While 11-year-old James Pavelchak undoubtedly enjoyed touring Walt Disney World during his recent trip to Florida, he was on official business as a representative of the Cazenovia Pop Warner Association.
Pavelchak was one of 19 local athletes in grade 5 and above to be honored as a Pop Warner All-American Scholar nominee for achieving a grade point average of 96 percent or higher.
He received an honorable mention, along with teammates Nolan Frisbey, John Gabor, Andrew Johnson, Benjamin Knutsen, Joseph McLaughlin, Matthew McLaughlin, Christian Monroe, Nicholas Monroe, Nathan Morgan, Dominic Perrone, William Shephard, Austin Spingarn and Jacob Wells. Joseph Gates, Daniel Kent, Patrick Nourse, Kevin Stalder and Christian Winkler received second-team nominations. Nourse was further recognized at the regional level for the 2012 Pop Warner Eastern Region New York State Scholar Team.
During a banquet held on April 22 at the Rusty Rail in Canastota, 99 area players, including the 19 from Cazenovia, were recognized by the Tri-Valley Pop Warner Little Scholars program and given awards for their accomplishments.
Those who were named as Pop Warner All-American Scholars were invited to attend the 52nd Annual All-American Scholar Banquet, which was held Friday and Saturday, May 25 and 26, at the Yacht and Beach Club Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Tribute banquets were held Friday night and Saturday morning, with the dinner banquet and award ceremony conducted Saturday evening.
Accompanying Pavelchak to the Florida festivities was his mother Maribeth, who works as the Cazenovia village court clerk, and sister Katie.
“I am so proud of James I could scream. He is a great kid and works hard in school,” Maribeth said. “This award is based on his grades last year and he is working so hard to attempt the same GPA this year. It is a great motivator for him. And as his mom, I love it because the goal is to keep kids active in sports to keep them off of the streets.”
Each year, more than 400,000 kids participate in Pop Warner football programs across the United States. Those athletes who qualify for as All-American status apply to be named to a nation team.
After all applications have been processed by Pop Warner, the organization calculates a final score for each student out of a possible 100. Students’ grades from the prior school year are taken into account, and those players who have completed extracurricular activities and accomplishments are awarded a maximum of 18 additional points.
The top 35 football players, and 25 cheerleaders (per grade) are selected National First Team All-Americans. National Second Team All-Americans and National Honorable Mention Scholars are determined by Pop Warner, depending on how many applications were received and the grades of each applicant.
For more information on the Pop Warner All-American Scholar Program, visit popwarner.com/scholastics/allamericanprogram.
To learn more about Pop Warner programs in Cazenovia and the surrounding areas, visit trivalleypw.com.
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.