Bonney Lake teen takes national PP&K championship

As one of the nation’s best Punt, Pass and Kick participants, Brynna Nixon found herself competing on the national stage last week – and winning.

Brynna Nixon was victorious each step along the way then topped a national field for a Punt, Pass and Kick championship. Submitted photo.

As one of the nation’s best Punt, Pass and Kick participants, Brynna Nixon found herself competing on the national stage last week – and winning.

The almost-14-year-old from Bonney Lake was one of just 40 young people from around the country invited to Orlando, Fla., for the Jan. 27 finals of the national PP&K contest. When all the footballs had been kicked and thrown, Brynna stood alone as the girls 13-14 national champion.

The young football fan had shown her skills by winning her 13-14 age group at both the local and sectional levels, earning a slot in a regional competition in Seattle. There, winners from a four-state area came together.

The prestigious Punt, Pass and Kick program is sponsored by the National Football League and each of its 32 teams identifies regional winners. Brynna won her division at regionals, the “team championships” – earning tickets to a Seahawks game for her and her mother – then waited to see if she qualified for the national finals.

From throughout the nation, the top four boys and girls in each of five divisions qualified for last weekend’s competition in Orlando, held in conjunction with the NFL’s Pro Bowl. When results from each of the 32 regions were tallied, Brynna was locked is at No. 4 and earned her Florida trip. Competition was at the ESPN Wide World of Sports site at Walt Disney World.

She and her parents, Jason and Shelli, flew from Seattle to Orlando Thursday.

Success is nothing new for Brynna, who has lined up against boys as a quarterback in a junior league and will compete this spring at the middle school level (football is a spring sport for eighth-graders).

“Football is her passion,” her father said, adding that Brynna has every intention of turning out in the fall for her high school team.

A year ago, Brynna was a sectional participant, but fell shy of the national finals.

The nationwide PP&K program allows kids to test their abilities against others their age. Their are separate categories for boys and girls, who compete in five age brackets (6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13 and 14-15).

At early levels, participants are allowed one punt, one pass and one kick. The total distance is measured, then deductions are made for every foot the ball strays from a center line. At nationals, each participant gets two chances in each event.

With more than 4 million boys and girls taking part, the NFL’s Punt, Pass and Kick competition is one of the world’s largest youth sports programs.

More in Sports

Girls climb in wrestling rankings, two on national list

Check out which female wrestlers from the Enumclaw, White River and Sumner-Bonney Lake school districts are ranking high in their leagues.

Local athletes score well in Special Olympic tournaments

The local three-member team earned a silver medal at the state bowling tournament, competing against teams from all across the state at Kenmore Lanes.

Spartan swimmers qualify for league, district meets

Sumner High coach Maari Bennett was nothing but positive following the Spartans’ Jan. 4 swim and dive meet.

WR girls slip past Fife, lock up another league title

The Hornets basketball team took down Fife 53-49 in the last game of the league season.

Fall will bring change for White River, SPSL 2A

Under the changes, the league will split into three divisions — Mountain, Sound, and another yet to be named. However, football will still be split into the two divisions the league is currently divided into.

EHS students advance to state robotics competition

The Robo Knights – consisting of Nathan Erickson, Hailey Henken, Chloe Nemish, Billy Staley and Jacob Woodley – will represent EHS Feb. 11 at the ShoWare Center in Kent.

Hornets take all-sport title

Thanks to a pair of team titles, Enumclaw High School was named the fall all-sport champion of the South Puget Sound League’s Olympic Division.

Panther rosters are packed with plenty of experience

Familiar faces are back on the mat, looking to continue Bonney Lake’s near-decade tradition of wrestling excellence.

Winter season in full swing at Enumclaw High

The Hornets have participated in a pair of four-team gymnastics meets so far. They will compete again Wednesday hosting Federal Way, Kennedy Catholic and Mount Rainier at PEAK Gymnastics in Enumclaw.

White River wrestlers top foes

The White River High gymnasium was the place to be Dec. 6, as some of the state’s top wrestling teams – and a handful of highly-ranked individuals – gathered for a night of competition.

Panther pair sign with college programs

A pair of Bonney Lake High School seniors formalized their athletic futures during a Nov. 22 signing ceremony at the school.

Spartans: More victories in the works

Last year’s Sumner High girls basketball team didn’t experience the thrill of victory all that often, winning just five of 20 games, but a flock of returning players should help turn the tide.