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National Champion

Richmond Hill's JaDon Hollins-Reno wins 10-11 boys competition in NFL Punt , Pass and Kick

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POSTED: January 18, 2012 5:00 a.m.
Photo courtesy National Football League/

Hollins-Reno with the other PPK champs.

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Richmond HIll's JaDon Hollins-Reno is No. 1.
The 11-year-old earned that distinction over the weekend by winning the 10-11 age group in the national NFL Punt, Pass and Kick competition in Baltimore.
Now, Hollins-Reno may be the most famous sixth-grader in Richmond Hill Middle School history after he got face time on national TV during Sunday's AFC playoff game between the Ravens and Houston Texans.
The victory ended a PPK journey that began in October in South Bryan, when Hollins-Reno won the local competition. From there, he went on to compete in Jacksonville at the Jaguars' team competition.
"It's been a whirlwind," said his mother, Juanita Reno. "Everything has gone by so fast, especially since the time he won in Jacksonville on Dec. 11 until now. It's been really exciting."
The attention apparently hasn't fazed Hollins-Reno, who said the secret to his PPK success is to "have confidence and patience."
"He's downplayed this with us, like it's not such a big deal," his mom said. "He's just saying, yes, it was nice, it was fun, but that's about it. I'm like, alrighty then. I was excited."
The competition, now in its 50th year, is for boys and girls ranging in age from 6 to 15 and is scored based on how far competitors can punt, pass and kick footballs. While winners from Saturday were announced, their results haven't been.
Thousands of kids participated - some have competed before. But this was Hollins-Reno's first time at PPK, which was reportedly held in South Bryan for the first this year as well,
"It felt pretty good (to win) because I had no experience and this was my first time trying out," Hollins-Reno said.
And when Reno, a social worker and native of New York, made the trip north with her son, they may have been hoping for something of a homefield advantage.
Hollins-Reno's dad, Kristian Hollins, and stepmom Julia, live in Baltimore, which enabled them to participate in all the weekend's activities, Reno said.
There were also plenty of folks back in Richmond Hill rooting for Hollins-Reno, an honor roll student who plays rec football.
Among that number was younger brother Malik, 7. "He wasn't able to go to see JaDon compete, but he is always outside playing sports with JaDon."
What lies ahead for Hollins-Reno as far as PPK goes is unclear. But, his mom said, "He's already asking me about next year."

 

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