The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce Grand Rapids FC supporter and Grand Army member Rob Shafer as the 2016 Global Scarves Supporter of the Year.
Shafer accumulated the most votes in an online voting contest that included nine finalists from across the NPSL. The Grand Army will receive 50 free custom scarves from Global Scarves as a result of this award.
“We are very excited that Rob Shafer has been named Global Scarves Supporter of the Year,” Grand Rapids FC founder Matt Roberts said. “He and the Grand Army have done a tremendous job of creating a true home field advantage for our players and coaches. The atmosphere that Rob and the whole crew creates is second to none, and we couldn’t be prouder that Rob has received this award.”
Shafer grew up in Hastings, Michigan, located just south of Grand Rapids. Exposed to soccer in elementary school, he was instantly hooked. He played soccer throughout high school until transitioning into a coaching role at Cornerstone University from 2009 to 2012, where he also attended and graduated with a degree in Kinesiology.
During the early bar room discussions of forming a soccer club in Grand Rapids, he felt the fire building inside of him and couldn’t wait to get started. Officially recorded as GRFC’s eleventh Founding Member, Shafer has been there from the beginning. He was also an integral part of forming The Grand Army, an independent GRFC supporters group, helping it grow by leaps and bounds in just two short seasons. Almost immediately, he took on the head capo duty with full force and without hesitation. Shafer is a fierce and dedicated supporter of Grand Rapids FC that has given his time, heart, and soul to The Grand Army. Not only does he lead the chants on game day, he has helped organize events, create tifos, and help spread the word about his beloved club.
Shafer’s favorite Grand Army memory comes from the night Grand Rapids FC clinched the NPSL Midwest Great Lakes West Conference title.
“The Grand Army was in rare form when we hosted AFC Ann Arbor this year. The noise of our voices and drums not only at kickoff, but throughout the full 90 minutes, gave me, and many others, goosebumps. What we do as the Grand Army can’t be boiled down to one person. We are one collective voice behind our boys in blue.”
ABOUT THE NPSL
The NPSL is a national league that operates in the 4th Division of the U.S. Soccer pyramid. NPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup through their affiliation with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). The NPSL remains one of the largest national leagues in North America.