Karlie Harman’s defining moment in the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition took place Dec. 3 at FedEx Field, the home stadium of the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md.
Harman, a 12-year-old from Aldie, stepped on the big stage at the Team Championship. She posted distances of 79 feet, 6 inches (punt), 83’4” (pass) and 95’10” (kick) for a total distance of 258’8”, placing first in the girls ages 12-13 division.
The competition was held prior to a Monday Night Football clash between the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. Harman and all the age group champions were recognized on the Jumbotron during the game.
“I was really excited to know I was going to be on FedEx field,” said Harman, an honor roll student at Mercer Middle School. “So many people were wishing me luck. I tried my best and it paid off. To see myself on the Jumbotron was kind of cool, too. It was a really great experience.”
The PPK program is a skills competition for boys and girls ages 6-15, in which they combine passing, punting and kicking distances. All 32 NFL teams hold a Team Championship. Harman decided to give it a try after receiving a lot of encouragement.
“So many people told me that I would be real good at it,” Harman said. “I am always passing and kicking the football whenever there is one around.”
Harman’s first PPK event was a local competition Aug. 11 at George Washington University’s satellite campus in Ashburn. She placed first to earn a spot in the sectional competition. Harman once again placed first in her division at the sectional competition, contested Oct. 21 in Fredericksburg.
By virtue of posting one of the top four distances in Maryland or Virginia at sectionals, Harman garnered an invite to the Redskins Team Championship.
“I was excited when they would notify me of winning,” Harman said. “Sometimes a lot of time went by and I didn’t think I won, but then an email or letter would come to my house to congratulate me and tell me where the next competition was.”
Football is one of several sports Harman enjoys. She also plays travel soccer and AAU basketball. Harman has even convinced her parents to let her play football next fall in the Dulles South Youth Sports league.
Harman’s distance of 258’8” ranked eighth nationally in her division. Rayven Conner of Ashburn also won a Team Championship for girls ages 14-15. Conner’s total distance of 233’9” ranks 20th overall for her bracket.
The top four scorers in each age group from the Team Championships will receive an invite to the National Finals, scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 12-13, 2013 at one of the host stadiums of a NFL playoff game.
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