posttrib
DYNAMIC 
Weather Updates

Merrllville Pop Warner kids honored for academics nationally

Five Merrillville Pop Warner athletes were honored nationally for academics. (From left) Merrillville Supt. Tony Lux AubRobinsRazariah Combs JevLindsey BrandDawning

Five Merrillville Pop Warner athletes were honored nationally for academics. (From left) Merrillville Supt. Tony Lux, Aubin Robinson, Razariah Combs, Jevon Lindsey, Brandon Dawning, Joshua Benton and Edmond Griffin. | Photo provided

storyidforme: 51335585
tmspicid: 19051923
fileheaderid: 8614392

When student athletes juggle the often-complex responsibilities of study hour and game day effectiveness, it’s often considered a great accomplishment.

Five members of Merrillville’s Pop Warner football program — four football players and one cheerleader — were honored on a national level for their academic accomplishments this past year. Joshua Benton, Razariah Combs, Brandon Dawning, Jevon Lindsey and Aubin Robinson were named Pop Warner All-American Scholars.

All five maintained a 96 percent grade average and competed nationally with more than 8,800 applicants. The students were also invited to attend the 53rd annual National Pop Warner Little Scholars Banquet to be held in Boston.

“What Jevon has accomplished makes me unbelievably proud,” said his father, Jarrod. “I’ve been really keeping my son accountable since first grade. We come from the South Side of Chicago, so moving to Merrillville was a big change. He knew that if his grades weren’t good, he wasn’t going to play, and he’s been a scholar for years now.”

Jevon, who has been playing football since he was 5 years old, will be a seventh-grader this fall. He’s called on to play on both sides of the ball, making a big impact on his team as an all-around player. In the classroom, Jarrod says that Jevon has more than one favorite subject.

“He really enjoys reading and math, but he also excels in science and social studies,” he said. “I’m instilling in him the need to go college, not having any kids at a young age and keep excelling. That’s all I ask of him.”

Razariah Combs’ family moved from its hometown of St. Louis to Merrillville because of a job transfer. Both parents have college degrees and Razariah is proudly continuing the family’s commitment to education — in the midst of numerous activities.

“Razariah has not only been a Pop Warner cheerleader for five years, she’s also in Patti’s All American Gymnastics (in Dyer) in dance and gymnastics,” said Combs’ mother, Shirelle. “She’s also involved in karate, and earned her yellow belt in just three weeks. She’s a pretty a busy girl.”

Combs, who will be a sixth-grader this fall at Merrillville Intermediate School, has been a part of Patti’s All American on and off, since she was 2 years old. Shirelle said her daughter also has participated in the Merrillville gymnastics program, on and off, for the past four years.

“We wanted Razariah to be involved in the Merrillville school district since she had previously been in private school,” Shirelle said. “We love it here in Merrillville; we do travel a lot back to St. Louis to visit family, and Razariah spends her summers there.”



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.