110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Jen Horton
posted Dec 10, 2012 - 2:08:36pm
The Deltona Wolves are national champs after winning the Pop Warner Junior Midget Division II national championship Dec. 7. The championship game was played at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, and is considered the super bowl of Pop Warner football.
Wolves coach Cameron L. Robinson said that thousands of teams compete for the top spot each year.
"The ultimate goal is to go to Disney — it's kind of a dream, more than a goal," he said.
Robinson's team achieved the dream.
"We're the first team from Volusia County to go there," he said. "We went there, and we won."
The road to excellence is paved with hard work and dedication. The youth, ages 11-13, give up part of their summer to begin training.
"We started football with conditioning in July," Robinson said. "We started practicing Aug. 1. It's been nonstop since then."
In the beginning, practice is two hours a day, five days a week. After Labor Day, the team plays games, and practices three days a week.
The intense practice schedule does not allow the children to slack off on their grades. Students must have at least a C average to stay on the team.
"We have seven Pop Warner All Americans," Robinson said. "They rank in the top 98 percent of students, and get mostly straight A's."
He was proud to say that he also has several students on his 22-man team who are in the top 95 percent of their peers academically.
Robinson has coached Pop Warner for four years; before that, he was the head football coach for Deltona High School. He currently works as the assistant principal of Galaxy Middle School in Deltona.
"By day, I'm an assistant principal; by night, I'm out there being a coach."
Team sports, Robinson said, have a value far greater than just throwing a football around.
"If they're playing football, they're not on the streets getting into trouble," he said.
It also teaches the players life lessons.
"Football teaches them perseverance, dedication, goal-setting, hard work — the same things you do in life," Robinson said. "It teaches them that if you work as hard as you can, and you set goals, even if you only achieve half of your goals, you will be successful."
For more information about Pop Warner team sports in this area, visit www.eastcoastpopwarner.com.
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