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Competing for a cause

Jeff Tully

Competition was the main focus at the annual Burbank Vikings Youth

Tackle Football program’s annual homecoming event.

However, the organization’s players, coaches and fans took the


opportunity of the gathering to help some deserving individuals.

Along with staging games all day Saturday at Burbank High, the

Vikings’ homecoming event also raised money and collected goods to

help U.S. military men and women stationed overseas.


“The players were really excited about doing this for some very

deserving individuals,” Burbank Vikings’ President Mike McDonald

said. “It was the kids who really go behind this and helped make it a

very nice event.”

The organization raised more than $1,000 from concession sales,

souvenir sales and donations from the day’s event.

McDonald said the money will be handed over to the local

organization, Hands Across the Battlefield, a citizens’ support group


for servicemen and servicewomen. The organization helps collect and

send food items, sundries and personal-grooming essentials to U.S.

military personnel stationed around the world.

“The money will be used to buy phone cards for the men and women

of the military so they can call family and loved ones,” McDonald

said. “Phone cards are really needed for these people who want to

keep in touch with the people they love.”

“We got a lot of help from people who wanted to give back


something to the men and women who are defending the country,”

McDonald said.

McDonald said he was most impressed by the participation of the

Vikings’ players and cheerleaders, who helped make signs that were

draped around the field with words or encouragement, thanks and

prayers for the soldiers.

“I think the players can really relate to what the [servicemen and

servicewomen] and going through and what they’re trying to

accomplish,” McDonald said. “Like the people serving our country,

these young football players are also trying to work toward a goal,

succeed as a group and accomplish what they set out to do.”

In the shadow of the goalposts at the field, the U.S. Army sent

representatives and a pair of impressive-looking Hum-vees. Throughout

the day, players and fans were allowed to sit in and check out the


Along with the festivities, a pair of Vikings’ teams were able to

win on the field, as the Senior squad defeated Simi Valley, 44-18 and

the Junior II Black defeated Canyon, 26-0.

In other games, the Burbank Junior Green lost to Simi Valley Blue,

22-8, the Junior II Green fell to Simi Valley Green, 33-6, and the

Junior I Black was defeated by Simi Valley Green, 50-0.