Local youths competing for football national title

Gwinnett youth football players are part of the first national championship for eighth-grade teams, beginning today in Buford.

Team Georgia, with 24 of its 35 players from Gwinnett Football League teams, plays Central Florida at 2 p.m. in a first-round game that starts the Football University National Championships. It will be preceded by a seventh-grade exhibition game at noon.

With a win, Georgia, coached by Ken Burge and his staff from GFL eighth-grade champion Buford, will advance to play the winner of South Florida vs. Southwest Florida in the next round. The teams, part of a 40-team bracket, play with the goal of reaching the semifinal and final rounds scheduled around January's U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.

Tickets to today's games are $5, but children 10-and-under are admitted free.