A contingent of six Payson-area NFL Punt, Pass and Kick winners have their sights set on Northern Arizona University and later the Arizona Cardinals University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
By virtue of the youths’ age/sex division wins in the Payson competition held Sept. 14, they are eligible to participate in PP&K North Sectional competition when it is held at 10 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 18 at the Cardinals’ preseason practice field located just adjacent to Walkup Skydome on the NAU campus in Flagstaff.
Wins there would propel the Payson qualifiers into an Arizona Cardinals’ shoot-out to be held before and during halftime of an upcoming NFL game.
For Payson, Hunter Krahn qualified for sectionals with his win among the 8-to 9-year-old boy participants.
In order to win, Krahn had to outperform the largest age group, 22 entrants, in the Payson PP&K.
David Anderson advances to Flagstaff as the Payson champ among the 10- to 11-year-old boys.
Todd McCarty is the 12- to 13-year-old group qualifier.
There was no winner in the group for 14- to 15-year-old boys.
For the girls, the winners are Calli Carpenter (8-9 years), Shay England (10-11 years) and Alix Parker (14-15 years).
There was no winner in the 12-13 girls group.
In the competition, entrants were given the opportunity to punt, pass and kick a football and then accuracy and distances were measured.
in that “he did not press in the first mile and ran a very strong second half.”
Among the most impressive performances among the Payson winners was that turned in by McCarty. He punted 88 feet, 7 inches, passed 115 feet, 5 inches and kicked 94 feet, 6 inches.
The NFL Pepsi gridiron program is a national skills competition for boys and girls between the ages of 8-15, who compete separately against their peers.
Established in 1961, the PP&K program is the oldest NFL Youth Football program. Girls and boys in four separate age divisions compete.
The PP&K program is free — both to organizers, like the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department, and to every youngster who wants to participate.
With more than 4 million boys and girls from around the country taking part in PP&K competitions, it is one of the world’s largest youth sports participation programs.