Hoopa Boy Plays Ball in the Outback

Kyle Wright traveled to Australia to represent California as a participant on the Western Conference Football team. Wright’s team comprised of players from California, Utah and Australia. / Photo courtesy of Kyle Wright.

By Allie Hostler, Two Rivers Tribune

Hoopa’s Kyle Wright grew up playing football. A recent high school graduate, Wright hopes to play for Butte College. But the highlight of his athletic career thus far was playing on an international team in Australia this summer.
Sponsored in part by the Hoopa Valley Tribe, Wright, a full back on the field, left for Australia on July 3 and returned on July 11. His team took first place in their bracket with players from California, Utah, and Australia.
“The best part was being able to meet other kids from different U.S. states,” Wright said. “All of the teams had players from Australia as well.”
The trip cost $4,000, which proved cost-prohibitive for several players who were asked to play on the team. Wright didn’t let the cost stop him. He worked odd jobs for friends and family to earn the money to participate. He is also grateful to the Hoopa Tribe for their partial sponsorship.
Although the team had a rigorous schedule of travel, practices and games, they found time to visit a wildlife sanctuary where Wright posed for a photo holding a koala bear. He especially enjoyed the lorikeets, a colorful parrot native to the outback.
“This was an awesome experience that I’m so grateful to have had,” he said. “It was all around a really fun and great experience.”

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Date
July 31st, 2012

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