MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Macon State's club football coach says having a college football team in Macon is exciting for the area.
"Middle Georgia is a football and a basketball community and to bring football back to the public college is a good thing for the community," says Dustin Jump, head coach of the the school's first club football team.
A club team is different than a team playing in the NCAA. The players here don't get scholarships; they just love the game.
Players like Jamel Hickey and Holden Copeland, both freshmen fresh off Rutland High School's football team.
Before Macon State started up a team, they thought they might never see the football field again.
"I didn't get any calls from any schools or nothing," says Hickey, who plays quarterback and free safety. "No scholarships. Really I thought I was just going to be another person out here in the street. But they called me. Luckily, God was with me, and I came out here to give it my all."
"I just wanted another opportunity to play," says Copeland, who plays left tackle and defensive end. "High school ball--I had my four years there, and I had a great time. I wanted to come out and try it again, and what better time to do it than Macon State?"
Coach Jump says they're hoping to focus the team around local talent to give those players a second chance to excel.
"There's a lot of key names that were really popular when they were in high school," says Jump. "And that's what we're trying to do is get those kids back out here and play football for us. That way we recreate the hype that was there for them when they were at high school."
The team will play in the NFCA, which while not as strict on players as the NCAA, still requires athletes to maintain a 2.0 GPA. Coach Jump says this team is all about holding each other accountable, which will help them in their future endeavors whether they're on the field or off.
"I'm studying physical education," says Hickey. "I want to try to be a coach for the upcoming kids. I just want to have that opportunity to give back what I learned and just make a better person of myself."
The Blue Storm will play eight games this fall, starting with an exhibition game against Greenville Sports Academy on August 25th at 1 p.m.
That game will be in Macon, but the Blue Storm doesn't have a home field yet so the exact location of the game is yet to be determined.
If you want to know more about the team and see the full 2012 schedule, visit the team's website here.