Winners of the Payson Pepsi Punt, Pass and Kick competition have been crowned and will advance to sectional competition in October.
The champs are:
- 8-9-year boys: Taylor Wallace
- 8-9-year girls: Savanah Grassel
- 10-11-year boys:ade DeSpain
- 12-13-year boys: Tyler McMinimy
- 12-13-year girls: Ashton Wolf
- 14-15-year boys: Devin England
No girls participated in the 10- to 11- and 14- to 15-year age group.
After naming the local champions, the hitch facing the sponsoring Payson Parks and Recreation Department was deciding in which sectional event the Payson champs should compete.
Since Payson is a member of the Northern Arizona Punt, Pass and Kick Section, they were scheduled to compete Oct. 1 in Flagstaff.
However, the P&R department petitioned sponsors to send the local representatives to the East Valley section because it will be held Oct. 22 at Apache Junction High School.
"The East Valley date and location is better for our group," Recreation Specialist Charlene Hunt said.
Late this week, Hunt learned that the petition was granted and the Payson champs will compete with the East Valley qualifiers.
The sectional competition will be held under the same rules as local events.
Each participant is allowed one punt, pass and place kick, which will be measured for distance and accuracy.
For example, if a youngster passes the ball 100 feet, but it flies 30 feet to the right or left of the measuring tape, the score would be 100 minus 30, or 70.
Following the competition, each youngster's total for the three events is tallied. The players with the highest point totals will be crowned sectional champions.
The top-five point producers from sectional competitions held around the state advance to the Arizona Cardinals team championships at Sun Devil Stadium in December.
The first four boys and girls in the team championships advance to the national finals.