Pop Warner to Honor All-American Scholars along with NFL, Olympic and Media Award Winners
Philadelphia, PA – Pop Warner will honor hundreds of young student-athletes who have excelled in the classroom at its 57th Annual All-America Scholars Banquet Saturday in Philadelphia along with awards to distinguished leaders in professional and amateur sports for their unique commitment to athletics, education, community and our nation’s youth.
The 2017 Pop Warner Little Scholars Award winners include:
● San Francisco 49ers: NFL Team of the Year for excellence in the community
● New England Patriots tackle Nate Solder: Inspiration to Youth Award
● Philadelphia Eagles guard Brandon Brooks: Inspiration to Youth Award
● Olympic hockey player Lyndsey Fry: Female Achievement Award
● Former NFL defensive lineman and ESPN personality Mike Golic and his wife, youth football advocate Christine Golic: Gold Football Award
The event honors the scholastic achievements of 7,000+ Pop Warner student athletes who earned All America Scholar status by achieving at least a 96% average in school. Pop Warner has awarded more than $1.4 million to date in college scholarships.
“As an organization built on promoting the dual values of academics and athletics we are proud to celebrate the incredible achievements of our young student-athletes who have shown as much dedication in the classroom as they do in playing sports,” said Jon Butler, Pop Warner Little Scholars’ executive director. “We’re also honored to celebrate the leadership our award recipients have shown in their sport and their community. These recipients are exceptional and have shown the good that happens when you help others.”
The San Francisco 49ers will be presented with the NFL Team of the Year Award, presented annually to the team that has demonstrated commitment and support of Pop Warner both locally and nationally.
“For a storied football organization like Pop Warner to recognize our organization in this way in an incredible honor and one that I know is appreciated by everyone who works for the 49ers,” said 49ers President Al Guido. “This award is a credit to the dedication of our youth football department, led by Jared Muela, to teach sound technical football skills and our organizational commitment to use grassroots football to support inclusive development of children throughout the Bay Area and beyond.”
Nate Solder, who was drafted in 2011 by the New England Patriots and has won two Super Bowls as Tom Brady’s starting left tackle, is receiving one of two Inspiration to Youth Awardspresented tonight. Solder graduated from University of Colorado with a degree in biology and physiology. He was the recipient of the 2016 Ed Block Courage Award for his devotion to helping others and the inspiring strength he shows in tackling obstacles both on and off the field, from his own battle with cancer to the support he and his wife are providing their son Hudson in his own battle. Nate has been involved in community programs, including school-based programs and shelters in New England and building projects in Italy and Guatemala. He also has been active in supporting the Jimmy Fund, YMCA’s Integration Initiative, Fresh Truck and the NFL’s My Cause My Cleat’s initiative.
Brandon Brooks, who started 14 games for the Eagles in 2016 and more than 44 games for the Texans over the previous three seasons, will also accept the Inspiration to Youth Award, presented to an individual who has inspired the youth of today to become great achieves of tomorrow. Brooks holds a degree in Psychology from Miami University in Ohio and has begun work on his MBA. He has spoken publicly about his battle with anxiety and hopes his openness about anxiety will help those who are also dealing with it. Brooks created an indelible memory for a pair of Eagles fans when he surprisingly accepted an invitation to their wedding. He has been described as a “affable, highly cerebral, a young renaissance man who is not averse to trying new things and stretching his intellect.”
Lyndsey Fry accepted the Female Achievement Award, given to a woman who has demonstrated remarkable strength of character and leadership in attaining achievements in her life that inspire others. The first native Arizonan to make a U.S. Olympic hockey team, Fry won a silver medal at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, and then returned to Harvard for her senior year. She also won Gold with Team USA in the World Junior Championships. After graduating from Harvard with a degree in History of Science, Fry enrolled at ASU in an MBA program, and also is the director of Lyndsey Fry Hockey, an organization that offers hockey camps, private instruction, and community support.
Mike and Christine Golic accepted the Gold Football Award, presented to an individual or group with a distinguished record or service to youth, community, and humanity. It was created to emulate the award given by the PALO Club for the most outstanding football player on the West Coast, which is named for “Pop” Warner. Mike, who after graduating from Notre Dame, went on to play eight seasons in the NFL and is co-host of ESPN’s Radio’s wildly popular show, “Mike and Mike”. Chris, his wife, is a member of the Heads Up Football Advisory Board and NFL spokesperson for the program. She travels across the nation helping football families learn about the game and helping to ensure that the game of football is made as safe as possible. They are the parents of three children, two boys who played football at Notre Dame and a daughter who was a Varsity swimmer at Notre Dame.