LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — For the Desert Oasis Junior Diamondbacks in Las Vegas, playing in nationals next week is the icing on the cake when it comes to their season.
The 8 and 9-year-old players have already accomplished what they set out to this season - win state and go on to win the regional championship.
It was no easy task, but they made it look like one, wrapping the season with a record of 8 and 1.
And although the players earned the opportunity to play in the nation's largest youth football championship in Orlando next week, they still had to pay for it.
"We try to do what we can, willing to do whatever it takes to try to raise money for these boys to get to Orlando," said Cedric Allen, the team's coach.
The players come from all areas of the Valley, and for many families, the trip was out of financial reach. So, the families decided to get creative with fundraising - selling everything from plates and t-shirts to seafood. They also had a GoFundMe. In total, the efforts helped raise nearly $10,000, about as much as the trip to Orlando will cost the team.
"It's going to be something they'll never forget," Allen said. "That was the whole goal, and that's the whole reason we do whatever we can to make this possible because this is going to be an experience unlike any other."
The team will likely begin play in Orlando on Monday.