Steamboat Springs Several local football players are hoping their results during a sectional Punt, Pass and Kick competition will earn them a trip to Denver and a chance to step onto the Kentucky bluegrass at Sports Authority Field during halftime of a Denver Broncos game in December.
Steamboat had three players win their age divisions at the sectional competition Oct. 12 at Stocker Stadium in Grand Junction. Tyler Doyne won the ages 12 and 13 division, Jack Becker won the ages 11 and 12 division and James Harbison won the ages 8 and 9 division. All three players will have a shot at advancing to Denver. James' younger brother William just missed the cut finishing third in the ages 6 and 7 division.
The local players had earned an invitation to the sectional competition by winning their age divisions at an event held in Steamboat Springs at the end of September. The sectional competition is the second level of the Punt, Pass and Kick event. The long-running skills challenge showcases young players' talents in punting, passing and kicking with scores based on distance and accuracy.
“I just took my time, and I think that really helped,” Tyler said about competing in Grand Junction. “ A lot of kids rushed, and that hurt them.”
Tyler, Jack and James are hoping their scores will be high enough to get them an invitation to the next level, but the group will have to wait at least a week before all the other sectionals have finished their competitions and reported the results to the organization that runs the event. After that, the local players will learn whether they will be invited to Denver.
“It would be really cool,” Tyler said. "I feel pretty good about my results, and hopefully they will be enough to move on."
The sectionals include players from Colorado, Utah, Montana and Wyoming. Some players also will travel from Kansas, New Mexico and Nebraska to take part in the competition.
If the Steamboat youths' results rank in the top four out of eight sectional winners, they will be invited to compete the morning of the Dec. 8 game at the Broncos training facility. The players also will get two tickets to the game between the Denver Broncos and the Tennessee Titans and will be featured in an exhibition at halftime.
If they do well in that competition, they will advance to the next level and have a shot at competing at an NFL playoff game in January.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966
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