Southside Wolfpack youth football team, cheerleaders raising money for trip to national championship

They are raising roughly $30k to send the team to Florida

ByMaher Kawash WLS logo
Monday, November 29, 2021
Undefeated South Side youth team on quest to national title
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This group of 12-13-year-olds have dominated their respective fields this season and both teams have a trip to Florida on their minds.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Southside Wolfpack youth football team and its cheerleaders are on a quest for a national title.

This group of 12-13-year-olds have dominated their respective fields this season and both teams have a trip to Florida on their minds.

"The experience would be, it would be a very fun experience, especially for us boys, to get to go out of state to go into hotel rooms and experience what it's like to be at the next level football," said Wolfpack running back, Jayvon Anderson.

But they need help getting there - about $30 thousand worth of help - and the community is stepping up.

Early Walker runs a local nonprofit and is raising money with the hopes of getting these kids to the championship.

Something he knew he had to do after a special visit earlier this year.

"President Obama came and got them fired up, and said, 'I want you guys to get to the championship' and they did that," said Walker, the founder of "I'm Telling, Don't Shoot." "We, as a community, have to rally behind our youth when they're doing positive things."

Walker is optimistic the team will meet its fundraising goal by December 1 for the kids to experience the trip of a lifetime.

"It feels really good to know that people are still looking out for young kids at this day and age, considering how much violence is happening in our city," Anderson said.

The cheerleaders would go, too, now qualifying for their third appearance at nationals.

"Oh man, it's amazing our community has our back," said cheer coach Tonya Coleman. "It's so much negativity out here and to let them see there's still positivity in the community, and they support and they love us."

The excellence goes far off the field, too, with this group of young athletes.

"I mean, we have all our young people; we have 140 football players and 60 cheerleaders, and our average grade point average is a 3.1," said coach Ernest Radcliffe.

Once the money is raised, the plan is to host some kind of sendoff before this South Side program hits the sky in its quest for a national title.

If you would like to donate, visit the team's GoFundMe page.