Tampa youth football program turns theft into victory

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – In August of 2020 thieves broke into a storage facility at the Thonotosassa Football Complex and stole thousands of dollars worth of equipment including uniforms, helmets, shoulder pads and put a season of hope on hold.

Following the break-in, the league says the community stepped up to help.

“Pretty much donated equipment, brand new equipment the organization, donated uniforms, showed support, anything that the organization needed,” Thonotosassa Cardinals League President Orrin Jackson said.

After the theft, the kids went back to work on the field and this year has been a great success after a season of worry.

“They actually are undefeated. They are pretty much one of the top teams in the city of Tampa, ” Jackson said.

Now the team is poised to play for the Pop Warner championship.

“If they continue to win the next three games we will be crowned the best team in the nation,” said Jackson.

Only now, the team is looking for a little more help. Their success on the field has resulted in unexpected responsibility off the field. To play in the championship in Orlando the team will be required to stay in a hotel and that’s a burden many of the parents can not afford.

“We need help with room and board to keep the kids up there because this tournament is during the week and during school hours and things like that so we are definitely going to need help with room and board for the kids,” said Jackson.

Anyone who would like to help can contact the team at tampabayareacardinals@outlook.com

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