The Dragons put their soccer shoes on, stretch their legs and run to the field. Everyone stands in position and waits for the whistle. This is the biggest game of the season.

Founded in 2002 by Peter Stilling, The Madison Dragons S.C. started after Ricks College became BYU-Idaho and competitive teams were not funded anymore by the university. Some students who wanted to compete outside the college got together and started the team.

The Dragons now compete for their position at the Men’s Intermountain Conference, a championship organized by the West Coast Soccer Association. BYU-I students make the team and find ways to fund themselves without a university sponsor.

“We pay for our own expenses,” said Marvin Santos, a sophomore studying computer information technology and one of the players on the team. “We look for sponsors outside, asking.” It is a requirement to be a BYU-I student to be part of the team, though they represent Rexburg and Madison County.

The Dragons have played against teams like Brigham Young University, Boise State University, Utah State University and more. This year, they started a project to compete with the women’s team starting this fall season.

“I’ve been in the team for a year and a half now,” said Hayden Hoffman, a senior studying biology and one of the goalkeepers of the team.

Many students join the team to compete at a greater scale, be active in sports and have a great time.

“I really enjoy it, it’s great,” Hoffman said. “It’s really fun to be able to be a little bit more competitive and have a good environment here.”

In 2016, The Madison Dragons made it to third place in the Men’s Intermountain Conference.

“Our goal is to be able to make it to regionals this season,” said Dragons Coach Paul Teichert, a senior studying recreation management. “Giving our squad, I think we have a good chance of that.”

The Madison Dragons played against BYU here in Rexburg on Oct.6.

Grey clouds surrounded the area, it was a cool, crisp 45 degrees Fahrenheit and strong, cold winds blew across the soccer field. As soon as the second half started, both teams attacked and defended, running along the field, kicking the ball, seeking to score.

Both teams are now tied with two goals. Ten minutes after the start, BYU scored their third goal and a foul by the Dragons’ goalie gave up another goal. Later, the Dragons’ defense cost the team the fifth and final goal scored against them. The Madison Dragons lost the game.

Even though they lost the match, the season has just barely started. They will play many games and go for their goal of making it to regionals. “The team is getting better every time,” Santos said with a smile.

To find more information about The Madison Dragons S.C. Go to www.madisondragons.com or www.facebook.com/MadisonDragonsSC.