McClellan girl's training with dad leads to PP&K victory
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Evenings, weekends and any spare time she had was spent in the back yard tossing a football around with her dad, or at the Thomas Jefferson stadium learning techniques to improve her passing skills.
Lily Rockwell, 9, a fourth-grader at McClellan Elementary School, enjoyed learning how to play the game she often watched on television, as she cheered on her favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“It's not hard,” said Lily, who plays basketball, soccer and softball for teams in the West Jefferson Hills School District.
It was her constant training, in school practices and with her dad Andy's help, that Lily said led her to win the Steelers' team championship this year for the Punt, Pass and Kick competition for 8- and 9-year-old girls.
Lily was the first McClellan student to go that far in the competition, said McClellan physical education teacher Marie Bartoletti. Six McClellan students in previous years have advanced to the team finals.
The competition, for boys and girls ages 6 to 15, adds the yardage of a student's punt, pass and kick together, and subtracts deviations from the line.
The top scores at the local level advance to the sectional contest. Those top scorers then advance to the team championship.
“It's just a great experience,” said Bartoletti, who has been entering students into the competition for the last 15 years.
The program promotes an increase in physical activity, in a fun way, Bartoletti said. It also gets students to start watching and playing football, she said.
For Lily, it was a family bonding experience, as well.
Her dad, Andy, was the quarterback of his high school team at Perry. Yet, with three daughters, his chances of teaching football to his children have been minimal, Lily said.
Lily and her sister, Faith, 12, both have participated in the Punt, Pass and Kick competition, and spent time with their dad learning to play the game.
“It brought a smile to his face,” Lily said.
While competition began at McClellan, Lily advanced to events at Bethel Park High School, then the Steelers' training facilities on the South Side.
Getting to try her football skills at the Steelers' facilities was a bit intimidating for the 9-year-old, she said.
“I was really nervous,” Lily said.
Most of the youngsters competing stood poised and ready for the competition. Lily used her voice — chatting with the other children nearby — to relieve her nerves.
Winning the Steelers team championship, Lily had the opportunity to be showcased during a game on the big screen at Heinz Field. She also stood on the sidelines for part of the game.
Her parents watched from the stands.
“We had a lot of fun,” said her mom. Elizabeth.
Lily enjoyed her experience. But she doesn't plan on trying out for football anytime soon.
“I don't want to come home every other week and say, ‘Hey mom, here's another bruise on my arm,'” Lily said.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitt beats Syracuse, snaps 3-game losing streak
- Westmoreland exhibit pairs portraits with still lifes
- Mears savors success, credits legendary Lange for guidance, inspiration
- NFL notebook: Bills practice in Detroit in advance of Monday matchup with Jets
- Penn State struggles against Big Ten’s worst defense in 16-14 loss to Illinois
- Freezing rain hits Western Pennsylvania, many accidents reported
- Conneaut Lake Park to take case to court for tax-exempt status
- Touring production of ‘Newsies’ gets to the heart of a real event
- Penguins notebook: Penguins getting fewer power-play opportunities
- Geologist: Site of idyllic 1833 painting of Lancaster found
- With enrollment dropping, Mercyhurst cuts jobs