Local youth football players play for Team Washington in the FBU National Championships

Local youth football players play for Team Washington in the FBU National Championships
From the GPSYFL to FBU, these three players, along with others, comprise 7th grade Team Washington. Photo by Erin Behnke

What does a player do when the football season ends? For many local youth, the answer is, "play more football."

On Saturday, Nov. 10, the Greater Puget Sound Youth Football League ended its season with its championship games. That Sunday, Nov. 11, many of those players journeyed up north past Seattle to play for TeamWashington. The practices continued each weekend, including the days after Thanksgiving, and ended last Sunday, Dec. 2.

Now the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades of Team Washington will travel to Lake Oswego, OR, this Saturday, Dec. 8, and Sunday, Dec. 9, to play against Team Oregon.

Football University, or FBU, sponsors this event. Its tagline states, "By Position. By Professionals. By Invitation Only." Some teammates received their invites after their coaches submitted game film. Some were nominated. Some tried out. Some just happen to be the largest and tallest on their youth teams. And they will need their powerful physiques. They will play against the biggest and burliest in the nation via geographical regions.

"In its second year, the FBU National Championship – the football version of the Little League World Series–has expanded to 64 teams competing in an NCAA-style bracket tournament to select a true national champion in youth football's 8th and 7th-grade division. National sponsors of the tournament include adidas, Eastbay, Gatorade, Holiday Inn, Xenith, SKLZ, Jersey Mike's and SOTL" (news.yahoo.com/nation-largest-youth-football-event-kicks-off-64-130023254.html).

While playing and winning locally in the Greater Puget Sound is a big deal, this FBU experience may prove even more exciting and certainly more challenging. If Team Washington wins this weekend, they will compete on Dec. 15-16 in Reno, NV. And if they win there, they will compete on Jan. 5-6 in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. It is no coincidence that the U.S. Army All-American Bowl is there that very weekend. The company, All American Games, sponsors these athletic events.

Whatever this weekend's outcome, all these local players get to live their dream of playing even more football, and this time representing Washington State.

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