The Norcross Pumas started in the Spring season of 1998 as an effort by Officer Tim Heiberger of the Norcross Police Department to give the under privledged and at-risk youth an opportunity to play soccer in metro Atlanta, Georgia.
The Norcross Pumas in their first season of play were named the Norcross Galaxy and played for the Norcross Soccer Association. The name the Galaxy was selected by the association, and came from the Major League Soccer Team, "The Los Angeles Galaxy."
The Pumas then known as the Galaxy was an under 14 soccer team that began a losing streak in the early Spring of 1998. The Pumas were determined to win and practice went from two to three times per week at their request. Prior to their playing soccer, many of the players had prior encounters with the police, but after they began to play the great sport of soccer, their attitudes and self esteem changed for the better.
After their third game, the Galaxy-Pumas began winning every game and took the first place trophy in the Norcross Soccer Association. The Pumas were then placed in the State Tournament to compete for District Champion. In June of 1998, the Galaxy-Pumas won the District Championship and went on to compete for the Georgia State Championship title for the under 14 division. The boys were determined to win and in the final game, the Galaxy- Pumas lost 3-1.
The Galaxy-Pumas took the Georgia State Finalist title (2nd Place) after their first season of play in regulation/organized soccer.
The Galaxy-Pumas continued to practice during the Summer of 1998, and in the fall of 1998, the Galaxy -Pumas resumed play as a local traveling team with all wins and one loss. The Galaxy-Pumas at the beginning of the fall season changed their name to the "Norcross Pumas". The boys idolized the professional "Unam Pumas" whom is one of Mexico's professional soccer teams, and Jorge Campos whom was Unam's Goal-Keeper.
The Norcross Pumas began receiving well deserved recognition from the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution", Atlanta Georgia's local newspaper and they received a Proclamation from the Mayor and City Council of Norcross, Georgia. Norcross, Georgia is located approximately 8 miles northeast of Atlanta, Georgia. The Norcross Pumas is predominately a Latin soccer team but welcomes young men of every race and creed.
In the Spring of 1999, the Norcross Pumas resumed another season of play and a winning streak, and only lost one out of ten regular season games. The pumas were still a 14 and under soccer team but played-up in the under-16 division.
The Pumas took first place in the under-16 division in the Norcross Soccer Association and again went to the Georgia State Tournament to compete for District Champions. The Pumas won the title and were named the northern district champions of 1999 in the Georgia State Tournament.
The Norcross Pumas then withdrew from competition due to a clerical error with two of the players registrations forms after a team vote. The Pumas are dedicated to playing together as a team and refused to play after tournament officials declined to let two of the players participate due to lost registration forms.
Currently this fall, the Norcross Pumas are practicing very hard and plan to go back to the Georgia State Gatorade Tournament to compete for the title of State Champion.
Any assistance that could be given to the team would be greatly appreciated, i.e.- soccer balls, socks, shorts, cleats (old or new).
Comments or suggestions e-mail Coach Tim at Pumas@Bellsouth.net