By Doug Comer, Harrison County Parks and Recreation
With the fall kicking off this week, Harrison County Parks and Recreation will host its annual competitions for football and soccer. The first on the books is the Punt, Pass and Kick competition on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Summit Park ball field while the Annual Kirkwood Memorial Soccer Challenge will follow a week later on Oct. 8.
Recreation Specialist Jack Cann, who coordinates both events, hopes to repeat numbers from the last time we had the events. In the past, some local football and soccer programs showed up to participate which gave the event some of the best numbers in recent years. While the NFL decided to do away with the annual event, the parks department felt that the competition should still go on because it is an important event that the parks presents.
According to the Dallas Cowboys website, the National Football League established the Punt, Pass & Kick (PPK) program as a “national skills competition for boys and girls between the ages of six and 15 to compete separately with their peers,” and it is the oldest NFL Youth Football program. However, they recently did away with the program.
“This is a big event for the kids who love football,” said Cann. “Competition is good for the kids and having an event like this is a way for kids between the ages of six and 15 to test their skills. And even though the NFL did away with the program, we felt we should continue the competition.”
The event is based on scoring from the efforts of both distance and accuracy. Each participant will get to kick a ball on a tee, punt a ball, and throw a ball. The scoring is calculated by taking the distance of each category minus the distance to the left or the right of the line. After each skill category, the players will have a total combined score.
On Oct. 8, the 16th Annual Kirkwood Soccer competition will take place at 10 a.m. at the Summit Park Complex. The competition is open to all players between the ages of six and 14 years of age, and it is based on goals scored. Five designated targets worth different point values determine who wins.
“The soccer event has always drawn soccer teams as well as novice soccer players as it is open to everyone who wishes to participate,” Cann said. “Both events are free of charge to all players and there will be awards given to all winners.”
The age eligibility for both events will be the current age as of Dec. 31, 2022. On the day of the events, kids will have opportunities to practice away from the competition.
As expected, please have a parent or guardian available for all participants of both events. Registration will start at 10 a.m. for both events on Oct. 1 and 8. Once all participants are ready, we will begin the competition based by age groups.
For more information and list of rules, please contact Cann at 304-423-7800. We can email a flyer for the event and feel free to pass it along to coaches and friends.
Again, these are free events and open to anyone that meets the age parameters.