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Hoffman Estates Redhawks raise funds to play in national championship

The Hoffman Estates Redhawks, Pop Warner football team made up mostly of at-risk youth, took a moment on Thursday to run some plays before their game Friday. (WLS)

The Hoffman Estates Redhawks, a Pop Warner football team made up mostly of at-risk youth, won their game Friday and are moving on to Disney World for the Pop Warner National Championships for the third year in a row.

The Redhawks became national champions in 2014 and 2015, and they hope to keep the winning streak going. But it's no small task sending 24 players and six coaches to Florida, a total of $30,000 to pay for everyone's lodging and food.

The team is hoping the community will rally around them and help raise the funds.

Being on the Redhawks has helped many players improve their performance in the classroom as well as on the field, where they are building a legacy as a winning team.

"They're a great group of kids, they really work hard, they're well-disciplined, they listen to their coaches," said Mark Mueller, president of Chicagoland Pop Warner League.

Mueller, who is also head of community relations at the Hoffman Estates Police Department, said many of the Redhawks are at-risk children who have forged tight bonds with their teammates.

"These boys work so hard together and the really awesome thing that we as moms talk about is how they really are friends on and off the field," said Carol Hominac, one player's mother.

The team set up a GoFundMe page to help raise the funds.
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