Thirty-two young football enthusiasts from around the country will compete in the NFL PEPSI PUNT, PASS & KICK National Finals on January 10, prior to the NFC Divisional Playoff Game in Charlotte, North Carolina. A special on-field award presentation will air after the 3rd quarter of Saturday's game, which airs on FOX.
The Green Bay Packers' representative, Luke Weiss, from River Falls, Wis., is a contestant in the boys 14-15 division. It's a return appearance for Weiss, who competed as finalist in the 12-13 division in 2007.
Boys and girls will compete separately in four age divisions, with the top scorer in each group 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. The top four scorers in each age group from around the country qualified as national finalists.
NFL Pepsi Punt, Pass and Kick is the nation's largest grassroots sports skills competition. Current NFL stars including New York Jets QB BRETT FAVRE, Baltimore Ravens K MATT STOVER and Houston Texans P MATT TURK competed in the Punt, Pass and Kick program as 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 ALEXIA GALLAGHER, NFL Director of Youth Football. "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 Arizona Cardinals-Carolina Panthers game in Charlotte.
Finalists are listed along with the NFL team that hosted their regional competition:
Tori Hanson, Delano, MN (Vikings)
Maura Hoying, Coldwater, OH (Bengals)
Samantha Mendoza, San Angelo, TX (Cowboys)
Maci Hutto, Aiken, SC (Panthers)
Justin Jefferson, St. Rose, LA (Saints)
Michael Colonna, Miami, FL (Dolphins)
Michael McCoy, Santa Ynez, CA (Raiders)
Jacob Robinson, Granger, IN (Colts)
Dominique Greeno, Lacey, WA (Seahawks)
Jamie Holscher, Lincoln, NE (Chiefs)
Bekah Alcozar, Belton, TX (Texans)
Jenna Goodrich, Davie, FL (Dolphins)
Evan Delaney, Hadley, MA (Patriots)
Jacob Donahoe, Mesquite, TX (Cowboys)
Joshua Reyes, Streetsboro, OH (Browns)
Kevin Pickelsimmer, Clinton Township, MI (Lions)
Sarah Firestone, Mercersburg, PA (Ravens)
Elisa Formiglio, Bozrah, CT (Patriots)
Felicia Stancil, Lake Villa, IL (Bears)
Aubri McCoy, Volant, PA (Steelers)
Andrew Beck, Harker Heights, TX (Texans)
Ryan Garmer, Dyer, TN (Titans)
Luke Randolph, Pendleton, IN (Colts)
Homer Woody IV, Indiana, PA (Steelers)
Anna Grant, Stratham, NH (Patriots)
Mikala Gordon, Pueblo, CO (Broncos)
Megan Ozungla, San Antonio, TX (Texans)
Jessica Escalante, Santa Barbara, CA (49ers)
Collin Hartman, Indianapolis, IN (Colts)
Ronnie Gideon, Hallsville, TX (Cowboys)
Luke Weiss, River Falls, WI (Packers)
Kyle Auernhamer, Vassar, MI (Lions)
NFL Pepsi Punt, Pass and Kick is part of NFL Youth Football, which provides ways for children to play, watch and experience the game of football. More information about the competition is on www.NFLYouthfootball.com, the NFL's official youth football website.