The North Philadelphia Aztecs, a powerhouse junior pee wee football squad of 8-11-year-olds, take on the defending national champions at the Pop Warner National Super Bowl Championship at Disney World on Saturday morning.
The 8:30 a.m. Division I championship against the Gwen Cherry Bulls of Miami will be televised live by ESPN3.
The Aztecs defeated the Western New York Bills 33-6 to reach the championships while the Bulls advanced with a 26-0 victory over the East Bay (Calif.) Wolfpack on Tuesday.
The Aztecs are among more than 400 players and several teams of 5-15-year-olds who hail from a new North Philadelphia field, the $1.4 million Team Vick Field. Dedicated last year, the artificial turf facility was created for youth football and soccer teams from a debris-strewn and condemned field known as a "mud bowl."
Former Eagles quarterback Michael Vick donated $200,000 to the project, the final phase of efforts to transform the historic 87-acre park at Ninth and Hunting Park. The revitalization was a project of the Fairmount Park Conservancy working with the city's Parks and Recreation Department and funding from the city, state, foundations, corporations and individuals.
In 20 years, the teams had not played or practiced on their own field one time before the renovation. The Aztecs won the 2004 Pop Warner championship.
Vick said when he donated the money that he had started playing football at the age of 8.
"At a young age, football gave me a sense of structure," he told The Inquirer, "to go about my life to go where I wanted to go."