UPDATE (12/7/2019) – The Colts are en route! According to a Facebook post Friday, the football team is getting to attend this year’s 10U national tournament in Florida after all.
“We appreciate everyone who donated whether it was in person, cash app, or through Facebook it is very much appreciated,” the post said.
ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — A local community football team has qualified for a national championship. But now the organization is hoping the community can help pay for the trip.
The Virginia Colts have been around for just three years, created to challenge kids more and create change in the surrounding community.
“It’s great, it’s a great brotherhood, great program,” Colts player Darrion King said. “On and off the field we spend great time doing great things with each other.”
Co-head coach Joseph Mesadieu says the Colts have become more than just about playing football.
“Just to give kids something to do on the weekend. Something safe in our neighborhood. Because the world we live in today, it is what it is, so we’re just trying to make a better environment for our kids to grow up in,” Mesadieu said. “We don’t want them to think this is just rec football. We’re preparing them for their lives. We’re trying to teach them how this world is going to be and you have to put in what you get in.”
One of those lessons is perseverance. The team won their conference two years in a row but fell short at the state level.
“They were heartbroken, but they didn’t make excuses. They just came back the next year wanting to work,” Mesadieu said.
The third time was a charm. The team won state, then regionals and advanced to the national level, qualifying for the 10U tournament in Florida.
But they need help getting there.
Mesadieu says it’s nearly impossible to go on the trip without help from the community.
“Our parents, they’re dedicated, they’ve been with us the whole year but we need more than just the Virginia Colts family to be able to pull this off,” Mesadieu said.
The Colts’ coaches and parents are looking to raise money to sponsor the trip.
“They work hard on the field end and we try to work hard on the back end as far as the finances and the fundraisers to help get them there.” Colts’ administrator Katrina Henderson said.
One mother sees this trip as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“A lot of them have never even been on a plane, let alone some of them not even out of Virginia,” Danielle Mitchell said. “So it’s a big deal for all of us.”
The team’s goal is to raise $6000 by December 6. For more information and how to donate, visit the Virginia Colts Facebook page here.
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