Hartford Team Heads to National Pop Warner Tourney

By Audrey Washington
|  Friday, Nov 30, 2012  |  Updated 3:16 PM EDT
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Hartford Team Heads to National Pop Warner Tourney

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Early Friday morning, the Hartford Hurricanes boarded a bus bound for the Pop Warner National Championship in Orlando, Florida and the city of Hartford is taking care of half of the team's transportation costs.

"I'm feeling very excited to go to Florida," said Hartford Hurricane Tight-End, Cairo McCrory.

Though undefeated, the teammates said the journey to the championship has not been easy.

"We had to do a lot of hard work and night practices. Some people had to use their car lights and phone lights," said McCrory.

Team Coach, Phillip Bryant said at one point the team did not have a field to even practice on.

An NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters investigation first exposed the problem and then helped get the Hurricanes a decent practice field.

The Hartford Hurricanes will take on the Holy Cross Knights on Sunday.

Coach Bryant said he expects the boys to do well because of the discipline he has instilled in his team.

"Usually city teams aren't as disciplined when they get down there, but I think that's the advantage that we have over other teams," said Bryant. "I think the biggest thing this teaches them is that if you stick together and believe in each other, anything can happen."

The championship game begins at 1 p.m. in Orlando on Sunday.

Mayor Pedro Segarra congratulated the team and the city will contribute $20,000 to offset the $40,000 in travel expenses, according to an e-mail from the mayor's office.

"I want to congratulate these young men for their sportsmanship, hard work and talent. I also want to congratulate Coach Phil Bryant for his leadership and dedication. His commitment to work with our youth creates a positive impact on the entire community. I wish the team all the best, and of course, victory,” Segarra said in a statement.

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