CAPE CORAL, Fla. — This Christmas is extra meaningful for a local middle school football player as he embarks on a huge accomplishment.
13-year old Kristopher Ralston is a 7th grader at Diplomate Middle School in Cape Coral.
Kristopher is one of 60 players chosen, out of 30,000 that were considered, to participate in this year's Bret Cooper's Junior Academic All-American Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
"I was happy and excited to be chosen," said Kristopher.
Kristipher and his mom, Kristen Ralston, departed to Dallas, Texas on Christmas.
Ralston says this is a fantastic opportunity for her son.
"I was actually shocked because he's not the kid you usually think of getting scouted. He's not the quarterback, he's not the wide receiver, he's a lineman, [but] he's good at what he does," said Ralston.
For student-athletes to be considered, they have to meet academic and character requirements — so they have to hit the books as hard as they hit the field.
"He is very smart. He's been in the gifted program since he was in third grade. He strives to do better and better each year," said Ralston.
Bret Cooper Football prides its self in helping student-athletes prepare for their next level of success, both on the field and off.
"You gotta get good grades and work hard," said Kristopher.
As one of the chosen players, Kristopher will have the chance to be coached by Pro and Former NFL players.
"I'm hoping to get more knowledge of the sport and be a better athlete," said Kristopher.
Kristopher will have a few days of training before the Junior Academic All-American Bowl kicks off on New Year's Eve.