COLORADO SPRINGS — It's a team and a story 5 years in the making.
And finally last Saturday, the time and effort paid off.
The Colorado Springs Gladiators, a 14U AAU team made up of Colorado Springs athletes, won the state AAU championship in Pueblo this past weekend and completed a undefeated season.
"That meant the world to me," explained Keegan Carroll. "We have been working on it for 5 years."
"We knew we had the talent, we just had the play smart ball." added TJ Washington. "I knew we were good its jsut getting there."
Gladiators head coach Karic Roberts Sr. was also pleased with how his team preformed this season, espcially with all the injuries to a team made up of 18 players.
"Just there grit man; never wanting to give up," said Roberts Sr. "They were always in every game and they never gave up."
And if this team couldn't get anymore special. The south side squads reps a girl football players on the team named Abby Vallejo.
"She is one of the hardest hitters," said Roberts Sr. "Girl power that is what we call her.
"At first I was like I get to hit boys, like this is so cool," explained Vallejo. "But now its just a normal thing for me, like I have grown up with them my whole life. So it's just completely normal."
Now the Gladiators have even bigger goals. Since they have won the Colorado AAU state championship, the team can repesent the Centennial state in the National AAU championships in Las Vegas.
The team is now looking for help, as the cost to get to Las Vegas from Colorado Springs isn't cheap.
To help the team, visit their Facebook page here.
"To go out and represent Colorado. Represent youth football. Represent the South side that came from nothing. It's a big transformation and the kids deserve this. It's a once in a lifetime thing for them."