The Creekside Warriors, which are slated to represent the Pacific Northwest at the national tournament, punched their ticket after going 11-0 this year.
"The field didn’t help, but I feel like it really made them a tougher team," said head coach Gabriel Delgado, whose team practiced all season on a dimly lit dirt field. "We shoot high. This is what we wanted, and it’s just cool to say that we got it."
"It means a lot, like not many people make it," said 12-year-old Angel Lopez, who plays center for the team. "We just connected once we met. We all connected. It’s family, like those are my brothers out there."
"Everybody’s my friend. I just love everybody," said 12-year-old teammate Andre Mack, who plays receiver.
The only major obstacle their coach says the team is now facing is the cost of getting to Florida.
"It is not cheap at all," said Delgado, who is hoping to raise $30,000 through a GoFundMe page to cover the cost of his team's travel, food, and lodging during the trip.
"Unfortunately, not all the kids are blessed with money. These kids know how to make a lot with a very little," added Delgado.
If all goes well, Delgado says the boys will be able to focus on what they do best.
"We just catch the ball and run," said player Andre Mack.