EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Two young Vikings fans will compete in the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick National Finals in Seattle Saturday.
Alex Folz, of Spring Grove, Minn., will compete in the Boys 14-15 division. Folz won the 12-13 age division title last year with a combined distance of 463 feet, 11 inches. His best punt was 153-6, his top pass was 163-2 and his farthest kick was 147-3.
"I'm really excited. It's a fun experience," said Folz, who discovered a new favorite Viking this past season by watching rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Folz thinks the passing portion will be his best showing as he tries to repeat.
"You've got to be able to throw far, but if you're inaccurate it's bad," Folz said.
He enjoyed last year's festivities included attending the Chargers-Broncos Divisional game in Denver.
"It was cool because we had a really nice hotel," Folz said. "The kids we met there were nice. They treated us really well."
Samantha Ehlers from Elk Point, S.D., will compete in the Girls 8-9 division. Ehlers has been participating for four years, improving distance and accuracy and advancing to the finals for the first time.
"I'm the most excited I've ever been," said Ehlers, whose favorite player is Adrian Peterson.
Ehlers said classmates have been proud and excited for her and thinks here strongest event will be the punt.
"I have more yards and get more accuracy," Ehlers said. "I've been moving up every year and getting more feet."
Folz and Ehlers will compete with three other finalists in their divisions as a total of 40 young people participate at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center (Seahawks headquarters).
All participants will have two attempts at each activity, and scores are based on distance and accuracy, with the best result counting toward the final tally.
All finalists will attend the NFC Divisional Playoff Game between Carolina and Seattle. The participants and their guests receive airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to the game.
The competition is managed by USA Football, the sport's national governing body and the official youth development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams.
"USA Football is pleased to manage the Punt, Pass & Kick program," USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. "This fun football competition rooted in fundamental skills continues to capture the imagination of young athletes, boys and girls alike. We congratulate our national finalists and look forward to an exciting Saturday in Seattle."
The NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition launched in 1961, and alumni include Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Dan Marino, as well as Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid.
NFL Punt, Pass & Kick is part of NFL Youth Football, which provides ways for children to play, watch and experience the game of football. For more information, visit www.NFLPPK.com. For other NFL PLAY 60 youth programs, visit www.NFLRUSH.com.