Foster to compete for national title

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 6, 2000

The playoffs start this weekend for NFL teams. Timmy Foster of Natchez will be competing in a Super Bowl of his own Jan. 15. The 5-foot-4, 125-pound Foster is one of 32 boys and girls, ages 8-15, who will compete for top honors at the NFL Gatorade Punt, Pass and Kick National Finals prior to the Jacksonville Jaguars AFC divisional playoff game at ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.

&uot;I’m really excited,&uot; Foster said. &uot;I received my letter yesterday (Wednesday) and we’re making arrangements.&uot;

More than 3.5 million youngsters nationwide participated in the NFL Gatorade Punt, Pass and Kick in 1999.

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CBS-TV will tape the event and air it during halftime of the AFC&160;game. The on-field awards presentation to each of the division winners will be broadcast live between the third and fourth quarters.

The actual competition will take place next Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at Jacksonville’s practice facility.

Jacksonville will be playing the winner of Saturday’s Tennessee-Buffalo contest.

&uot;I hope it’s Tennessee because I like the Titans,&uot; Foster said.

Foster will be competing in the 10-11 age division against three other boys. The top composite score in his group will be crowned national champion.

Each participant performs one punt, one pass and one kick, with scores based on distance minus accuracy (in feet).

All 32 finalists advanced to the finals by winning local, sectional and team championship competitions held throughout the NFL season. Only the top four scores nationally in each age group qualified.

Foster won the local competition at Huntington High in Ferriday, La., and followed that up with the sectional championship in New Roads, La.

In the Superdome last November before the New Orleans-Tampa Bay contest, Foster won the Saints team championship by throwing the ball 126.7 feet, punting it 99.7 feet and kicking it 96.3 feet.

According to Andrew Fink, NFL Punt, Pass and Kick publicity director, Foster’s score was better than his three opponents.

Kayle Sickler of Troy, Penn., had a score of 294.2; Stephen Paskorz of Gibsonia, Penn., had a score of 288.6; and Germayne Edmond of Dangerfield, Texas totaled 286.2 points.

&uot;I have been practicing and I think I have increased by distances, although I haven’t measured it,&uot; Foster said. &uot;I think I can have a socre good enough to win. I’ve gotten more confident in each competition.&uot;

Foster, a sixth-grader at Adams County Christian School, said he has been practicing harder for this competition.

&uot;I’ve been practicing every day,&uot; he said.

Foster said competing for such a national title is mind-boggling.

&uot;I’m just going to keep thinking positive,&uot; he said.

Foster said while advancing to the finals is a major highlight it still comes very close to another big achievement.

&uot;We played for the state finals in 9-10 baseball league in Biloxi, but lost,&uot; Foster said.

Foster said he and his family will be leaving next Friday.

&uot;It’s going to be fun seeing a playoff game,&uot; he said. &uot;I’m really looking forward to it. I’m a little nervous, but it’s exciting.&uot;