By Holly Kline
The 2013 Punt, Pass & Kick National Championships were held in December in Denver. Sophia Saucerman, a seventh-grader at Heritage Christian School, represented the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL-run competition and won the championship for her age group.
The NFL sponsors the PP&K competition and there is no charge to participate; boys and girls ages 6 to 15 are welcome to find a local PP&K event and compete. Boys’ and girls’ events are separate and everyone is divided into age groups.
Saucerman was a finalist in 2012 and competed again in 2013, managing to come in first in a local PP&K event and first in sectional and state competitions. She earned a spot in the finals and went on to win the PP&K championship in the girls’ 12-13 age group. Saucerman was honored with other PP&K champions on the football field during the Jan. 12 Broncos/Chargers game.
“I like that I got to go to the game and get announced,” Saucerman said.
The competition is made up of one punt, one pass and one placekick. Each participant receives a cumulative score made up of points awarded in all three events. Saucerman’s score was an impressive 314.4 feet.
“It was nerve-wracking,” Sophia said, when talking about competing at the national finals. “But my nerves went away when I did my first round of events,” she continued. “It was a lot better than when I did it last year and I felt confident.”
“Sophia has shown a fantastic desire to better herself on the soccer field and it has shown in her desire to better herself in the Punt, Pass & Kick competition,” said Saucerman’s FC Pride Soccer Club coach Matt Blackbourne. “Her teammates love what she has accomplished,” he continued.
“The coaches, players and families at FC Pride are extremely proud of Sophia’s achievements in the Punt, Pass & Kick competition,” added FC Pride Director of Coaching Jamie Gilbert.
Sophia is excited to continue competing in PP&K events and said she is very happy with her 2013 performance. “I want to do this until I’m 15,” she said.