photo: The end of a Tallahassee Reckoning scarf showcasing the team’s logo hangs from a table at the club’s announcement event.(Ryan Kelly | WCTV Sports)
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By Ryan Kelly
Published: Jun. 22, 2023
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – They say the road to success can be a long one and unfortunately for many rising female stars in the Big Bend soccer scene that saying has been too literal for too long.
“I almost quit because of the difficulty it took to get here.” Former Chiles standout and UNF defender Layla Thompson recalled the difficulties of traveling out of town for club play.
Tallahassee area talent has often been forced to drive multiple times a week to Jacksonville, Pensacola and even as far as Tampa to be a part of soccer clubs and grow their craft beyond the high school season. Nowhere at home to hone skills beyond the preps level. A hard fact of life Tallahassee Reckoning is hoping to change.
“I was just dumbfounded how they were in the situation they were in,” said Reckoning founder Ashlee Fontes-Comber, a former star at Florida State and longtime women’s soccer coaching fixture including roles with the NWSL and most recently serving as president of the United Soccer Coaches. “It had to happen, it wouldn’t have happened if there wasn’t a need for it.”
The Reckoning unveiled their name, logo and intentions on Wednesday night. Continue to invest in the area’s ever growing soccer culture by empowering and developing female players while finally letting them do what they love to do in their own backyard.
“My family loves to watch me play but it’s always been such an expense to drive to jacksonville or wherever I’m playing,” said Thompson. “Now that I have a chance to play here… I’ll have family friends and be in a place more comfortable to play my game.”
“We have so many incredible young athletes here,” remarked outgoing Lincoln striker and Flagler signee Paige Churchill. “Just being a part of encouraging them and being a part of creating an environment that supports them is huge.”
The club will be a part of USL W, the second level of female soccer in the United Soccer League which they self describe as “pre-professional.” The Reckoning will debut on the pitch in 2024, sharing Gene Cox Stadium with Tallahassee Soccer Club and hoping the community will rally around the new team.
“Why aren’t we investing in our local kids?” questioned Fontes-Comber. “These are the kids you know next door or you grew up with or your best friends kid so getting the community involved is gonna be fun, we’re gonna love it and we’re gonna light it up.”
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