TOPEKA (KSNT) – Some local athletes are getting ready to compete with players from all over the country.

Will Deister, Julian McGivern and Tyren Parker are all players on a regional football team that is competing in the FBU middle school national championships this weekend in Naples, Florida.

Deister attends Washburn Rural Middle School, McGivern goes to Most Pure Heart of Mary School and Parker attends Jardine Middle School.

Their team, called ‘MoKan’, won their regional on Dec. 5, defeating a team from Indiana. They’ll now travel to Naples to face off with a team from Mississippi in the quarterfinal match.

“For most of these kids this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I never got that chance when I was a kid, so for all of these kids to be able to get this opportunity to travel like this, I think this will be something they’ll remember forever,” Jake Deister, Will Deister’s Dad, said.

The opportunity to compete with athletes from all over the country is a unique one for these local athletes. They’re excited for this opportunity.

“It means a lot. I mean, playing for a national title, this is what I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and going to Florida, that’s a pretty big deal for me,” said Will Deister, who plays defensive line for MoKan.

Even though McGivern has played travel football for a long time, he’s yet to have an experience as cool as the one he’ll have this weekend with his teammates.

“I’ve been playing travel ball pretty much my whole life but I’ve never went to Florida so it’s a pretty big experience,” McGivern said.

The team also set up a GoFundMe to raise money to make sure all the players on the team could make the trip to Florida. The fundraising goal is $5,000 and Jake Deister says any additional funds raised will go towards meals for the athletes during the trip. The GoFundMe can be found here.

The FBU tournament has had a number of notable football players pass through in the past, including Trevor Lawrence, the #1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

“I love the comradery of taking a couple kids from Topeka, some from Kansas City, some from all over the place, putting them together and putting a team together, it’s kind of fun,” Jake Deister said.