Paxton Genola of Clinton, Miss. will represent the New Orleans Saints at the NFL PUNT, PASS & KICK National Championships
Genola is one of 40 children ages 6-15 that qualified for the event. The Clinton, Miss. native will compete in the 6-7 year old group.
The annual event features boys and girls from 26 states who will compete Saturday prior to game between Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans.
Beginning at 5 p.m. inside the Indianapolis Colts practice facility, finalists will compete separately in five age divisions 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 championships through local, sectional and team championship competitions held throughout the NFL regular season. The top four scorers in each age group from across the country qualified as national finalists.
NFL Punt, Pass & Kick, which began in 1961, is celebrating its 53rd anniversary. It is one of the nation's largest grassroots sports skills competitions. NFL stars – including Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks TROY AIKMAN and DAN MARINO – competed in the Punt, Pass & Kick program as youngsters.
"USA Football is pleased to manage the Punt, Pass & Kick program," USA Football Executive Director SCOTT HALLENBECK said. USA Football is the sport's national governing body and the official youth development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams. "This fun football competition rooted in fundamental skills continues to capture the imagination of young athletes, boys and girls alike. We congratulate our national finalists and look forward to an exciting weekend in Indianapolis."
All participants and their guests are provided airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to the Sunday, Jan. 3, game between the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans. Champions will be recognized between the third and fourth quarters as well as at www.nflppk.com.