Punt, pass & kick a huge success

The 2015 Galion NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition winners were crowned last Saturday at Unckrich Stadium. Back row, left to right, Austin Sherman (Boys 14-15), Sara Goossens (Girls 14-15), Owen Mullins (Boys 12-13) and Hannah Snyder (Girls 12-13). Front row, left to right, Cannon Butler (Boys 10-11), Kennedy Painter (Girls 10-11), Bodpegn Miller (Boys 8-9), Jillian Capretta (Girls 8-9) and Colton Flynn (Boys 6-7).

For the first time in more than 20 years, Galion area youngsters had the opportunity to participate in a NFL Punt, Pass and Kick competition. Organizers said 86 local youths registered for the event, which was held Saturday at Unckrich Stadium in conjunction with the revival of the Pickle Run Festival.

“It was a fantastic turnout,” said Casey Capretta, one of the competition organizers. “I think it shows well for the city of Galion and the Pickle Run Festival. I think it’s been a big hit so far.”

Capretta, who plans to coach youth football in Galion this fall, participated in punt, pass and kick in his younger years and was glad to be part of the group that revived the event locally.

“I don’t think I ever won anything at it, but it was a good time,” he laughed. “I thought it would be a good thing to bring it back and get some excitement for kids to come out and do something today.”

What about future plans for NFL Punt, Pass and Kick in Galion?

“We’d love to have it be an annual event and be part of the Pickle Run every year,” Capretta said.

Following is the list of age group winners:

Boys 6-7 — Colton Flynn

Boys 8-9 — Bodpegn Miller

Girls 8-9 — Jillian Capretta

Boys 10-11 — Cannon Butler

Girls 10-11 — Kennedy Painter

Boys 12-13 — Owen Mullins

Girls 12-13 — Hannah Snyder

Boys 14-15 — Austin Sherman

Girls 14-15 — Sara Goossens

The age group winners from Galion will advance to the sectional tournament. The dates and locations for the sectionals have not been released yet.

Sectional competitions will be staged in October and November. Team Championships are scheduled for November and December. The National Finals will be held in January at a NFL Divisional Playoff Game, with the site to be determined.

NFL Punt, Pass & Kick was established in 1961 and is the oldest NFL Youth Football program. The program is a free event, both for local oragnizers and participants.

Capretta said he is looking forward to coaching youth football in Galion this fall.

“It’s growing,” he said. “There’s been a good amount of kids going out and a lot of positive reaction from the community.”

Registration for the 2015 Galion Youth Football season is in progress. The deadline to register is July 14. For information, visit www.galionyouthfootball.com. Registration forms are available on the website.

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