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Living a dream: Brodhead student wins Punt, Pass and Kick state championship
Makenna Schooff, 7, of Brodhead, won a state championship in the NFL's Punt, Pass and Kick competition in Green Bay hosted by the Packers at the Don Hutson Center Nov. 30. (Times photo: Anthony Wahl)
BRODHEAD - Many second-graders can't wait to watch the Disney Channel after school. For Makenna Schooff, 7, of Brodhead, passing a football around until it gets dark continues to take her places.

Schooff is one of more than 3 million children nationwide to participate in the NFL's Punt, Pass and Kick contest. Schooff won a state championship in the 6- and 7-year-old division Nov. 30 at the Don Hutson Center in Green Bay. As a state champion, she had the opportunity to throw a pass on the field at Lambeau Field, and she was on the field for the National Anthem before the Packers played the New England Patriots.

"It's cool because you get to see the players and go down on the field," said Schooff, who is a second-grader at Albrecht Elementary School in Brodhead. "It's something you never get to do. It made me feel proud of myself. It was exciting to just go down there and throw. At school they announced my name on the loud speaker."

Schooff is the daughter of Jake and Amy Schooff. Each NFL team has a championship, and the top four scores from each team will advance to the national Punt, Pass and Kick competition during the NFC playoffs in January. There is a chance that the self-proclaimed football, Packers and Eddie Lacy fan will get a chance to compete in nationals. Schooff scored 115 yards combined to win the Punt, Pass and Kick championship in her age group and is ranked second nationwide. There are 15 teams still with Punt, Pass and Kick championships and Schooff has her fingers crossed that she will be one of the lucky ones to qualify for nationals.

"It feels really good," Schooff said. "Right now, I'm ranked second. It shows practice has paid off."

If she qualifies for nationals, there is a chance she could compete again in Green Bay since the Packers have the best record in the NFC at 10-3.

The Punt, Pass and Kick competition is nothing new for Schooff. She finished second place in her age group last year. She has improved her score each time. Schooff plays flag football in Brodhead and uses that as a training ground for her football passion.

"It's fun when you get to play football," she said. "My favorite position is running back."

To qualify for the state championship in Green Bay, Schooff was one of 40 children ages 6 to 15, who were required to advance through local, regional and sectional competitions across Wisconsin.

She has relied on her father to help her practice and improve her skills.

Schooff said her dad helped her improve by assisting her complete a couple rounds of punting, passing and kicking each day.

She has advice for anyone who is deciding if they want to try to compete in the NFL's Punt, Pass and Kick contest.

"I would tell them to go in there try your best and have fun," Schooff said.