Three Local Teams Heading to Pop Warner National Championships

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

Pop Warner football is a way of life for some here in the Brazos Valley and a few of the areas best teams are heading to the national stage.

"It's exciting for the whole town, these kids are ecstatic," said Jimbo Spiller with the Franklin Cowboys.

The Franklin Cowboys will be heading to Orlando, Florida this weekend to play in the Pop Warner National Championships.

"This is the first time that we've had a team advance this far in the playoffs and even get a shot to play for a national championship," said Spiller.

But they're not the only local team heading to the sunshine state.

"They've been working really hard, they're real focused and we're ready to go to Florida and compete," said Chase Clemmons with the College Station Raiders.

The Raiders will also be competing for a championship trophy.

"It's a good feeling seeing kids that you've worked with. You get to see them grow, you see their talent develop, and you see them develop," said Clemmons.

But it's not just local football teams that are looking to wrap up the game's biggest honor.

"What is football without cheerleading! The boys have got to have somebody there to cheer them on," said Amber Gibson with the Bryan Buccaneers Cheerleaders.

The Buccaneers Cheerleaders will be representing the area as well as they too go for a national title of their own.

"It's very rewarding for all of us to know that our kids are out there working hard. Not only on the football field or on the sidelines but also in the classrooms," said Gibson.

"Even though we compete against each other all year long, it's good to know that we can come together and make this trip together," said Spiller.

"It's a great feeling seeing the Brazos Valley go to Florida and represent Texas. That's the best feeling in the world," said Clemmons.

Now comes the hard part for the local teams, raising enough money to travel to Florida in such a short amount of time.

"It's going to take us $33,000 to get out there. We're still needing a good $10,000 to get it all together," said Spiller.

"It's a little bit expensive, but it's going to come together," said Clemmons.

A coach's confidence in a community known for giving back.

Teams are raising several thousand dollars for the trip to Florida by holding everything from BBQ lunches, yard sales, and donation drives.

The Bryan Buccaneers Cheerleaders with hold a yard sale, raffle and BBQ at the Bethel Temple Church in Bryan on Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
You can contact them at 512-757-3418.

The College Station Raiders are taking donations at the Foot Locker at the Post Oak Mall or you can call 806-535-8951.

And the Franklin Cowboys team is taking donations at the Franklin First Star Bank or you can call 979-255-7749.

You can watch ESPN's coverage of the games at ESPN3.com


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