NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. — One of the most successful college teams in the country calls the First Coast their home. The UNF Surf Team hopes to represent their community on thee national stage and earn its support at the same time.
"Oh man, it's cool," says UNF senior C.J. Rogers, "I was talking with someone not too long ago and even in high school I knew that UNF was kind of a powerhouse."
Not just kind of, UNF IS the dominant surfing program on the East Coast. In early April they won their 8th straight East Coast Championship and are heading to California for the national tournament, but they need some help.
The UNF Surf Team is a club sport, which means that they don't receive the same type of funding from the university that other division 1 teams would receive. But it doesn't mean that they practice any less, in fact, on top of practice time they have to raise money to compete in the sport they love.
Currently the team is raising money for their trip to California for nationals. They have a GoFundMe page, which you can visit here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/send-the-unf-surf-team-to-california but they raise money in a variety of ways.
"Every year we print our shirts and do merchandise sales purely to fundraise," says Rogers.
"A lot of people support us and we're grateful for their support," says UNF senior Charlie Current, "it's very expensive, so support from the school and everyone in the local community, we're so happy for that."
Senior Sophie Falzone won the Women's Division at the East Coast Championships. She's also a graphic designer and designed the hoodies that the team will wear at nationals.
"I'm not in a sorority and a lot of people aren't in fraternities, so it's our own thing that we have," says Falzone, "people creating a legacy and continuing our winning streak with East Coast champs is part of that."
Continuing a legacy that they hope to take to the next level with the program's first national championship.
"To win a national championship for us would be amazing," says Current, "we represent the whole east coast. We're going to put the east coast on our back and show California and the whole nation that we're the best in the nation."
The UNF Surf Team won the East Coast Championship for an 8th straight year, you can read the university's recap of that tournament here: https://www.unf.edu/newsroom/2022/04/surf-team-east-coast-champs.html