An undefeated Pop Warner football team in Compton has been invited to play in the National Youth Championship in Florida next month, but they are short on funds. After spending Sunday raising money, the team of kindergarteners and first-graders has $700 of the needed $15,000 for travel costs for the 20 boys. Raising the rest of the money will be difficult, but San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman is stepping in to provide help.
Monday morning, Sherman retweeted the story by Fox 11 and asked how he could get in contact with those in charge of the team. He explained that he respected good football and that he wanted to help. Sherman also specifically mentioned the fact that these student-athletes have had to maintain a 3.1 GPA to play.
As he wrote on Twitter, Sherman said that this establishes good habits young. He later said that he would just help through the GoFundMe page that was established to help the team make the trip to Florida.
As it turns out, the 49rs CB was not the only NFL figure that wants to help this Compton-based team. Former Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, who now works for NFL Media, responded to Sherman and told him to let him know if his help was needed.
Following the post on Twitter, Sherman did in fact aid this football team. According to the list of donors, the 49ers CB donated $5,000 to aid in this trip. Another anonymous user joined him by sending another $5,000. The campaign has now reached more than $23,000 after setting an initial goal of $15,000.
With this money, the young team of football players can now head to Florida for the National Youth Championship and attempt to finish off an undefeated season with a championship victory. They have won the division Super Bowl two years in a row, but heading home from Florida with the win would be another step in this program.
"It's the chance of a lifetime. Many of them have never been on a plane, nevertheless traveled across the country. And so exposing at such a young age travel and other states and that kind of national platform creates dreams for them as they get older to aspire to do big things and that it's possible," parent Phenice Hurtado said, per Fox 11.
Following the donation by Sherman, as well as the others that contributed, this dream has now become a reality.
(Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty)