In the Fall of 2016 the two met. Michael, an up and coming Freestyler and Kyle, a newly appointed Varsity Coach connected through Caitlyn Shrepfer, a worldclass Freestyler. During his time with Como Park high School, Kyle's big belief is interjecting flavor into the style of play. He reached out to Caitlyn to see if she would come and speak to his girls, give a demonstration, and a small clinic. Caitlyn was nice enough to accept and brought her friend, Michael Bliss, along for the show as well.
Right away Michael and Kyle hit it off, exchanging views about soccer, futsal, and Freestyle, both expressing how important those aspects of the game were. Over the course of 2017, the two colaborated on a number of things trying to come up with an idea that they both loved and how they could help expand the Freestyle community. We are excited to introduce this new line of clothing with our unique take on football, and freestyle.
I grew up playing soccer, and had my sights set from an early age on playing professionally.I was able to secure a place playing soccer for Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota.Through a combination of factors including multiple injuries, the college game wasn’t everything I thought it would be. In the summer of 2015, between my freshman and sophomore seasons, I had just finished an off season workout at the gym back home and was going to the roof to juggle the ball. When I opened the door to the rooftop area, I was left in shock – two freestylers training in front of my eyes in Madison, Wisconsin. They were doing tricks that I thought were impossible. After some contemplation I decided to approach them and ask what they were doing. This was the pivotal moment. They opened my eyes to freestyle and showed me that it is a sport on its own, with competitions, professional athletes, and its own lifestyle. I stayed and trained with them that day and from that moment forward I was hooked.
I went back and played my sophomore year of college soccer but freestyle was always on my mind. After finishing that second season, I realized I had to make a decision and put all my effort into one or the other if I was really going to excel at either. I chose freestyle and never looked back. Two years later I placed in the top 16 at the USA national freestyle competition in New York and I can’t wait to continue pushing my limits in this beautiful sport. There are so many reasons I love freestyle, but above all else I think the community is truly special. It is the most supportive community I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of, and there is a worldly connection between freestylers that is hard to explain. I have friends all over the world, and regularly communicate with other freestylers, some of whom I have never met in person. I am beyond excited to apply my passion for freestyle to provide quality clothing for the freestyle community and anyone who enjoys this type of lifestyle.
My son was a late bloomer and started playing at the age of 12. We took a really non conventional route to learning the game. At least it was non-conventional for the typical kid growing up in the United States. I was introduced to the game of futsal and loved the free flowing creative nature of play. I spent the next three years of my life, not enrolling him in "club" soccer but renting gym space for my son and a handful of others and letting them just "play". We did two hours of pick up 4-5 days a week. Through my years of coaching and being around players, I have not seen the same kind of development that I saw in my son anywhere. It really made me look at things differently. We took a very different path, a path that many don't take.
Was it right? The biggest thing that I saw over the course of those three years was how much he improved, but more importantly, how much fun he was having playing. All he did was play. Not a single cone. Just he, the ball, and a group of players that were all there to have a good time. When I met Michael and heard his story about his experience at clubs and playing in college, I knew that we would have a synergy in what we do. We saw eye to eye about what it really is to develop a player, and freestyle can play a big part in that. I love the creativity that freestyle adds to the game. It truly is a beautiful thing.