2013 national champ earns last try
By Scott Bellile
Two years after winning an NFL Punt, Pass and Kick national championship, sophomore New London quarterback Jack Noffke will travel to Indiana for his last attempt at a national title.
He advances to the 2015 national championship on Jan. 3 after winning the boys 14-to-15 age division of the Green Bay Packers team championship on Dec. 13.
“Jack has a passion for football and excels at the Punt, Pass and Kick competitions because he works extremely hard at those skills,” New London Bulldogs varsity football coach Marc Marsh said. “He attends quarterback and kicking camps to hone his skills and also regularly practices these skills on his own. You can always find Jack kicking on our practice fields or in the gym during the off-season.”
Noffke won the Packers team championship with a total score of 405 feet, 5 inches. It includes a punt of 129 feet, 2 inches; a pass of 160 feet, 6 inches and a kick of 115 feet, 9 inches.
The 2015 national championship takes place at the Indianapolis Colts versus Tennessee Titans matchup in Indianapolis. As this is Noffke’s last chance because he’ll turn 16 on Jan. 9, he said he hopes this one will be memorable.
To qualify for nationals, a participant must win his or her age division at the team championship. Then that score has to rank in the top four of all first-place distances recorded at the 32 NFL teams’ contests nationwide.
Noffke had to wait more than a week to learn he came in fourth and made the cut-off.
His feat comes two years after he won the 12-to-13 age division at the 2012 national championship held in January 2013 in Atlanta. There he recorded a total of 385.90 feet, 92 feet more than the runner-up score.
After winning the 2012 national title, he placed second at the Packers team championship in fall 2013 and didn’t qualify for the national championship.
In fall 2014 he entered high school and couldn’t participate anymore because the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association forbade student athletes from competing in skills contests. The WIAA changed the rules this year.
“It’s nice to see Jack get the opportunity to compete in Punt, Pass and Kick again,” Marsh said. “I think it’s a great move by the WIAA to allow this, as it gives kids a chance to showcase their talents through competition. Having a chance to compete through skills contests and by playing multiple sports is important in the growth of today’s student athletes.”
“I remembered that I really enjoyed it, and I might as well give it another shot since I’ll never have a chance at it again,” Noffke said. “I didn’t think that there’d be any downside to doing it.”
Playing varsity football for the New London Bulldogs has helped Noffke’s Punt, Pass and Kick distance climb since the 2013 national championship. He said there’s some pressure to do well because it’s his last year, but his life doesn’t revolve around the contest, and he has plenty more high school experiences to look forward to.
“It’s just a fun skill competition that I like to compete in and would highly recommend to a lot of the younger kids out there,” Noffke said.
Noffke’s competition at nationals (14 to 15 division)
Name (NFL team) Punt / Pass / Kick / Total distance
- Elias Espinoza (Denver Broncos) 133’3”/ 146’7” / 138’3” / 418’1”
- Cash Peterman (Arizona Cardinals) 131’3” / 147’8” / 135’4” / 414’3”
- George Triplett (Pittsburgh Steelers) 137’8” / 132’5” / 142’6” / 412’7”
- Jack Noffke (Green Bay Packers) 129’2” / 160’6” / 115’9” / 405’5”