ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A Super Bowl trophy is not up for grabs but two kids from the metro say they want to win an NFL competition. They beat out tens of thousands of others to make it to the national stage.
They punt, pass and kick. So well in fact that they are about to take a big trip.
7-year-old A.J. Manning of Rio Rancho and 11-year-old Tyler Jenson of Albuquerque will soon take off for the Pacific Northwest to compete during half time of the Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers playoff game this Saturday.
It’s part of the NFL’s “Punt, Pass and Kick” national competition designed to keep kids active.
“When I was 9, my dad told me about the competition so I said why not just try it?” Jenson remembers.
It’s something the Desert Ridge Middle schooler knows a thing or two about.
“It was good,” Jenson said. “I won it.”
That was two years ago. Now, he’s looking to repeat.
“It’s anyone’s game really,” he said.
Joining him will be Manning, a fitting name for the Sandia Vista Elementary Broncos fan.
“I’ve practiced with my daddy every day,” Manning said.
This was his first year even trying out. He will admit he was a little nervous.
“I was kind of embarrassed a little bit because it was my first time doing it,” he said.
But he advanced.
“It was pretty fun.”
Both boys won their age group for the Albuquerque metro and both won the state competition.
Then, both won the regional competition in Phoenix, advancing them to final for their respective age group.
“Tens of thousands of children compete in every age and gender level across the country,” Tom Vincent with Albuquerque Parks and Rec said.
Vincent said New Mexico scored a touchdown, and a two-point conversion this year.
“For us to have two actually in the final four for their age group is incredible,” Vincent said.
Both Manning and Jenson are active in local YAFL clubs and both hope to one day be playing at an even higher level.
“Punt, Pass and Kick” allows both boys and girls age 6 to 15 to compete.
You can catch the Seahawks/Panthers game Saturday on our sister station 2 KASA Fox at 6:15 p.m.