YORK, Pa. -- A semi-pro football team in York county that helped players get off the streets is going to the national championship.
Javan Matthews, the owner of the York Generals, said, "The kids that's 18 and older that just graduated from high school and don't really know which route to go. We try to open up doors to them and give them something else to do instead of running to the streets."
The York Generals became a semi-pro football team only a year ago, and they won the Independent Football League Championship this year. But the players are not just a team when they put on their jerseys.
Nathan Williams, a linebacker, said, "Being with this team, I've seen the camaraderie."
Rob Kiker, the defensive coordinator, said, "We're definitely a family. We do a lot of stuff together on and off the field. It's definitely a family atmosphere here."
The Generals will now head to the national championship in Florida in January to face off against the East Carolina Rams.
SaQuan Hicks, a cornerback for the team, said, "It's an extremely crazy feeling being that this is only a second-year organization. And it's pretty much unheard of. So I'm extremely happy about it."
Players wish former linebacker Shannon Martin could celebrate this moment with them. The 36-year-old was shot and killed in August.
"We know he's here with us, and we play for him," Hicks said.
They will keep him in their hearts as they try to bring home that national championship title.
But in order to get there, they need to raise the money. They are hoping to raise $8,000 dollars through their GoFundme page.
"There's so much talent in this area and it's a great opportunity for us to display that talent for pretty much the whole country to see," Hicks said.
Some of these players hope to make it into the big leagues, but others just want to put the city of York on the map.
"We're the first team to ever win a championship in York, Pennsylvania. The first semi-pro football team. We actually made history here in York," Matthews said.
To donate to help the Generals get to Florida, go to their GoFundMe page.