*32 FINALISTS CHOSEN OUT OF 4 MILLION YOUNGSTERS FOR NFL PUNT, PASS AND KICK NATIONAL FINALS IN NEW ORLEANS
Finalists Hail From 20 U.S. States, FOX to Spotlight Champions*
Four million kids competed, but only 32 made it to the 2006-2007 NFL PUNT, PASS AND KICK National Finals. The competition will take place prior to the Saturday, January 13 NFC Divisional Playoff Game in New Orleans. NFL Punt, Pass and Kick is the nation's largest grassroots sports skills competition.
The Green Bay Packers have an NFL-high four representatives competing: Mikayla Hilton (a former national finalist), Saukville, in the girls 10/11 division; Aleeah Baker, Superior, in the girls 14/15 division; Logan Weckerly, Monroe, in the boys 8/9 division; and Lucas Weiss, River Falls, in the boys 14/15 division.
A special, live, on-field award presentation for NFL Punt, Pass and Kick champions will air between the third and fourth quarters of the NFC Divisional Playoff Game's 8:00 p.m. ET FOX telecast.
Boys and girls compete separately in four age divisions (8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15), with the top scorer in each group being crowned National Champion. All participants launch one punt, one pass and one kick, with scores based on distance and accuracy (in feet). All 32 youngsters advanced to the National Finals through local, sectional and team championship competitions held throughout the NFL regular season. Only the top four scores in each age group from around the country qualify as NFL Punt, Pass and Kick National Finalists.
Current NFL stars, including Green Bay Packers QB Brett Favre, Dallas Cowboys QB Drew Bledsoe, Baltimore Ravens K Matt Stover, St. Louis Rams P Matt Turk, and New England Patriots QB Vinny Testaverde, competed in the league's Punt, Pass and Kick program when they were youngsters.
"The NFL Pepsi Punt, Pass and Kick program gives millions of girls and boys around the country a way to be active participants in the game of football," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "We are pleased to see so many of our young fans entering the world of NFL football through this program."
All participants and their two guests are provided airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to the NFC Divisional Playoff game in New Orleans. In addition, all finalists and their guests will be treated to an awards banquet.
More information about the competition, including top scores from all age divisions, is on www.NFLRush.com, the NFL's official youth football website.
NFL Punt, Pass and Kick National Finalists:
Bekah Alcozer, Belton, TX (Texans)
Sydney Palmer, Pierre, SD (Vikings)
Stephanie Self, Lafayette, LA (Saints)
Jamie Holscher, Lincoln, NE (Chiefs)
Tyler Mathis, Pasadena, TX (Texans)
Logan Weckerly, Monroe, WI (Packers)
Grant McGinniss, Findlay, OH, (Browns)
John Boushelle, Fayetteville, AR (Titans)
Mikayla Holton, Saukville, WI (Packers)
Sarah Firestone, Mercersburg, PA (Ravens)
Alexis Manoa, Strongsville, OH (Browns)
Laura Page, Easley, SC (Panthers)
Allen Thigpen, Chandler, AZ (Cardinals)
Morris Marshall, Lake City, FL (Jaguars)
Alex McLain, Thornton, CO (Broncos)
Ryan Garner, Dyer, TN (Titans)
Anna Grant, Stratham, NH (Patriots)
Lauren Yobbi, South Park, PA (Steelers)
Tori Parra, Chula Vista, CA (Chargers)
Shelby Sullivan, Richardson, TX (Cowboys)
Justin Murray, Jonesboro, GA (Falcons)
Dakota Swinehart, Rancho De Taos, NM (Cardinals)
Jeff Lantz, Parkersburg, WV (Steelers)
Lucas Weiss, River Falls, WI (Packers)
Samantha Cormier, Frankenmuth, MI (Lions)
Erica Willis, Toledo, OH (Browns)
Aleeah Baker, Superior, WI (Packers)
Caroline Farchmin, Shawnee Mission, KS (Chiefs)
Ryan Erxleben, Dripping Springs, TX (Texans)
Josh Couch, Carlisle, OH (Bengals)
Peter Jackson, Fairview, PA (Steelers)
Ethan Kraai, Delta, CO (Broncos)
The NFL Punt, Pass and Kick program is part of the NFL's "Dream Big. Play Big." initiative that provides exciting ways for even more children to play, watch and experience the game of football. According to a recent ESPN Sports Poll, football is the favorite sport of kids.
Additional NFL youth football programs include NFL FLAG, Junior Player Development, High School Player Development, and NFL Street Unplugged.