MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (WWBT) - It’s the largest middle school football tournament in the nation and a local team is three wins away from winning it all.
FBU Richmond is a squad made up of players from all across the greater Richmond area. Five counties are represented on the roster and the organization’s 8th-grade team is turning some heads. After winning its regional in Charlotte, North Carolina, during the first weekend of December, the team is one of eight clubs from all across the country to advance to the national tournament in Naples, Florida.
“At the end of the day, this is all about the experience, also about the exposure,” said 8th-grade team head coach and FBU Richmond program director Dave Bickel. “That’s why we created FBU Richmond, to get the kids down there, get them exposed on the national scene to bring more of that interest to Richmond-level football.”
Bickel also says that football isn’t the only thing that will be going on down in the Sunshine State. The team will have time at the beach, team bar-b-ques, and other activities.
Of course, the organization is taking all of the necessary precautions to keep players and coaches safe. Face coverings are widely visible at practice, players don’t share any equipment or apparel and coaches are following as many protocols as possible. Bickel says that the group held tryouts in August, but did not put pads on until October, just to make sure the safest procedures were being followed.
Football has been big for these players, giving them some normalcy through a fall that has been anything but normal.
“It is a relief for the kids and it’s one of the outlets for them to get some piece of normalcy in what’s been a really rough year for a lot of people,” the head coach noted.
FBU Richmond will need to win three games in order to claim the national championship. The team’s schedule begins Saturday and they’ll also play Sunday and Tuesday with victories.
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