OKC Energy Keeping It Local In 2018
OKLAHOMA CITY - The OKC Energy's 2018 season is off and kicking with a team featuring more home-grown talent than ever.
The Energy features players from 10 different countries and nations, but this year's team still very much has a local flavor. Four guys are from the OKC area, including Energy new-comers Shawn Mclaws and Bryan Byars.
“For me it was a no-brainer, home state, home city,” said Byars, Energy Keeper.
"It's kind of a full circle, I never would have thought I'd be playing professional soccer in the state of Oklahoma, but now that it's happening, it an incredible thing,” said Mclaws, Energy Defender.
They are teammates now, but back in the day the two played against each other in high school. Byars was at PC North and Mclaws was at Deer Creek.
"I was definitely trying to score on him, trying to make him look bad, that was definitely my job,” said Mclaws.
Now they're trying to advance their careers in their old soccer stomping grounds, all the while showing younger guys that you don't have to leave Oklahoma if you're serious about soccer.
“It kind of shows the younger kids in Oklahoma, that look, Oklahoma is here to stay in the pro game and they're always looking for homegrown players,” said Byars.
"These are my people, Oklahomans, Oklahomies I guess you could say. Definitely want to reach out to the youth in the area, get them involved in soccer, and grow the sport in the area," said Mclaws.