Justin WaltersJul 8, 2016, 5:50 pm

Hudson Valley Buccaneers not taking chance to play football, and win, for granted

Team begins 2nd year with semi-pro World Football Federation on Saturday

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We still have a few months until football returns, but in Ulster County, dozens of athletes are anxious for the opening weekend of the World Football Federation.

The 12-team semi-pro league is just in its second year.

This season, the Hudson Valley Buccaneers say they're ready to take the league by storm. And though it may not be the NFL, these players play like it is.

"I've been training all offseason for this. A lot of guys have been in the gym. We're hungry. We want that win,” said center Dave Baloy.

The Kingston native didn't get an opportunity to play football in college, but the Hudson Valley Buccaneers are giving him a shot now.

"Most of the guys are driven by the love of the game,” said head coach Adam Ramirez. “...They come on their own time. Nobody's paid to play semi-pro football."

Players range in age from 18 to mid-40s, Ramirez says.

"You always dream about it, coming back as a younger kid and relive your younger days,” said quarterback James Jones. “This gives us a shot as an older adult."

In their inaugural year, the Buccaneers finished with two wins. Saturday is the beginning of a new season against the New England Soul at Dietz Stadium.

"This year we're going to make it. Make some noise in the league,” Baloy said.

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