State champ Cal City youth need help getting to nationals - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

State champ Cal City youth need help getting to nationals

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CALUMET CITY, Ill. (FOX 32 News) -

The undefeated Calumet City Thunderbolts face their greatest challenge yet - getting to the National Championships this weekend in Orlando, Florida.

In November, the Thunderbolts won the State Championship. Even though the football team is undefeated, they are now the underdogs.

"When you have an undefeated season it's actually a great thing for the young men," Coach Phil White said. "A lot of these young men went through a lot of adversity this year."

They hope to make history now, and compete to win the national title. But they need your help. The team had to raise $25,000 to make the trip. So far they have raised $15,000, leaving them $10,000 shy of their goal.

They are an exemplary group of players, ages 11-14. They've overcome many hurdles to maintain the grades to play. They finished the season 10-0.

Lesley Miller, a mother with a child affiliated with the team, said raising the funds is tough because there are many different living situations.

"These are a lot of single parents, foster parents and so we're just working together to give the team the opportunity to do something else to show them a different side of the world."

The team has until Friday, Dec. 6 to raise the money. Otherwise, they won't be able to compete in Florida.

"This is why I'm trying to make their wish come true because I really want to see them down in Florida and I really want to play the best competition in the United States," assistant coach Marcus Green said.

The team practiced under the lights on the turf field at Brother Rice High School. The school offered the team the space to prepare for the tournament, should the generous donations from the community provide them the chance to compete.

When asked what it would mean to him to compete against some of the best in the world, quarterback Michael Kindle said, "It's going to be the best time of my life."

He is not alone in his hope to represent their community.

To donate to the Calumet City Thunderbolts and for more information, visit the team's official website.

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