Texas summer heat didn’t deter children from football action on the Hood Stadium grass field last week.
“It’s great to see the kids out here running, having a good time and playing football,” said Kristine Fernandez, director of youth sports and fitness. “We’re here in Texas, right?”
More than 50 kids of various ages competed as Hood Stadium hosted the annual Punt, Pass and Kick event for a chance to advance to the regional competition and ultimately reach the national finals at an NFL playoff game this winter.
The top finisher in each of the boys’ and girls’ divisions advances to the sectional competition, and the champion in each division there will advance to the national competition at an NFL playoff game.
A competitor’s final score is his or her cumulative score for the three individual events.
The event wrapped up a fun-filled football week for the kids. Earlier in the week, there was a football camp held at the stadium that helped the kids prepare for the competition.
It wasn’t just native Texans that got in on the action as 10-year-old Jamil Knight competed in not just the event, but also played in a pickup game.
Jamil moved to the area from Albuquerque, N.M., with his parents and spent Thursday afternoon making defenders miss — much like a star running back on his favorite football team, the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I play for the Killeen Chiefs and I like Jamaal Charles,” Jamil said.
Although the competition was made up primarily of boys, 8-year-old Alyssa Blaise proved to be one of the more adventurous kids at the stadium.
Her favorite part of the day wasn’t the action on the field, but a discovery off it.
“When we were over there, they found a frog,” Alyssa said. “We were touching the frog and kissing it and they got scared.”
Although a prince never showed up, the day was still fun for Alyssa.
Eight-year-old Reuben Brown recently took up the game and although he doesn’t have a favorite team just yet, the running around and making friends has him hooked.
“I’ve been playing for three days and today is my last day,” he said. “I like to kick, I’m kind of bad at throwing, but kicking I’m really good.”