Pass, Punt Kick

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Not everyone has the opportunity to actively participate in an event that is sponsored by the National Football League. Last Saturday, that changed for several Greenville kids.

Greenville's Parks and Recreation Department hosted the NFL-Pepsi Punt, Pass and Kick Challenge.

The event was withheld a week due to bad weather. But on Saturday, the skies were clear and blue. The only thing falling was footballs.

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Eight kids participated in the event. The winner of the local events will travel to Dothan this weekend to participate in the sectional event. From there, that winner will have the opportunity to compete against sectional winners from the southeast during halftime of an Atlanta Falcons game.

The winner and champion of NFL-Pepsi Punt, Pass and Kick Challenge will travel to an NFL playoff game in January and will compete with 32 other sectional winners for the chance to be the best.

In Greenville, the challengers were divided first into male and female and then into their age classes.

From there, the participant would line up and punt the football. Next that person would place it on a tee and see how far he could kick it. And finally, the participant has to throw the football.

The distances for each are converted to points to give the participants their score. That's how the places were determined.

In the 8-9 year old age group, Chip Taylor took first place. He had a punt that measured 39 ft, a kick that measured 61.7 ft and finally a pass that landed at the 56 ft mark. Those distances gave him a total of 158 points.

Taylor bested his competition, Jack Bates by a total of 42 points. Bates had distances of 43 ft in the punt, 29 ft in the kick and 43 ft in passing.

Moving up to the 10-11 age group, Brian Smith bested his brother Brandon Smith by 9 points.

The twins placed first and second followed by Ryan Taylor who came in third. Brian Smith recorded 39 ft in the punt, 56 feet in the kick and then launched a pass that was good for 70 feet. Brian ended the challenge with 167 points and a trip to Dothan.

Brandon Smith recorded a 21 ft punt, a kick that traveled 70 ft and a pass the landed after 66 feet. He finished with 158 points.

Taylor finished his day with distances of 49 ft in the punt, seven feet in the kick and 57 feet in the pass. He recorded 115 points.

Following the boys, it was time for Erin Taylor to line up and show what she could do. Taylor recorded distances of 44 ft in the punt, 47 ft in the pass and 27 ft in the kick. She finished with 119 points and since she was the only female to compete in her age group, finished first place.

Jamey Thomas and Demario Jones went head-to-head in the 12-13 boys division. Thomas finished first with a total of 155 points followed by Jones with 116. Thomas had distances that measured 51 ft, 43 ft and 59 ft in the punt, kick and pass respectively.

Jones had distances of 34 ft, 16 ft and 65 ft in the three events.