Senior defensive tackle Aaron Nelson of Westview High School has been named the 2012 Dr Pepper TEN Most Inspirational Player, the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl announced today.
Throughout the season, CIF - San Diego Section football coaches and fans were encouraged to nominate the most inspirational high school football players in the county. Nelson, an honorable mention All-Palomar League selection, was a near unanimous selection by the voting panel. He will be presented with a $2,000 scholarship courtesy of Dr Pepper TEN with an on-field presentation during the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl, Thursday, Dec. 27 at Qualcomm Stadium. The 35th annual bowl game features the UCLA Bruins versus the Baylor Bears and kickoff is set for 6:45 p.m. PST.
"I am truly honored to receive such an award," Nelson said. "But this would not have been possible without the help and support of not only my family, but of my coaches, my brothers Arij and Taylor, and the rest of my friends."
Nelson started every game and helped lead the Wolverines to an 8-4 record in 2012. He recorded 51 tackles, including four for loss, 2.5 sacks, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He did not miss a practice all season, contributed numerous hours of community service and won his team's Impact Player Award at the end of the season.
Aside from the statistics, it was off the football field where Nelson was most inspirational, according to Coach Mike Woodward. He is known as a compassionate and outstanding teammate with an infectious smile and sense of humor.
"The Inspiration that Aaron has had on our coaching staff, his teammates and his younger siblings, has been monumental," Woodward explained. "The game of football is not about how many touchdowns you scored or how many tackles you recorded. It's about the relationships and memories of a lifetime. Every so often the game will present itself with a player who leaves a lasting legacy on the rest of the program. That is what Aaron has done at Westview High. I will never forget what he has done this year, nor will his teammates."
This is the fourth year the bowl game has presented the Most-Inspirational program.
"We are proud to continue sponsoring this meaningful award," said Mike Utke, Dr Pepper Division Manager. "It's rewarding for us to partner with the bowl game and recognize student-athletes who contribute in ways that don't necessarily show up in the stat book. Aaron is clearly a most deserving recipient."
The Dr Pepper TEN Most Inspirational Player is supported by XTRA Sports 1360, CIF, the Kiwanis Club of San Diego and the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl.
For information, call 619/283-5808 or go to www.BridgepointEducationHolidayBowl.com.