Local Pop Warner team to travel to Florida for National Championship
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Ten days.
“Every kid who plays in Pop Warner dreams of playing at Nationals. These kids are living that dream because they’ve worked their butts off,” said the head coach of the Reno Sparks Pop Warner 14U Miners, Matt Lewis.
After beating a team from California 8-0 to win the Pacific Northwest Regional the team of 30 7th and 8th graders from Northern Nevada extended their perfect season.
Now, the team is in exclusive company.
This weekend the club will be in Florida facing off against seven of the country’s best programs.
“After a year without sports these kids are very eager to be successful,” Lewis said. “10-0 proves that they’re on their way.”
Lewis has been in the Pop Warner game for 15 years and he says this year’s group is as resilient as he’s seen. Players have been banged up, more than a third of the team had never even played football before this year. But those obstacles haven’t gotten in the team’s way.
A handful of these kids have been playing together since they were five years old.
“(Playing together for so long) helps a lot. You feel more connected as a family,” said Spencer Schmitt who plays on both sides of the ball.
The Miners get two guaranteed games in Florida: one Saturday, and another the following Tuesday, December 7.
The group hopes to play in a third game for it all.
Families have shouldered the financial burden but could use some help. To make a donation click here and enter ‘14U Miners’ in the ‘team sponsoring’ space.
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