A group of semi-pro football players decided to start their own team last year. And after months of work, planning and practice, the Marshfield Sharks are ready to kick off their inaugural season this Saturday. And their the journey has been far from easy.
"It's definitely been quite an undertaking," Marshfield Sharks president Sean Dumais said.
Dumais and co-founder Kirk Prescott played semi-pro football last year in Wausau.
But they weren't happy.
"The team wasn't as dedicated and we wanted to play for a team that was more dedicated," Dumais said. "Kirk came up with the idea that he wanted to start his own team and he wanted to do it in Marshfield because Marshfield is more of a football town than where we came from."
The team's nickname was inspired by the local YMCA swim team, known as the Sharks.
"They support us," Prescott said. "The community just took a hold of us."
But finding other support became an obstacle. The planning started last fall when Dumais filed paperwork for the sharks to become non-profit.
"Getting organizations to sponsor us and help us out was probably the biggest thing that we had to overcome," Dumais said.
"We couldn't find anybody and we said, 'Let's go back and start knocking on doors, cuz we had to knock on doors.' That itself was scary," Prescott said.
The Sharks started practicing in November, with plenty of spots on their roster left open.
"It was just us. It was like, we were looking like 'are we just going to go 11 on 50 other people?' We just came to a realization that we were going to do it, we don't even care," Prescott said.
The Sharks even put out ads on Craigslist to recruit players.
"(It) brought some people in which was very surprising, we didn't expect that to happen," Dumais said.
"Once February came around, we said, we've got to do it no matter what."
Dedication is what Dumais and Prescott wanted all along, now their dedication to the Sharks is what's turning their idea of starting a team into a reality.