SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- It’s a story you’ll see on Western Mass News.
A youth football won a regional championship over the weekend, but now they need your help to compete in the national tournament.
The parents and coaches said with so much negativity in Springfield lately, here’s a group of young people doing great things while representing the city.
Now they’re just hoping you will rally behind and support them.
With Thanksgiving this Thursday, most families are traveling or getting ready for their holiday plans.
But on Tuesday night, players with the 14-U Springfield Tiger football team are practicing for the AYF tournament, this after they won the title of New England champions over the weekend.
Their parents and coach, David Zuokiewicz standing by proudly.
"It’s great for Springfield to compete in a national tournament, to earn their way into a national tournament, to show that you can compete with other teams across the country," Zuokiewicz said.
Coach Zuokiewicz told Western Mass News the team consists of 13 and 14-year-olds, all from Springfield and the surrounding areas.
“They worked really hard for this all year long, they’ve been out here since July. A very unselfish group; they really put a lot of hard work into this, all they care about is the team rather than themselves," Zuokiewicz explained.
Shawndez Buckhannon has been with the team since he was six-years-old and said this opportunity goes beyond the sport.
“The brotherhood that you build with your teammates, the same relationship we have on the field is off the field, we all hang around and goof around with each other. It’s just one big brotherhood," Buckhannon said.
The brotherhood, that hopes to raise all the money necessary, to compete at the national tournament next month in Florida.
Now asking for your donations to make it possible.
Among those donating, City Councillor-Elect Malo Brown, who’s challenging his colleagues to support these Springfield youth by putting the city in the national spotlight and for good reason.
“As far as city officials, and everyone who really cares about this community, I would please ask for you guys to donate $100...match my $100 please," Brown said.
The team plans to stake out at the intersection of Boston Road, Parker Street, and Springfield plaza this coming weekend from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
If anyone wishes to donate to the youth football team, the Springfield Tigers, you can click here.