LARGO - Tyler Long, 14, was the first contestant to arrive. The young Largo resident, who brought along his own football, was seen practicing his skills on the field at the Southwest Recreation Complex long before the Pepsi Punt, Pass & Kick competition got under way on September 16. Tyler, who was also the first participant to register for this year's event and the first to compete that day, came in second last year. As it turned out, his combined scores in all three categories earned him a second place finish in this year's competition as well. First place winner in the Boys 14-15 division was Seffon Birks of Largo. Chris Rossi of Lutz took third.
In the Boys 8-9 age division, winners were Jake Danikowski of Palm Harbor, first place; David Wilkins of Largo, second place; and Quentin Kramer of Largo, third place. Girls 8-9 winners were Kaitlyn Inkpen, first place; Kyla Fulse, second place; and Halie Basto, third place. All are from Largo. Todd Cassella of Belleair Bluffs took first place in the Boys 10-11 division. Second place went to Blake Gomez of North Redington Beach. Zach Anderson of Largo took home third place. Finalists in the Girls 10-11 category were Morgan Ferrara of Tampa, first place; Alexandra Cassidy-Glunt of Largo, second place; and Destiny Wade of Largo, third place. There were no entries among boys ages 12-13. Savannah Stona of Safety Harbor was awarded first place for Girls 12-13. First, second and third place ribbons were presented along with certificates to the winners, who will advance to an area sectional competition.
The top scorers at the sectional gridiron skills testing may qualify for the opportunity to compete at a Tampa Bay Buccaneers home game, according to City of Largo athletics program manager Chip Potts, who organized the local competition for Pinellas youth ages 8-15.
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