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Firefighters step in to help youth soccer team reach state playoffs
• Who: Colusa Redhawks U10 Soccer Team.
• What: 2014 AYSO California State Championships.
• Where: State Farm Sports Village — 9001 Ashe Road, Bakersfield.
• When: March 15.
Sometimes, someone needs to pitch in just to get to the pitch.
The Under 10 soccer team representing Colusa in the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) Division 2 — the Colusa RedHawks — are in the midst of a highly successful season. The group of 9- and 10-year-old boys have yet to experience defeat in Region 1593 — otherwise known as the Colusa County AYSO League — and have represented Colusa County at tournaments in Antelope and Foster City, taking first place at both tournaments.
Because of their successes this year, the boys on the U10 RedHawks soccer team earned the right to travel to Bakersfield and participate in the AYSO State Cup as one of the four top teams in California.
"We are excited and proud to have the opportunity to participate," Stefani Santana — a mother of one of the players — said in a letter to the Sun-Herald.
The competition in Bakersfield consists of other top teams teams from Northern and Southern California — all of whom will vie for the State Cup on March 15.
However, had it not been for a $1,000 donation by Colusa Rural Firefighters, Inc. — the firefighters association for the Sacramento River Fire District, Colusa Station — the U10 RedHawks may never have had the chance to match up against the other top teams in the state.
"Due to the cost of travel, hotel stay and uniforms, the players and their families have been working hard to put together fundraisers and to seek donations," said Santana. "We are most grateful for the Colusa Rural Firefighters Inc. being so charitable toward, and supportive of, our U10 RedHawk boys."
John Ascencion, the treasurer of Colusa Rural Firefighters, Inc., said it was an easy decision for the association to make. He said the team should have the opportunity to play for the state championship after the players' hard work and dedication earned them a spot in the tournament.
"They're heading to Bakersfield for a two-day tournament, and with a hotel stay, that's a big financial strain," Ascencion said. "If they hadn't received the money, they wouldn't have gone." "We are thankful for everyone that has helped us so far — we are truly grateful," Santana wrote.