St. Mary School in Oak Ridge hosted the East Tennessee Sectional Championship for the NFL’s Punt, Pass & Kick (PPK) competition Oct. 16.
Boys and girls ages 6-15 from East Tennessee competed in the free contest sponsored by the NFL and USA Football. PPK began in 1961, and continues today with more than 200,000 youngsters nationwide participating. PPK allows youngsters to showcase their talents in punting, passing, and kicking a football, with scores based on distance and accuracy. Age classification is based on the participant’s age as of Dec. 31 of the current year.
The competition began with a local event, winners from each local competition advancing to a sectional competition. The next level of competition is the team championship. Each NFL team hosts a team championship. The top four first-place winners in the boys’ and girls’ age groups among all sectional winners advance to the team championship.
Winners from the Oct. 16 competition have the opportunity to advance to a team championship to be held before a Tennessee Titans game this fall if they have one of the top four scores from all sectional contests in Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Alabama. The top four scores among first-place finishers at all team championships advance to the national finals held during an NFL playoff game in January.
This is the third year that St. Mary School has participated in the PPK competition. During the 2014-15 school year, Anne Marie Carter was an eighth-grader at St. Mary. She is now a sophomore at Knoxville Catholic High School and has continued to compete in the St. Mary PPK event. She has advanced to the team championships held at a Titans game in Nashville for the last two years.
This is the last year that Anne Marie can participate in the competition.
St. Mary students taking part in the PPK sectional, listed by age group, included:
■ 8-9 boys: third place: Joshua Palacios, fourth grade
■ 8-9 girls: first place: Lauren Sorah, fourth grade
■10-11 boys: participant, Parker Sorah, sixth grade
■ 10-11 girls: second place, Maggie Trent, sixth grade
■ 12-13 boys: second place, Jacob Dalton, sixth grade
■ 12-13 girls: first place, Joyce Ann Urban, seventh grade
■ 14-15 boys: first place, Elijah Dempsey, eighth grade
■ 14-15 girls: first place, Anne Marie Carter.
Additional participants were:
■ 6-7 boys: first place, Jayden Hargis, Jamestown; second place, Brody Sparks, Knoxville; third place, Brayden Shelton, Greeneville
■ 8-9 boys: first place, Carson Asbaty, Knoxville; second place, Gavin Crum, Greeneville
■ 10-11 boys: first place, Connor Farris, Fairview; second place, Caleb Asbaty, Knoxville; third place, Drew Shelton, Greeneville
■ 10-11 girls: first place, Kaylee Jump, Loudon; second place, Maggie Trent, Knoxville
■ 12-13 boys: first place, Zachery Gibson, Jamestown; second place, Jacob Dalton, Knoxville
■ 14-15 boys: second place, Jacob Jump, Loudon. ■