FC Wichita returns home finally, eyeing Heartland Super Cup Semifinals

Charles Chaney
cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com
Butler County Times Gazette

There’s been a lot of setback due to COVID-19. For FC Wichita’s training and season, that was none more prevalent for when the WPSL and the NPSL canceled their seasons, leaving the pro-am team without a season.

CEO Blake Shumaker wasted no time turning his attention to prepping his youth clubs for the future.

“You know, you’re 60 days behind and we’re playing some catch up,” Blake Shumaker said.

The teams went straight into training 3-4 days a week, trying to get the players back into match shape. Their ability to do so is why FC Wichita has already won their group in the Southwest Region of the Heartland Super Cup 2020.

“The guys trained hard and we have some guys such as Kieran Laking and Jared Robbins of the senior team with a handful of the academy guys,” Shumaker said.

FC Wichita powered through their group with wins over Liberal, Garden City and Dodge City. They outscored their opponents 10-2 in their first three games. They host Dodge City, the club who finished second in the group. Typically, the top two finishers face off in an opportunity to head to the semifinals. However, FC Wichita already clinched the group by leading Dodge City by five. Even with a loss, FC Wichita will have won the group by two points.

“We’re in a good position on Saturday night,” Shumaker said. “We are going to see some guys play that will help us.”

One of those you may see is Andover’s Seth Lewis. The soon-to-be junior is in the FC Wichita Academy and has been a part of the 04 club, which is your 16-17-under team.

“COVID-19 for Seth has been tough,” Shumaker said. “This summer is usually when they do their College ID and get out in front of coaches.”

“Seth is a guy who’s a great prospect for college as he has the skill and the academics they’re looking for.”

FC Wichita will turn around next week and host the Arkansas Pumas on Saturday, Aug. 1 at Stryker Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. If they win, they’ll host the Championship on Sunday, Aug. 2 at 2:30 p.m. at Stryker against either Sunflower State FC or the Iowa Raptors, a USL2 club.

“Most of those semifinal teams are full of professionals and college athletes,” Shumaker said.

While they roll out the professionals and Division I college guys, FC Wichita will be relying on some key pieces from their professional side and some youth stars, such as Lewis and Ivan Quezada of Wichita East. Quezada is considered one of the state’s top soccer prospects.

If you want to catch Lewis and FC Wichita on Saturday, head over to Styker Soccer Complex in Wichita at 7 p.m. This is a free event.

“We’re hoping to bring some good football our fans once again,” Shumaker said.