Young football stars with the San Pablo Cowboys Youth Association are set to play in their division’s championship game in San Jose on Sunday, and with a win the team will earn a trip to nationals in Florida.
This season, the impressive Cowboys’ Cadet Blue Football team (ages 8-10) topped their divisional bracket with a 6-2 record before winning three straight playoff games.
The Cowboys next travel to San Jose this Sunday to compete in the league’s Northern California Division II championship. They face the San Francisco 49ers (11-o) at Oak Grove High School.
The winner of that game will qualify for a trip to the American Youth Football & Cheer National Championships in Orlando, Fla., which are set to take place from Dec. 3 through Dec. 12.
The kids on this team are not just great players but great students, Coach Andre Williams said. Of 23 student athletes, 20 are on the honor roll, Williams boasted.
“This group fell short in the semifinals last year to the South Sacramento Vikings, which was heartbreaking to them,” Williams said. “Coach Sutherland gave a speech that day. He said, ‘take this loss to heart and use it as motivation for next year, but never forget this feeling you have now!’ We met that same team in the first round of playoffs this year and won 46-0.”
Winning Sunday isn’t the only obstacle the team faces in terms of heading to the East Coast. The players need the community’s help toward raising funds for the trip, which Williams called an “opportunity of a lifetime.”
The team is asking community members to consider donating funds toward airfare, ground transportation, hotel and meals.
“These amazing athletes have worked very hard to make their dreams a reality, but they need the help of caring people like you to help make it happen,” the team said in a statement.
The San Pablo Cowboys is a nonprofit organization in its second year of existence.