Gwinnett soccer team needs community help to get to nationals

7:05 AM, Jul 3, 2013   |    comments
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LILBURN, Ga. -- Some call them GSA 97 Red Boys. We call them winners.

In June, the Gwinnett youth soccer team won its regional tournament in Oklahoma. It's an especially sweet victory considering the team almost didn't make it.

Just weeks before the tournament, the team says someone broke into their manager's vehicle, stealing all of the money they had raised to pay for the trip.

According to the Lilburn police report, a witness says a man on a black motorcycle wearing a black outfit and a helmet used a large knife to break out the window and steal the money hidden under the backseat.

The police report says the witness tried to honk the horn to get attention or scare off the thief, but it only made him work faster.

"I just wanted to throw up. The boys had spent so long, so many hours," said player Michael Samnik.

"It's us putting our boys in front of 200 college coaches that come there to look to give our boys scholarships to further their education," Samnik added.

After several businesses, such as Church's Chicken, the Oyster Barn, Stars & Strikes and Tyler Perry, along with dozens of individual donors came forward to help, the team raised enough money to go.

That's why on their only day off from competition, the boys said they felt compelled to pay it forward, and help victims of the recent storm.

They spent the entire day in Moore, Oklahoma, helping to clean storm cluttered yards and debris from house damage.

The team is now preparing for the national tournament in July and has to raise yet another $15,000 to pay for the trip.

To learn more about the team, visit

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