Corbin Williams sits in the bleachers wearing one of the new jerseys he designed [ Corbin Williams | Contributed ]
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College kid gives Tiger Shark jerseys new look

The one good thing about hurricanes and pandemics is that sometimes they lead to a new soccer team look.

That’s what happened in the case of Corbin Williams, a 19-year-old senior at Ohio University, whose love of the game, and his sports marketing ambitions, have led to the creation of a special soccer kit (a fancy word for jerseys) that the Tiger Sharks boys varsity can now call their own.

The new jerseys Corbin Williams designed for the Tiger Sharks. [ Corbin Williams | Contributed ]

The roots of the story begin when Williams was still in high school, five years ago, first in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, and then later during the coronavirus in 2020.

“I come down to Port St. Joe a lot during my breaks off school and during the summer of 2020 I was here for almost six months,” he said. “During that time I started to play soccer daily with a lot of students and St. Joe locals, where I met coach (Brian) Burkett and a number of players.”

Now it’s important to understand just how devoted Williams is to the sport.

After he graduated high school at age 16, he spent one year on campus at Ohio University in Athens, followed by 15 months in Bayreuth, Germany, where he began pursuing a second bachelor’s degree in sport, business, and law from The University of Bayreuth. 

It was during his time studying in Germany that Williams played in the 7th and 8th divisions of German soccer which are part of a hierarchy that make up an interconnected league system for association football throughout the nation. The top three professional levels are atop this pyramid of soccer teams, and below them the semi-professional and amateur levels.

Basically, Williams loves the game.

He’ll be graduating in May from Ohio University with his bachelor’s in sports management, and then next year, will complete a second bachelor’s degree in sport, business, and law from Bayreuth through a joint program with Ohio U.

His devotion to his field of study is illustrated by the fact that he was part of a four-member team that recently won the Sports Marketing Association Annual Conference Case Study Bowl held in Tampa, beating out teams from 21 other colleges and universities. 

In 2019, he was involved in the startup of the Akron Vulcans semi-professional futsal team, a type of soccer played indoors on a much smaller hardcourt, where he was responsible for ticketing and gameday operations. Williams owns stock in several community-owned soccer teams including Real Murcia (Spain), A.F.C. Wimbledon, and The Minnesota Aurora.

Basically, Williams loves the game.

Now over those few years he picked up jersey design as a hobby, and in early 2023 one of Williams’ friends shared with him that she had told the St. Joe players and coaches that he designed jerseys.

In fact, Corbin has won several jersey design competitions with the USL Show, Springfield A.S.C, and the San Diego Loyal (USL) Locals supporters group. He has a deep interest in designing kits that embody various visual elements that tell a story about the team and its community.

Enter Coach Burkett.

“We had met him after the hurricane when his family came down to assist in doing some remodeling for a home,” he said. “He came out to the field and trained with us for several weeks. Some boys maintained contact with him after he left.”

Now Burkett’s boys wear standard purple and white jerseys for play, with purple for home and white for away games, and none of that has changed.

The back of the soccer jerseys that Corbin Williams designed. [ Corbin Williams | Contributed ]

“I wanted to do something special this year, we’re struggling, and we came up with the idea of doing a third jersey,” he said. “I wanted to have something, especially for our eight seniors, more for special games and special events, not necessarily as a home jersey. A special jersey because these boys have worked very hard during high school and travel season.”

So between March and August, Burkett and Williams had long discussions about creating this special soccer kit. 

“I sent him the school crest logo and told him what I wanted to see on them and to add everything else,” said Burkett. 

And so Williams set about creating a tiger skin pattern and incorporating shark teeth into the sleeve trim, along with the team’s name and color scheme. 

Corbin Williams also designed a gray version of the design for the goalkeeper. [ Corbin Williams | Contributed ]

“After collecting feedback from coaches and players, I finished the final version at the end of April 2023,” Williams said. “We put it on hold for a while but finally ordered 30 sets of jerseys, shorts and socks from Icarus ( for the team at the beginning of September, and they arrived at the end of October.”

Burkett paid for the limited run of 45 kits, 30 for the team, and the rest for individuals to be able to keep. The boys had the option to buy a personalized one with name

“They look fantastic,” said the coach. “It could replace our home jerseys at some point but we haven’t gotten there. “It’s something we’ll wear to pick up the tempo, to signify opponents that we’re wearing to celebrate.”

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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