Tue, Oct. 22

Verde Valley kids win Punt, Pass & Kick sectional at University of Phoenix Stadium

<b>Jacy Finley</b> competes on the field at University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday. Courtesy Photo

<b>Jacy Finley</b> competes on the field at University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday. Courtesy Photo

Trey Meyer (11) from Cottonwood and Jacy Finley (8) from Cornville represented the Verde Valley in the sectional Punt, Pass & Kick competition held at University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday and they both won their divisions.

It was the same day the Cardinals hosted the Rams.

Finley's combined distance was 152' 8'. Her best event was her kick that went 64'.

Meyer's combined distance was 268' 7'. His best event was his pass that went 118' 9'.

The top four distances in the nation advance to the national finals. At 1 p.m. Tuesday Meyer was sitting in fourth place nationally, but not all the sectionals have taken place. According to the PPK website, nine more sectionals are scheduled in the next few weeks. Meyer still has a shot to make it to nationals, but just winning the sectional is an achievement to be proud of.

By winning their divisions, Meyer and Finley beat thousands of kids who competed in their section.

Finley said she practiced almost everyday after school and her dad helped her along the way. All of the practicing helped Jacy improve her overall score by 50' from when she qualified for the sectional in Flagstaff.

Her biggest improvement was in her punt. It was a lot more accurate. (The distance from center is subtracted from the overall distance)

"It was so awesome when I won," said Finley. "I just saw the guy point at me and say my name I just smiled. I was so happy."

Jacy is already thinking about competing next year. She has the goal of getting her combined distance over 200'.

"If I keep practicing at home and at school I think I can do it. I really want to," said Finley.

Genetics are on her side. Her father Rick Finley also won a Punt, Pass & Kick competition as a youngster. He jokingly said he was reliving his childhood through his daughter.

"It was fun to sit there and mentally calculate how well she was doing," said Rick Finley. "We were laughing the whole time and the kids seemed really jazzed about it. It was a really great experience."

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