By Sean Greene 6:42pm, January 31, 2013 - Updated 6:49pm, January 31, 2013
VIDEO: Markell speaks to the Wilmington SoldiersThe Wilmington Soldiers youth football team celebrated a recent National Championship by receiving an honorary declaration from Governor Markell Thursday afternoon.
The Soliders' 5th grade team defeated teams from Connecticut, Florida, and Detroit to win the American Youth Football Championships national tournament in Kissimmee, Florida in December.
Head Coach Robert Baldwin says while success on the field is nice, he's just as concerned with teaching lessons away from the gridiron.
"We're in the classroom once a week. We do Xs and Os, we talk about anti-bullying, we do a lot of things with these kids. We let them know there's more to life than football. This is a carrot we dangle, but we emphasize education, respect, discipline, and good citizenship. Those are the emphasis of our program."
Markell explained to the Soldiers, many of whom are on honor roll, why they deserved the honor.
"The fact that you go through a season like this, and not only achieve this success but learn those lessons, that's really impressive."
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.