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Locals shine in Chiefs' PPK contest

Eight-year-old Charlotte Meier of River Falls displays her kicking form while competing in the annual Punt, Pass and Kick Contest at the Kansas City Chiefs summer training camp at UW-River Falls Saturday at the Ramer Field Sports Complex. Eighty-eight youngsters ages 8-13 took part in the event, which was held in between the team's morning and afternoon practices. Bob Burrows photo

Nearly 90 youngsters from western Wisconsin and as far away as Leawood, Kan., took part in the annual Punt, Pass and Kick Competition Saturday during the Kansas City Chiefs Summer Training Camp at UW-River Falls.

Boys and girls, ages 8-13, competed in eight different age groups with trophies awarded to the top three performers in each division. Winners were determined by adding up the distances of each competitor's punt, pass and kick.

River Falls was well-represented when the awards were handed out by Chiefs' Assistant General Manager Joel Collier.

Ten-year-old Micaela Rivera won the girls' ages 8-10 division with a total distance of 99 feet, 3 inches while 12-year-old Naomi Gunelson won the girls' 11-13 age group with a distance of 189-3.

In boys' competition, Nik Blaubauch won the 9-year-old group with a total of 183-4 and Brian Miller took the 10-year-old title with a distance of 198-0, while Trey Larson took first in the 12-year-old division with a total distance of 225-0.

Collier awarded the trophies and addressed all the participants at the conclusion of the competition.

"This is a great opportunity for young people to be able to compete in these types of events," Collier said. "When I was young and my dad was an NFL coach, I was not allowed to participate in competitions such as this one, and I wish that I would have had the chance to demonstrate my football skills. Thank you for taking advantage of your opportunity to compete and have fun today!"

The Chiefs' training camp in River Falls continues this week with practices Wednesday and Friday from 9-11 a.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. each day and a single practice Thursday from 2-4 p.m. All regular team practices are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, Aug. 8, the team will host its annual Family Fun Day, with a player autograph session beginning at 1:30 p.m., followed by an intra-squad scrimmage at 2 p.m.

Gates will open at 11 a.m. and skydivers from the Indianhead Sports Parachute Club will land on the field around 12:20 p.m. UW-RF Chancellor Dean Van Galen and representatives from the Chiefs' front office and coaching staff will address the crowd at 12:45 p.m.

Admission is $7 for adults with children under 18 admitted for free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

The Chiefs will break camp Thursday, Aug. 20, and play the Minnesota Vikings in a preseason game at the Metrodome the following night.