Wenatchee youth players rally for national football tournament

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WENATCHEE — Tyson Gonzalez and Luke Hills have someplace important to be.

The two East Wenatchee students, 11 and 12 respectively, leave Dec. 15 for the Football University National Championship in Naples, Florida.

“In this, we’re experiencing the best kids they can find in eastern Washington,” Luke said last week. “They bring them on a team, and you go and play other kids that are the best in their region, so it’s a lot more challenging and it’s a lot more fun.”

The tournament pits regional youth teams from across the nation, and in a Tri-Cities competition earlier this month, Tyson and Luke earned their spots on the Northwest team.

For one week in Naples, the focus is on training, techniques, team-building, and finally, competition.

” We get to go and play teams, and we have a bracket,” says Tyson. “… We get to play Massachusetts, and if we win, we go to the semifinals and we get to play either Las Vegas or Texas.”

The boys are players with the Wenatchee Rams Pop Warner team. To help afford the trip, Tyson and Luke’s families held a set of raffles and fundraising projects, including one last week at Kady Gonzalez’s Marigold Studio photography service in Wenatchee.

“We have a great opportunity to go and play with some of the best players and best coaches, and just get some really good experience for the boys,” says Kady, Tyson’s mom.

If you’d like to contribute to the whole Northwest team’s expenses, there’s a GoFundMe campaign accepting support.