Marco Island’s under-15 set was ready for some football on a balmy Monday evening, as they gathered at Mackle Park to participate in the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick Competition (PPK).
This was Marco Island’s 10th year to hold the NFL-sponsored, free competition.
Hosted by the city of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Department on Sept. 15, 31 boys and girls demonstrated their pig skin prowess like the pros in front of a supportive grand stand full of parents,friends and coaches. Established in 1961, the PPK program is the oldest of all the NFL youth football programs, attracting more than 4 million participants nationwide each year. PPK competitions are held annually from May through January, and is one of the world’s largest youth sports participation programs.
The competition is broken into five age divisions — 6/7, 8/9, 10/11, 12/13 and 14/15 — with boys and girls competing separately. Each participant punts, kicks and throws a football into an openfield. Points are given for distance and accuracy for each portion of the competition and then combined to reach an overall score.
Marco Island falls in the South District – one of six. Winners of the Marco Island competition will next move on to compete at the Sectional Championships in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area sometime in November. After the Sectional Championships, winners go to Team Championships, and the competition culminates in a National Championship in January.
The Parks and Recreation Department wouldlike to thank all of the young athletes who participated this year, and a very special thanks go to the Marco Island Senior Softball League who participated as the “field crew” for the event. In addition to spotting and measuring for each participant, they also provided a few pointers to the young athletes.
Winners of the Marco Island competition were:
Boys 6/7: Jake Bruni 138’-10”
Girls 8/9: Lyndsay Lowdermilk 125’-3”
Boys 8/9: Andrew Meyers 129’-4”
Girls 10/11: Jordan Kraley 60’-11”
Boys 10/11: James Burns 154’-11”
Boys 12/13: Justin Webb 239’-11”
Boys 14/15: Cody Webb 264’-03”