Granger girl, 11, wins national football contest
NFL Punt, Pass and Kick finals were held in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.
Photo provided Kristina Lynch, 11, of Granger, holds her trophy helmet after winning her age group in the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick competition in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. ((Photo provided))
The 11-year-old from Granger prevailed in the girls 10-11 category in the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick finals Saturday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
But it didn’t come easily for the daughter of Diana and Greg Lynch. After her distances for the three events - passing, punting and place-kicking - were totaled, Kristina’s margin of victory was 1 yard.
Her score of 274 feet defeated runner-up Jillian Navarro of Tempe, Ariz.
Greg Lynch, who accompanied his daughter to Atlanta, said Kristina clinched her victory with a 35-yard place-kick on her final attempt.
Her kicking ability can be attributed at least in part to soccer.
“She has a strong leg from soccer,” her father said. “You could tell which girls were soccer players by how well they kicked.”
The PP&K finals was in the morning, but there was a lengthy wait before results were announced.
“It was stressful waiting,” Greg Lynch said. “We thought she had a good shot at winning, but we didn’t have the exact scores.”
Greg and Kristina, who is a fifth-grader at St. Pius X Catholic School, returned to the Dome in the evening to watch the Green Bay-Atlanta NFC playoff game.
That was when Kristina, wearing a Colts jersey, got some national TV time.
First, she and the other youths gave a passing exhibition at halftime. Then between the third and fourth quarters, the 10 national champions were introduced on the Fox broadcast.
Kristina said the entire weekend was special.
“The NFL rolled out the red carpet for us,” she said, listing a variety of events and activities she and her father enjoyed.
For Greg Lynch, it couldn’t have been any better. First he watched his daughter win her trophy and then cheered as his favorite NFL team, the Packers, advanced to the NFC finals.