Punting, passing and kicking to the top
Avery Sheedy is used to sharing the football field with the boys at recess, and soon she will be sharing the field with the Minnesota Vikings.
Sheedy, a fourth grader at Shannon Park Elementary School, came in first place at the local NFL Punt, Pass and Kick competition she participated in with her 12-year-old brother, Nick, in July. She punted the ball 56 feet, 3 inches, passed it 49-2 and kicked it 49-6.
“We just tried it on a whim,” Sheedy’s father, JD, said. “My son plays youth football in Rosemount and we got an email through the association about the event. They both went down and competed and it was the first time they had ever been in something like that.”
Both siblings finished in first place to advance to the sectional meet Oct. 15 at The University of St. Thomas. Avery finished first again there, beating about 10 girls and improving her punt, pass and kick distances.
Sheedy was not the only Rosemount student to perform well at the sectional meet. Her brother Nick, Tae Tanski, Allie Mackinac and Ava Lewandowski each placed in the top 10 of their age groups.
But it was Avery who had the top punt and second best throw for her age group that day. Avery’s punt of 78 feet, 10 inches, set a new national Punt, Pass and Kick record for her age group. Sheedy’s father said it was that punt that won it for her.
“She wasn’t inhibited or scared by it at all. She’s played sports her whole life,” he said. “At recess she plays football with the boys. Plus she has an older brother, so that kind of prepares you.”
The next step for Sheedy is to compete at an NFL Team Competition on Dec. 6, during the Vikings game at TCF Bank Stadium. Sheedy is one of four in her division representing the region of Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota.
The top four scorers NFL-wide will compete in the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick Championship during halftime of a playoff game in January.
Sheedy’s father said his daughter is a little nervous about performing in front of such a large audience, but he’s confident she will do just fine.
“She’s practicing and she has a tough work ethic and wants to do well,” he said. “It will be a fun experience. We’re looking forward to it.”