Tommy Walker Field at 555 Park was alive with activity Saturday as the Bartow Youth Football organization held its annual Punt, Pass & Kick competition. The second annual showdown invited youngsters from 6-15 to display their talents.
BYF coaches Benjamin Smith and Jimmy Stricklin set up the measuring devices and gave instructions as each player came forward. Each contestant would get one chance at the three disciplines. The objective was distance and accuracy. Measurements were taken at the point where the ball landed. If the landing point was off course, that distance was subtracted from the total. A short, straight throw could lead to a better score than a long throw off the mark. The youngster’s distances were added together to determine the top finishers in each age group. The contest is open to girls and boys.
Many of the participants will be a part of the 2013 Bartow Yellow Jackets football and cheerleading squads. The day also saw a great deal of activity at the equipment room as players were fitted for football gear to start their daily practices.
The awards were presented at the annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet, held that evening. Medals were handed out to the top three performers in the five age groups. A winner’s prize package was also awarded through the Bartow Youth Football organization.
Tyshawn Smith took top honors in the 6-7 class. Andre Cruz Jr. scored the best in the boys 8-9 group with Garrett Renney placing second and TJ Graydon coming in third. Beniyah Smith was a repeat winner in girls 8-9. Daithan Davis grabbed the first place medal for boys 10-11 with Tesian Johnson (second) and Zalen Clayton (third) earning honors. Javarius King had the best performance of the day and earned the gold for 12-13 boys. D’Ante Jones claimed second with Chrishawn Butler getting third. Martes Johnson won the girls 12-13 title.