Enumclaw’s Quin Nearhood recently strolled the sidelines of CenturyLink Field and heard his name announced to a sellout crowd during halftime of a Seattle Seahawks’ Sunday afternoon game.
The 7-year-old’s moment of glory came courtesy of the football skills he displayed during the annual NFL Punt, Pass and Kick competition.
The nationwide 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).
Nearhood, a second-grade student at Enumclaw’s Sunrise Elementary School, first competed at the local level. He went to a competition at Wilson Playfields in Kent where he totaled 164 feet, 6 inches. That came as a result of a punting score of 50-2, a pass of 62-3 and a kick of 52-1.
In PP&K competition, each participant is 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.
As the top boy in the 6/7 division, he then competed at the Sectional level. Facing kids from xxxxx, he again emerged on top, thanks to a total of 163-2. That allowed Nearhood to head to CenturyLink for Team Championship round. Each of the NFL’s 32 teams host championships, drawing in Sectional winners from large parts of the nation.
In Seattle, Nearhood was again consistent and again walked off victorious. His total of 166-4 was the best among Sectional winners from Washington, Idaho, Alaska and Oregon.
He competed at CenturyLink on Saturday, Nov. xx, and was invited back the following day. At a ceremony in the CenturyLink Events Center, the individual age group winners were announced. Then, Quin and his parents Kyle and Mollie were presented with seats to watch the Seahawks defeat the Philadelphia Eagles.
The only thing left on the radar is a national competition, slated for xxxx in Orlando, Fla.
Invited to Orlando will be the top four competitors in each category from across the nation. As of last week, only 11 teams had posted their results and Quin was sitting in third place, trailing boys from Texas and Ohio. Final results aren’t expected until late December.
With more than four million boys and girls taking part, the NFL’s Punt, Pass and Kick competition is one of the world’s largest youth sports programs.