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South suburban Chicago youth football teams headed to Florida to compete for title

South suburban Chicago youth football teams headed to national championship
South suburban Chicago youth football teams headed to national championship 02:14

ROBBINS, Ill. (CBS) -- It's time to play some football.

Two south suburban youth teams will compete this weekend in a national championship in Florida. But the upcoming trip for the Dixmoor Vikings and the Robbins Eagles almost didn't happen.

As CBS 2's Charlie De Mar reported Tuesday, it has been a challenge for both teams to find the money to make their dream a reality.

The Dixmoor Vikings are sending not one, but two of their youth football teams to Florida this week for a shot at a national title.

"I'm really excited about going to Florida," said Dixmoor Vikings player Jacob Rodriguez, "mainly because I want to win."

"We can get like our revenge, since we lost last year in the national championship," said Dixmoor Vikings player Amari "ATM" Clark, who leads the team as quarterback.

The Vikings will be back in Florida for the second straight year after coming up short just a season ago. ATM's mom is just as excited.

"I just want him to just have fun; enjoy the experience," said Dawana Clark. "I really want us to win. We go hard all year."

Despite the success on the field, parents and coaches have had to scramble and run a two-minute drill in order to raise thousands of dollars for flights, hotels, and meals while in Florida.

"Thirty thousand dollars to come up with in a couple of weeks, for anybody - no matter what status your are – it's hard," said Dixmoor Vikings Coach Dwayne Tyson.

The youth football team in Robbins is also heading to Florida to compete for a national title.

"I'm very overwhelmed; very happy for them," said Robbins parent Brittany Jackson. "They went undefeated all year."

"The community is behind us 110 percent," said Robbins Eagles Coach Justin Harris.

And that support was clear, as more than $13,000 was donated to the team Tuesday from community members, private contributions, and the Village of Robbins – ensuring that the Eagles will be making the trip.

"The opportunity is huge," said Jackson, "and I cannot wait to see them win."

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