6-year-old takes first place in NFL’s Punt, Pass and Kick Contest at Redskins game
Correction (Dec. 12, 2012: 7:32 p.m.):
A previous version misidentified the Giants as the Redskins opponent on Dec. 3 |
Our corrections policy
At just 6 years old, Kadyn Camper has already accomplished a feat many high school and college football players dream of.
On Dec. 3, the Christiansburg first-grader stepped onto FedExField in Landover, Md., and celebrated a victory in front of more than 80,000 people and under the bright lights of Monday Night Football.
The third-quarter celebration during the Redskins-Giants match-up came as a result of Kadyn’s taking first place in the 6- and 7-year-old girls’ division in the team championship round of the NFL’s Punt, Pass and Kick contest earlier that day.
The NFL’s PPK program is a national skills competition for boys and girls ages 6-15, in which they combine passing, punting, and kicking to compete against their gender and age segregated peers. Each contestant is judged based on the combined distance of his or her pass, punt and kick.
Contestants begin by competing at the local level, which Kadyn did at Christiansburg High School. She was the only female to compete and therefore automatically advanced to the sectional level Oct. 7 at Alleghany High School.
It was during the sectional contest, facing girls her own age for the first time, that Kadyn’s mother Tania Camper said she realized Kadyn’s potential in the contest.
“We were surprised at Alleghany,” Camper said.
Though Kadyn took first place at sectionals, she was unsure if she had scored high enough to earn a trip to the team championship level.
That uncertainty remained until the Saturday just prior to the Monday night game, when Camper said the family received a letter in the mail directing them to be in Landover, Md., the next day.
The family arrived in the Washington, D.C., area Sunday night.
At 3 p.m. Monday, Kadyn walked onto the FedExField grass for the first time and went head-to-head with three girls in her age bracket from Virginia and Maryland. She posted a 30-foot 5-inch punt, 30-foot 4-inch pass, and a 27-foot 2-inch kick for a first-place total of 87 feet, 11 inches.
Despite competing on the largest stage of her young athletic career, Kadyn said she wasn’t a bit scared — a fact confirmed by her mom.
“Cool as a cucumber,” Camper said.
Camper said Kadyn maintained that confidence later that evening as she took part in a throwing display at halftime of the Redskins-Cowboys game, and during the third-quarter announcement of the winners in front of the packed house.
“They called my name out, it was on the Jumbotron,” Kadyn said.
Though she won the Redskins team championship, it has yet to be determined whether Kadyn’s score will be one of the top four scores in the nation that advance to the National Finals during an AFC or NFL playoff game in January. Currently, the NFL PPK website has Kadyn with the 14th highest score in the 6- and 7-year-old girls’ division with seven team championships yet to report.
No matter the final outcome, Camper seemed thrilled to see her daughter, who just turned 6 in September, compete so well in a division that includes some girls on the verge of turning 8.
“It’s just the pure experience of going and knowing that she had won. It was a lot of fun,” Camper said.
As for Kadyn, her thoughts on her Monday Night Football experience mirrored her on-the-field demeanor.
“It was cool,” Kadyn said.
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