Last weekend football fans tuned in to watch their favorite players compete in the Pro Bowl in Orlando, Florida. However, one Hemet student was able to watch the action live and compete in a NFL challenge herself. A Ramona Elementary School student competed against four other girls in her age group and placed second in the National Football League’s (NFL) Punt, Pass, Kick (PPK) winner for girls 8-9-years-old.
Keyera Cameron is no stranger to the competition. This is her fourth year in the competition and the second year making it to the National Round. Keyera began competing in the NFL PPK when she was in first grade. Each year, she has been able to advance to the next level of the competition. Last year, she made it to the National competition and competed in Seattle where she placed third. This year, Keyera put in a lot of extra practice time to ensure she was competition ready. She says she practiced punting, placekicking, and passing every day.
Keyera has always been interested in athletics. Right now she plays basketball through Valleywide, but also plays softball and volleyball. Keyera’s mother, Maria Flores, a former Hemet High soccer and softball player, said Keyera’s interest in various sports has allowed them to bond even more. She said she never gets tired of Keyera’s excitement when she does well at a practice or in competition. She said she was able to travel a lot when she was younger because of sports and is happy she is getting the opportunity to see her daughter experience the same thing.
While Keyera is still young, she has her eyes set on the future. She said she wants to get an athletic scholarship to college in either basketball or softball. After college her career aspiration are split into two very different categories. Keyera admits she would like to be a football coach or the President of the United States.
Many Hemet residents are giving their support and congratulations to the fourth grader. Keyera was recognized at the City Council meeting on January 24th. Mayor Linda Krupa presented her with a Hemet pin and a framed Certificate of Achievement. At school her teacher, Miss O’Donnell, and her classmates created a “Wall of Good Luck” outside of their classroom to show their support as well.
Keyera said she is very thankful for her family and coaches who have helped her reach this point: her Physical Education (PE) teachers, Coach Gruntz and Coach Pulsipher who brought the competition of NFL PPK to her school, her Grandma Terry who helps her practice and with transportation, and her mom for her support and encouragement.
Keyera competed on Friday, January 27th, however, the trip to Florida was not solely focused on the competition. Keyera and her mom received an all-expense paid trip to Florida, tickets to Disney World and a stay at the Disney World Resort. Before leaving for the competition she said she hopes to see her favorite football player, Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, at the Pro Bowl.
Congratulations to Keyera for placing second in the nation for the NFL PPK category for girls 8-9-years-old!