Matt Williams, a 1996 graduate of William Chrisman, is the general manager and head coach of the Sugar Creek Shockers minor league football team.
Matt Williams, a 1996 graduate of William Chrisman, is the general manager and head coach of the Sugar Creek Shockers minor league football team. The Shockers feature a roster that includes players from Chrisman, Van Horn, Truman, Fort Osage, Blue Springs, Blue Springs South, Lee’s Summit North and Raytown high schools and are a member of Alliance Football League’s Gateway Division in the American Conference.
The Shockers, in its second season in Sugar Creek, finished the 2010 regular season 7-3 and will host an AFL playoff game at 7 p.m. Saturday against Arkansas Warcats at Kaw Field in Sugar Creek. Williams took time to talk with The Examiner about the Shockers, Sugar Creek community and the goal of minor league football.
1. What is the biggest misconception about minor league football? About 60 percent of our team comes to us living an at-risk lifestyle. Most of the players played high school football and some played college, but they fell through the cracks.
2. What are some of the positives of a minor league football operation like the Shockers? Semi-pro football is a chance to be involved in something positive and regimented. It also is a chance to network with people they normally would not, which opens opportunities for jobs and long lasting friendships. Semi-pro football is used to influence our players and fans to look forward to something positive, challenging and exciting. Our goal is to impact the lives of those around us.
3. What is it like for the Shockers to host a home playoff game in Sugar Creek? This year is a lot better than last year because we have a better team. We have a lot more fan support, too.
4. What is the fan experience like at a Sugar Creek Shockers game? It would be — that’s a good question. I don’t really get a chance to watch the fans, so you’d have to ask a fan.
5. What should the fans expect from the Shockers (Saturday)? A good, good hard win is what they should expect.