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Roseville

August 20, 2014

Registration opens for football Punt, Pass and Kick contest

By Kevin Bunch
C & G Staff Writer

ROSEVILLE — The annual National Football League Punt, Pass and Kick contest is coming back to the cities of Roseville and Eastpointe Sept. 26 at Roseville’s Veterans Memorial Park.

Recreation Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe Youth Sports Coordinator Frank Heinrich said the annual free event would give boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 15 a chance to show their skills in the three events, with the possibility of moving on to regional and national competitions.

“There’s multiple cities and municipalities that run their own competitions,” Heinrich said. “In each one, there are different levels of advancement. So if they get a first place here, they’d move on to different sectionals, with the last, final competition being in Ford Field before or during halftime of a Lions game.”

Doing well there would give kids an opportunity to compete in the NFL’s national Punt, Pass and Kick contest, he said.

The three events are judged based on accuracy and distance, Heinrich said, and are split up by gender and age groups, with each age group applying to every two years from 8 years old.

He said the actual program should run one event at a time, with each age group competing one after the other. This way, he said, they could relax and prepare for the next event when they are not actually competing.

“It starts at 6 p.m. and generally does not last longer than two hours, at most,” Heinrich said.

The program draws about 20-30 kids, though poor weather can hurt turnout. Heinrich said they will reschedule the event, if possible, in the case of poor weather, but as it is part of a broader program, RARE usually only has a small window to attempt rescheduling, if at all.

The Michigan Recreation and Parks Association is administering the Punt, Pass and Kick program statewide. Program Manager Justin Lippe said the goal of it is to give kids a chance to test their skills and potentially move on to perform in front of a bigger audience.

“It allows them to join in this competition, and they may see an undiscovered talent that they have,” Lippe said. “And then the opportunity to advance on to the next level of competition is always exciting, as well.”

He said the MRPA advertised the program to the local parks and recreation departments to try to encourage participation and now organizes the various levels of the competition through the state finals. The MRPA also keeps in touch with the national organization.

Local competitions are scheduled through September, ending on Sept. 28. The sectional level competitions are to take place Oct. 11-12, with the Michigan finals set at Ford Field Dec. 7.

Registration is open until Sept. 19 and can be done at the recreation center at 18185 Sycamore St. in Roseville. Participants need their birth certificates for placement purposes, Heinrich said.

For more information, call the recreation center at (586) 445-5480.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Kevin Bunch at kbunch@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1030.