Luke Adams admits being a veteran of the NFL's Punt, Pass and Kick national finals helped him Saturday at Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo.
“I had an advantage because I’ve been here before,” the Hinsdale 9-year-old said. “I wasn’t as nervous as the other kids.”
Adams, competing in his third national tournament in four years, captured his second national championship with a record-setting performance.
He placed first in the 8-9-year-old division with a combined total of 287 feet, 11 inches. In total, five boys and five girls were named champions.
Each participant was allowed one punt, one pass and one placekick, with scores based on distance and accuracy.
“It was really exciting,” Adams said. “It was cool to get the record.”
In 2011, Adams competed in Atlanta when he was 6 and placed fourth before being crowned national champion two years ago in Baltimore, earning an appearance on CBS-TV.
“I’m extremely proud,” said Luke’s father Dan Adams. “He always tries his hardest and loves to practice. He’s just a wonderful kid to be around. He loves [the competition]. He gets excited about it, loves flying out and experiencing the town and a new city."
Both Luke and Dan Adams attended Sunday’s AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers, which the Broncos won 24-17. Luke Adams was awarded his first-place trophy and had his name announced by broadcaster Jim Nantz following the third quarter.
Adams plays soccer and baseball and has been playing flag football for four years. He plans to get his first taste of tackle football this fall with the Hinsdale Falcons.
The multi-talented youngster also competes in state chess tournaments and plays the piano.
His older brother Jake, 11, is also a talented basketball and baseball player and will be playing for the Hinsdale Falcons in the fall.
“Jake is a great influence,” Dan Adams said. “He goes to all of the practices with Luke and shags punts and helps out. They are both competitive and push each other.”