Menlo Atherton youth football team can't afford to travel to championship game

The good news: The Menlo Atherton Vikings football team secured a win at the D2 Regional Championship game, which means the boys have a shot at winning the Pop Warner National Championships held in Orlando, Florida.

The bad news: Not everyone can afford to go.

Coach Harold Atkin estimated the entire trip for the team of roughly 30 players, ages 11 and under, would cost $44,000.

"That's flights, housing, the hotels, everything," Atkins said Monday. "And it takes a village."

He said the player's parents have "done all that they can. Now we just need the community to come together and do the rest of the heavy lifting. I don't think any kid should be left here in California because they can't afford to get to Orlando." 

BJ Butler, the team's 12-year-old tight end, thinks the Vikings have a shot at winning.

That's because his teammates – who are more like family than friends – put in hard work and dedication.

Erika Atkins, vice president of the Menlo Atherton Pop Warner Vikings, launched a fundraiser for the team, noting how tight-knit they are. 

Most of these players don't even go to school together because the program serves kids from the entire Peninsula.

Despite that, she said, they manage to "love one another and keep connected."