Three young athletes from the local region will compete in the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick National Finals on Jan. 14. Nick Holmes (boys division, 12-13 age group) from Lansing, Kan., Emily Janak (girls division, 6-7 age group) from Bennet, Neb. and Justin Leggott (boys division, 8-9 age group) from Lincoln, Neb. will all represent the Kansas City Chiefs in the finals. The competition, being held in Baltimore, Md., will take place the same weekend as the AFC Divisional Playoff Game between Houston and Baltimore. A special on-field award presentation for the national winners in each age group will air after the third quarter of that game, which will be broadcast on Jan. 15 on CBS.
Finalists will compete separately in five age divisions at the Ravens team facility, with the top scorer in each group crowned national champion. All participants launch two punts, two passes and two kicks, with scores based on distance and accuracy (in feet). The best score from each activity is tabulated to determine the athlete’s total. All youngsters advanced to the national finals through local, sectional and team championship competitions held throughout the NFL regular season. The top four scorers in each age group from around the country qualified as national finalists.
All participants and a guest are provided airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to the AFC Divisional Playoff Game. Additionally, the Chiefs sent “good luck” care packages complete with Chiefs apparel, memorabilia and a congratulatory letter from team Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt to the three representatives in advance of the competition.
Holmes, Janak and Leggott are each hoping to become the first Chiefs representative crowned as a National Punt Pass and Kick Champion since 2006. Caroline Farchmin (girls division, 14-15 age division) of Mission Hills, Kan. was the last such national champion.
NFL Punt, Pass and Kick, which began in 1961, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. It is the nation’s largest grassroots sports skills competition. NFL stars including Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Dan Marino competed in the Punt, Pass and Kick program as youngsters.
NFL Punt, Pass and Kick is part of NFL Youth Football, which provides ways for children to play, watch and experience the game of football. - For more information, visit www.NFLPPK.com. For other NFL PLAY 60 youth programs, visit www.NFLRUSH.com.
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