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 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.