Valley girl wins Punt Pass Kick competition

13-year-old Emmie Paulson has a passion for soccer, and now she is using those skills for a different sport.

- 13-year-old Emmie Paulson has a passion for soccer, and now she is using those skills for a different sport.

She won her division in Arizona's Punt Pass Kick competition, an event sponsored by the NFL's Play 60 Initiative.

To get to the finals, Emmie had to beat out other girls at her school and take part in a regional competition. The final round was held at the Cardinals practice facility in Tempe. The winners were recognized at a Cardinals game.

"I feel really accomplished like I did something, and I also feel really proud to represent my school, my soccer team, and my neighborhood," said Emmie Paulson.

Emmie says her average kick is 35-40 yards, but to win the competitors have to also be accurate.

"There's a line down the middle for all three of the disciplines, and however far you stray from that line they deduct from your distances," said Casey Paulson.

The goal of the program is to encourage kids to be active, but competitions like this can also build confidence.

"To see her having success in something she hasn't practiced that much was really neat," said Casey.

It also encourages youngsters to dream big. Emmie has thoughts of one day joining the National Football League.

"That would be really cool since there's a female referee, maybe take it one step further," said Emmie.

Her dad has no doubts and says she is tough enough.

"She tackles me pretty hard," said Casey.

Emmie says she plans to keep competing and working on both her soccer and football skills.


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