers focus on the enjoyment it brings them.
"What sets our team apart is that we play to have fun," said Vohwinkle. "We're here to have fun so we've got nothing to lose."