Chris Webb, an 11-year-old student at William Henry Middle School, was named to the Pop Warner All-American Eastern Region Scholar Team for 2009 after participating as a member of the Dover-CR Raiders football team.

Football is everything to 11-year-old Chris Webb, a Camden resident who attends William Henry Middle School as a sixth grader.

Chris plays football for the Dover-CR Raiders of the Pop Warner Football League, holding down some serious skill positions at quarterback, running back and safety last fall.

His favorite football player is LaDainian Tomlinson and his favorite team was the San Diego Chargers. That was until LT departed this off-season and joined the New York Jets.

And while Chris is a standout player for the Raiders on the field, he excels in another area of his life as well — the classroom.

Those two important aspects of Chris’ life came together to earn him a pretty big honor as he was named to the Pop Warner All-American Eastern Region Scholar Team for 2009.

The award is bestowed upon the top 35 football players and top 35 cheerleaders in the 13-state Pop Warner area that includes Delaware.

Eligible students must maintain a 96% GPA and be an active participant in Pop Warner football. Chris also was entered into consideration for the All-American National team, where he finished with second team honors.

He said the honor came as a surprise to him, and that the balance between athletics and school is something that’s always been second nature to him.

“It was very exciting,” Chris said. “I didn’t really expect to get an award. That stuff has always come very easy to me. I’m just the kind of kid that can do it, I guess.”

Chris’ father, also named Chris Webb, said he and his wife Charlene are thrilled their son has been recognized for his dedication to both sport and school.

“He works so hard, both academically and athletically, so we’re both really excited,” Mr. Webb said. “He’s always been a great student and he loves football.”

Kelly Draper, president of the Dover-CR Raiders, said Chris exemplifies the kind of athletes Pop Warner looks for.

For instance, Draper said, 88 participants in the Henlopen Pop Warner league were presented the Carl Walls Award, given to participants that maintain an average of 93% or higher.

In addition, six other Raider participants joined Chris as Second-Team All-American National Team members, two of who — Amber Lust and Aundrea Sabatinelli — also were All-American Eastern Region Scholars.

The other four included Alania Carter, Alexis McCullough, Summer Thomas and Alex Winchester.
Mr. Webb said Pop Warner football provides his son a great outlet, but that he’s also always been a level headed student not needing the guidelines of the league to push him.

“I believe his grades would be what they are anyway,” he said. “Even as young as he is, he does have a good perspective.”

Chris is focused on playing baseball right now, but said he can’t wait for football season to come back around again.

He said he’s got big goals to play for the Dover High School team some day, but for now he’ll keep his goals short-term.

“I’m hoping to have an even better year next year, both in school and on the field,” Chris said. “I want to make First-Team All-American, and football-wise, maybe have more touchdowns and interceptions.”

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