An eighth-grade Merriwether Middle School pupil placed in the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition held recently during the Atlanta Falcons’s game against the Carolina Panthers.
Keeley Marchant placed second in the girls’ ages 12-13 category.
“It was pretty cool,” she said of participating. “I made some new friends and we supported each other.”
In September, Keeley won in her category of punt, pass and kick at the local competition held in North Augusta.
She then went on to compete in the regional competition in Rock Hill in October. She was among the top four from that competition and advanced to the team competition held Dec. 9.
Keeley said this was her first year participating in the competition. She said she likes competing in a variety of sports.
The 13-year-old holds the record for the longest field goal in Edgefield County School District’s middle schools – 36 yards.
It’s a skill she’s gained by playing travel soccer, she said, adding that she worked on kicking with her father in preparation for the PP&K competition.
She also had help from coaches who worked with her on throwing and punting.
“I had a lot of people who supported me and kept me going,” said Keeley. “God has helped me through this, and friends and family support helped me too.”
Although she didn’t advance to the national competition, she plans to enter the local competition again next year with the goal of reaching the national level on her next try.
“It’s a big accomplishment for me,” she said of placing. “It makes me feel like I can do more than I did before.”
In the meantime, she plans to keep practicing and working on passing and punting, she said.