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.