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Fifth-grader earns pass, hopes to get her kicks at NFL-sponsored event

November 17, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

HALFWAY - A local 10-year-old girl will be testing her skills this weekend on the same field as professional football players Steve McNair and Ray Lewis.

On Sunday, Chelsey Scott will punt, pass and kick on the turf at M&T Bank Stadium just hours before the Baltimore Ravens take on the Atlanta Falcons.

Chelsey will get a chance to show off her skills through the NFL Pepsi PUNT, PASS & KICK program. The contest features boys and girls ages 8 to 15 who won contests at the local and regional levels.

Chelsey can move the ball more than 60 feet with her punts, passes and kicks, she said.

Brandon Jackson, 10, the son of her mother's boyfriend, helps coach Chelsey.

"I taught her everything she knows," Brandon said.

According to Brandon, Chelsey's kick still is "wobbly," and they are trying to fix it.

But the Hickory Elementary School fifth-grader is athletic in her own right.

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She used to twirl batons for a majorette squad coached by her mother, Laurie Lawson, but "she's tired of being a girlie girl," Lawson said.

Chelsey plays for three basketball teams this year, and physical education is her favorite class, she said.

She started playing basketball last year, and is "pretty good for my second year," Chelsey said.

Her dream is to play basketball in the WNBA.

Last year, she was the only girl on her team. She ran up and down the court fast, so she was a good player, Lawson said.

Chelsey won the punt, pass and kick contest held by her physical education teacher, Lois Deneen. She then won a contest at the regional level in Westminster, Md.

Now, she's off to Baltimore for her first Ravens game and the chance to compete against girls from Maryland and central Pennsylvania.

Chelsey will face off against four girls in her age group.

The competition starts at 9 a.m. The winners will be announced during halftime.

If she is one of the top four scorers in her age division nationally, she will advance to the national finals, which will be held at an NFL playoff game in January, according to Tom LaNeve, the state chairman of the program.

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