DENVER -- Some young FOX31 viewers reached out to the Problem Solvers for help getting to their national championship football game.
The Montbello Falcons White 12U team was recently named the Colorado state youth football champions. It's a huge honor for the team, especially considering they have not had a great record in the past.
“At first, no one really believed in us,” seventh-grade safety Randy Cano said.
This season, the team earned a trip to San Diego to play for a national title. The only problem is the team can’t afford to go.
“I wish we could just go, but it’s a lot of money,” eighth-grade center Armando Bonilla said.
The trip costs $10,000 for the team. Montbello is a low-income area and the families do not have the extra money to send the kids.
“We don’t have the funding that other teams have,” coach Naamon Owens said.
“We worked so hard to get to where we’re at right now and if we don’t get to San Diego it would just be like a letdown for us,” Bonilla said.
While playing a national title would be fun for the boys, getting to the game is about more than just a football game.
“It teaches me a lot of stuff like responsibilities and how to be a better person,” Bonilla said.
Parents and coaches are hoping what the young men learn on the field will also serve as life lessons off the field and keep them out of trouble, unlike so many of their peers.
“We want them to be confident and respectful citizens, and that’s what we’re shooting for, to change the dynamics of things that are going on in our community,” coach Charles Sagere said. “This trip to San Diego is just going to be something that they can see as a way that there could be something better.”
While learning disappointment is an equally important life lesson, for the Montbello Falcons, achieving something great could be life-changing.
“It would mean a lot because we’ve been working really hard to make it to that level and we need a chance to show off what we’re made of,” Cano said.
The deadline for the team to register for the game is Dec. 17. It needs to raise the money before then and a GoFundMe page has been set up.