NASHVILLE, TN, Jan. 16, 2009- Dyer, Tennessee's Ryan Garner who became the first resident of Tennessee to win the National Punt, Pass and Kick competition when he claimed the title in 8-9 year old division, became a two-time champion on Saturday by becoming the national champion in the 12-13 Boys division.
Garner became the first resident of Tennessee to win two Punt, Pass and Kick Championships. Pictured with 12-13 Girls Winner Sarah Firestone.
This past weekend, the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick skills competition was held prior to the Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers divisional playoff game in Charlotte, North Carolina. All 32 youngsters who advanced to the national finals did so through local, sectional and team championship competitions that were held throughout the NFL's regular season.
The PP&K program was established in 1961 to allow boys and girls the chance to showcase their football ability. Each contestant has one opportunity to throw a pass, kick off a tee and punt a football being graded on both distance and accuracy. All three categories are tallied to decide a total and a winner.
During pre-game, the top Punter, Passer and Kicker in four age divisions for boys and girls showcased their talents for the crowd.
Garner and with his second PPK Championship trophy.
Garner stats included punting 82' 11", passing a whopping 148' 8" and kicking 97'6" to capture the championship.
"I came in to the competition with the attitude of just doing my best and just see what happens," added Garner when asked what his goals were coming into the competition. "There were some really good competitors out there and I am just proud of myself for doing well and pulling it off."
Garner, who is an eighth-grader at University School of Jackson, says that though these two won PP&K National Championships are special, by no means is he done.
"I am already getting ready for next year, said Garner. "I want to win three. I know it'll be really difficult so I'm going to train and train some more."
More than four million youngsters from across the U.S. took part in this year's contest with each NFL team hosting a team championship to determine who would advance to the PP&K National Finals. The PP&K program is free – both to organizers who host a local competition and to every youngster who wants to participate!