'Pop' students benefit from practice and play

Awards given out to student athletes. / Jessica Fairley

More than 100 children were honored at the Pop Warner Scholastic Banquet for excellence in the classroom and on the football field.

Trophies lined the awards table waiting to go home with a child who's earned it by excelling in academics and becoming a leader through sports.

After months of practice and play, the children closed out the season with a meal among peers and family, knowing that they've worked hard for the titles they've gained.

"My son has been involved in sports but this is the first one where they actually check the progress reports, they check the report cards," says Acillen Watts, Pop Warner Liaison, "We not only tell them what we want them to do, we make sure that we are keeping up with the standards that we have set for them."

Through this leadership, there is a chance that some of the students may play sports professionally.

Kenny Irons, a former football player for the Cincinnati Bengals, says the dedication from many of his coaches is what made him excel.

"You get some parents who can't connect to their children but you'll get a coach who's able to connect to that child in a way that the parent can't do," says Kenny Irons.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off