By Allen Payton
Antioch nine-year old, Kori Margain brought home the bronze by placing third at the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition during the Pro Bowl weekend in Florida, on Saturday, January 27, 2017. She was one of four girls to represent the Oakland Raiders nationally, but one of only four girls in the eight- and nine-year-old age group to make it to the finals.
According to their website, NFL Punt, Pass & Kick is “the oldest grassroots initiative at the NFL” and allows children ages 6-15 “to experience the fun of learning football fundamentals in an engaging and supportive non-contact environment.”
“Kori, a fourth-grader, started last November in a local competition,” said her mother Melissa Margain, a former field representative for County Supervisor Mary Piepho. “She won first place, there and moved up to sectionals and team competition, which was held in the Oakland Coliseum before the Raiders game in December.”
Since she was the winner of that competition, Kori earned the right to go the Raiders game, later that day and of course, Mom went with her.
The scores from that day from all the sectionals across the country were then sent to the NFL for comparison.
“They took only the top four scores from each of the 32 teams for each age group to determine who would go to the national finals,” Melissa explained.
Kori competed in the competition for eight- and nine-year-old girls and was one of the top four competitors from the Raiders.
The NFL selected the top four scores in the nation for each age category and Kori’s score was one of them, earning her a spot in the final competition.
During the competition on Saturday, “she placed third in the nation for her scores,” Melissa stated
“They sent the competitors to the Pro Bowl weekend for four days, including a trip to Disney World, interviews by the football players during a media day, and they got to attend the Pro Bowl,” said Melissa.
Asked if Mom got to attend, as well, Melissa responded with a laugh, “I did.”
This was Kori’s second year competing in the contest.
“I participated, last year, too,” Kori said. She made it to the team competition but not to the finals, the first time. Then, for this year’s competition, she said “I practiced with my family” to improve her skills.
“I competed on Friday and went to Disneyworld on Saturday,” Kori shared. Then they went to the game on Sunday.
The most fun Kori said she had was hanging out with her new friends from the competition.
“One from the Oakland Raiders, one from the Chicago Bears, one from the Seattle Seahawks and one from the Chargers,” she said.
Asked if she thinks other kids should participate in the competition, Kori responded, “Yes, it’s fun, you make good friends.”
Her favorite subjects in school are math and reading, and when asked if she wants to play on the high school football team, Kori replied, “No. I’m more into basketball.” She wants to be a WNBA player when she grows up.
A message was posted on the Antioch Unified School District’s Facebook page congratulating Kori for her success in the competition.
“Congratulations to Kori Morgain, 4th grade student at John Muir Elementary, who recently competed in the National NFL Punt, Pass, and Kick competition where she placed third in The United States. Prior to the national completion, Kori beat out thousands of other children in her age category and placed first in her local, sectional, and team competitions. More than 300,000 children throughout The United States participated in the event where they represented a professional football team. Kori represented The Raiders who recognized her at a recent game. Congratulations Kori!”
For more information on the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition, visit www.nflppk.com.