For a second-grader at East Salem Elementary School, 7-year-old Andrew Wilkes is not too shabby when it comes to football, and he got to prove it on the Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field in Landover, Md., on Monday, Dec. 3 during the Punt, Pass, Kick competition, sponsored by Play60.
“You get one shot–one pass, one punt and one kick,” Andrew’s mom Kristen Wilkes said. For scoring purposes, the distances of the three are measured in feet; the competitors are ranked according to the best totals.
Wilkes started off with the local competition at Salem Stadium, then moved on to the sectional competition, held at Alleghany High School. To move on in the competition, participants have to be in the top four in their age groups, according to Kristen. On Oct. 31, Wilkes and his parents–Kristen is a reading specialist at East Salem Elementary, dad is Chris Wilkes, band director at Salem High School–found out he’d made the cut.
Andrew joined other boys and girls from Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. on Dec. 3. (Andrew and one of his counterparts in the Girls 6-7 tier, Kadyn Camper of Christiansburg, were the only ones from Southwest Virginia in their age group, according to Kristen.)
Andrew and his fellow competitors were introducing during halftime of the Dec. 3 Redskins/Giants game.
“They said his name and where he’s from, and he got to throw a pass,” Kristen said of Andrew’s time in the spotlight. He even appeared on the big screen, she said.
But Andrew got more than one chance to shine. The first place winners were pulled aside and announced on the field–and Andrew came in first in his age group, Boys 6-7. (You can see how he compares to other winners in other divisions here.)
As the winner of his age group, Andrew received a jersey and a first place football, Kristen said.
As for the national Punt, Pass, Kick competition, unfortunately Andrew will not be moving on. But he’s not discouraged. The Punt, Pass, Kick competition is open to kids through age 15–and Andrew plans to compete every year until then, Kristen says.