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November 25, 2009 > Cougars make AYF National Championships

Cougars make AYF National Championships

Submitted By Steve R. Waterhouse

It might have seemed unimaginable at the beginning of the year, but after a very successful inaugural season, the Mission Valley Cougars qualified three levels to play in the American Youth Football National Championships in Florida.

"We had so many coaches and volunteers go into making this such a great season," Mission Valley Cougars President Chirika Gates said. "I couldn't be prouder of how everything turned out."

The Rookies (7-1), Junior Varsity (4-2-2) and Varsity teams (8-0) each qualified for the prestigious tournament that will be held December 5-12 in Orlando. They will represent the Golden State Conference, which played this first season with four teams: the Castlemont Jr. Knights, the Grant Jr. Pacers, the San Jose 49ers and the Cougars. The Golden State Conference is designed for everyone to participate as it is an unlimited weight league.

"Kids who wouldn't get the chance to play until high school get that early training they need to prepare for when they do get to high school," Gates said. "That is especially helpful for linemen, who usually get to high school with little to no experience."

In order for the Cougars to make the 3,000-plus mile trek to what is considered the most grueling tournament in the nation, they need financial help. The Cougars are made up of players from the Tri-City community (Fremont, Union City and Newark).

In these tough economic times, even local youth franchises have been hurt. In order for the Cougars to participate in the National Championships, they'll need to raise $9,000 per team. All donations are tax deductible and helps support a great cause in the local community.

"We've done everything we can to give our kids every opportunity they deserve," Gates said. "Unfortunately, there are things out of our control. We want to make sure these kids get the chance to experience this golden opportunity. They've worked hard all year and we'd love to watch them finish out the season at the National Championships."

An account has been set up at Fremont Bank for donations. The account number is 57903921. For more information, please call Gates at 510-972-0668.

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