BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo football team of nine-year-olds is making state history as they head off to Miami on Friday to compete in the Youth National Championship.
Only the top 10 teams in the nation are invited to play and they’re the only team in New York to be invited.
After an undefeated season, Christian Jones and his teammates on the GR8 Elite are ready to earn the number one spot in 9U football nationwide.
“Excited about getting that ring on my finger and celebrating,” Jones said. “I love that we get to play the game, I love the sport, and I get to stay with my friends.”
Deniro Hunt agreed, “I get to see them almost every day, we have practice and have fun, go over plays.”
Coach Douglas Hunt said the team was also invited to this championship last year and came in third. Currently this year, they’re ranked number four in the country.
“We had some tough games this year playing everywhere from Georgia we’ve been in D.C. this year, we travel a lot, West Virginia, we go a lot of places so for us to come out with the victories in all those games says a lot about Buffalo New York,” the coach said.
Hunt also said this is about a lot more than football.
“Our kids are not just athletes but student athletes. To play for this team you can’t just be doing anything in school, school comes first with us and after that we coach them to be the best athlete they can be.”
The team is a family and they couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity.
“Nobody in New York State goes to this championship so for Buffalo, upstate New York to be representing in Youth National Championship is major,” Hunt said. “We ain’t hoping, we bringing it home.”
They fly out Friday morning and play their first game Tuesday.
They’ll be competing against other 9U teams from Florida, Texas, Maryland, Nevada, and California.