What's Right Winner: Daniel Cruz

Daniel Cruz has been named one of our "What's Right" winners for his dedication to teaching kids lessons through football

/ Colby Gallagher

Daniel Cruz has been described as a man that is dedicated and deserving.

"He's all about the kids. Everything that's positive in our program, he's the creator of it," said George Wallace, the Image Coordinator for the league Cruz created.

Last summer Cruz made the decision to start a club football league for the area that would bring children together in a way that's never been done before.

"We've combined two cities that we've never played against. I've coached in Lee County for 8 years and I've never played an Albany team, now our kids play in the same league. We're breaking down walls that have been up for a long time and we're doing different things just through football," said Cruz.

He didn't just make any league. Cruz chose Pop Warner, a nationally recognized club whose rules stay the same across the board - and that includes maintaining a certain GPA.

"Student-athlete: student comes first before athlete. That's something Daniel pushes, our organization pushes it. We want our kids to be better people in our society so it starts with the school first before it starts on the field," said Wallace.

Pop Warner also asks that all coaches go through training from how to react to certain situations to interacting with fellow coaches which Cruz says are lessons that trickle down to the kids.

"I have sons and I see the way my sons look at me when they see me doing something good. That's the look I want to see with all kids," said Cruz.

The look can be seen on the faces of many kids in the league as one of admiration, respect and more.

"He's a good guy. He's fun, funny and entertaining," said Anthony Adams, a player for one of the teams in the league named the Warriors.

Last year over 300 kids signed up but Cruz is hoping for a bigger turnout this year. With over 150 registrations and the final â" but biggest â" registration day left on July 28th, the man behind 36 teams is sure to leave a lasting impression on more kids than ever.