WASHINGTON, DC (7News) — UPDATE: As of Saturday at 3 p.m., the community's contributions eclipsed the $25,000 mark, which was the goal listed in the GoFundMe.Do 6-year-olds have a football league?
Yes, the people are smaller, but so is the football. And in the D.C. area, the Marshall Heights Bisons 6U Pressureboyz team is the best.
They’ve won 11 straight games, allowing only one touchdown by an opposing team and they’ve won a slot in the national championship in Kissimmee, Florida.
Metropolitan Police Department Officer Greg Evely is the team's head coach. He spoke to 7News' Sam Ford on Thanksgiving and told Ford the team only had one issue, but it was a big one --they were $25,000 short of what they need to get the kids down there, including room and board for a week.
“Here we are now, trying to raise funds,” said Evely. “Most of the kids we have here, can’t afford to get this opportunity to make it to Florida. This is a lifetime event for a lot of these kids.”
7News saw them practicing on Kelly Miller Middle School's field in Northeast Washington in the Marshall Heights neighborhood. Among the parents, Keith Lymore Sr. was there with his son, Keith Jr., who turned 7 last week.
Senior told us when he was 12 he got to go play in Florida as part of a Marshall Heights Bisons team then.
“We played 20 years ago,” he said.
Junior is totally focused on winning, saying if they make it to Florida they’re going to “take care of business.”
They needed the help quickly because the team is set to leave Washington on Saturday, Dec. 3, and play their first game in Florida on Sunday, December 4. And in just a matter of 48 hours, the community told them loud and clear, "we've got your back."
As of Saturday at 3 p.m., the community's contributions eclipsed the $25,000 mark, which was the goal listed in the GoFundMe.
7News reached out to Evely to get his reaction to the support. He said he's extremely grateful for the community's support, and that his team will now be able to attend the game.
"Without the story, it wouldn't have happened," Evely said. "We very much appreciate Sam taking the story -- if the public didn't get our story and hear our message, it never would have happened."
You can see the team's GoFundMe page here
He said the trip will give the kids a memory they'll have forever.
"I just want to thank everyone for stepping up," the coach added. "We really appreciate everyone for their donation to getting our Marshall Heights 6U boys the lifetime opportunity to get to travel and to get to compete for a national championship."
Among the many donations, the largest came from Washington Commanders left tackle Charles Leno Jr. and his wife, Jen.
The couple donated $1,720 to help the kids make it to Florida, which fits, as Leno Jr. wears No. 72.
"Now we can focus on winning," Evely added.