Local youth football team makes bid for nationals - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Local youth football team makes bid for nationals

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Before many of these kids got to high school, they played in youth football leagues like the one in Springfield.

These pint sized players are some of the best in the country and they need the community's help to get them to the national stage.

On the same big field as the high school kids they look up to, these nine-year-old football players learn the game of football.

Their coach, Wayne Barbour told Western Mass News that he puts the same emphasis on studying math as he does studying routes.

“These young men have worked hard all year, they have put the work in on and off the field. We have a lot of scholar athletes. Some kids score perfect on their MCAs. Not only are they smart in the classroom, they are smart out here on the football field as well.”

For those kids who aren't as strong in school, they partner with local colleges to get their grades up. This program focuses on keeping kids out of trouble and active in the community.

“This program is very important. It builds structure, it’s a brotherhood a family. It keeps them out of trouble, it keeps them active and we really preach just being a student athlete.”

The U10 and U14 teams in the Tigers program are undefeated this season and have a shot at playing in the national championship in Florida in December.

 “When you get to Florida you're playing on a whole different stage. And that experience is priceless.

As priceless as the experience is, it costs big bucks for families to travel to Florida right before Christmas, so the coach started a Gofundme to try and help offset the costs.

“The parents do as much as they can the kids do what they can on and off the field. We do other fundraisers throughout the course of the year, and it’s really important that the community is behind us in support.”

Things like collecting donations around the city tomorrow and a pasta dinner at the American Legion on November 6 are all going towards these kids and this experience.

Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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