Savannah Spirit SC hosts South Carolina United Bantums in a friendly Saturday. [Dede Cargill]
SAVANNAH, Georgia – When Savannah Spirit SC joined the WPSL as an expansion club, it was filled with optimism.
And despite the uncertainties with the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent cancelation of the 2020 WPSL season, Savannah’s enthusiasm never wavered.
With restrictions in Georgia now lifted, the Spirit is ready to get back on the pitch and make a difference with the local community. Saturday, the Spirit will play exhibition matches against South Carolina United Bantams, a fellow 2020 WPSL expansion side.
The matches, a futures match at 5:30 p.m. EDT followed by the first team WPSL match at 7:30 p.m. EDT, will be played at Benedictine Military School.
Saturday night will also serve as a fundraiser for local non-profit organization Camp Sunshine. The camp provides enrichment programs and summer camps for children fighting cancer. Working with the local community has always been at the forefront of the Spirit’s goals as a club.
“When we started this team, we thought about the fact that we really wanted to get community buy-in, be involved in the community, and be the spirit of Savannah,” Spirit co-owner D.J. Spisso said. “Camp Sunshine allows these kids to be kids again. During the two-week camp in Rutledge, Georgia, the kids get to horseback ride, swim, play games, all in the presence of medical professionals helping them manage their treatment.”
Being a member of the Spirit requires more than soccer-specific commitments. Spisso said that the club’s partnership with Camp Sunshine is just the beginning of a broader plan to participate in community outreach programs.
“Being a member of our team, players will be required to participate in two community service events throughout the season,” Spisso said. “Number one that helps us get out in the community as a club, but it will also help our players meet other people in town. If they decide to stay here in town, they could possibly get a job or continue to work with a non-profit.”
The Spirt is eager to see its players in action. With an impressive mix of former and current collegiate players in addition to some of Savannah’s brightest young players, the coaching staff is hoping to see the team’s hard work pay off on Saturday.
Coach Chris Davidovicz, who previously coached with former WPSL club Atlanta Silverbacks, is excited to see the team’s core in action.
“If we get our top group all together and on the same page, I’d be comfortable putting us up against anybody in the country,” Davidovicz said. “We’ve got the right mix of athletes and personalities, and right now we are just earning each other's trust.”
With collegiate talent hailing from some of the top soccer powers in the southern part of the country, including South Carolina, Memphis, South Florida and Vanderbilt, the Spirit fields a roster eager to challenge many of the WPSL’s top clubs.
For additional information on Camp Sunshine, visit the organization’s website: www.mycampsunshine.com.