Athletes love smashing the old stereotype that brains and brawn can’t coexist.

Twelve-year-old Colby Wilson tackled that misconception last week, when he earned a spot on American Youth Football’s Academic All-American Team.

A strong safety and tight end for the Foothills’ Tucson Chargers organization, Wilson is one of 100 players nationally to receive the honor.

“I worked hard for those A’s, and it feels really good to be rewarded for it,” said the Esperero Canyon seventh-grader.

Wilson’s future goals of professional baseball or a law degree require plenty more sweat. But the springtime third baseman still likes to set down his favorite subject, mathematics, and spend afternoons cutting up the turf.

“Football is different. It’s usually just being mean and hitting people,” Wilson said.

Laurels aside, Wilson’s a regular “lunch pail guy” that carries his coaches’ bags to the field and leads by example, said Chargers junior midget coach Mark Diezel.

“We call him the ‘bowling ball.’ He’ll always get there first and be the first to knock people down,” Diezel said. “He makes everyone around him better.”

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