Basalt native heads to Denver for Punt, Pass and Kick competition |

Basalt native heads to Denver for Punt, Pass and Kick competition

Ryder Hutchinson, 7, runs up to the ball to kick it away during a recent Punt, Pass and Kick competition. Hutchinson will head to Denver, Sunday, for the Broncos sectional competition to determine who goes to the national competition in Indianapolis later this year.
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For 7-year-old Ryder Hutchinson, throwing and kicking the old pigskin around is supposed to be fun. But now, after winning his age group at the regional Punt, Pass and Kick competition in Grand Junction just a few short weeks ago, the Basalt native will make the trek with his family to Denver for Sunday’s Punt, Pass and Kick competition at the Broncos practice facility in the rapidly expanding Dove Valley Business Park in south Arapahoe County.

Hutchinson, who is very advanced athletically for his age, will compete against his 6- and 7-year-old age group winners from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Montana, with all four states falling under the umbrella of what USA Football determines as Broncos territory. At the regional competiton in Grand Junction, Ryder punted the ball 54 feet, two inches, threw the ball 42 feet, 11 inches and kicked the ball 47 feet, seven inches for a total of 144 feet, eight inches.

The Broncos sectional Punt, Pass and Kick championship will take place, Sunday, starting at 9:30 a.m. inside the Pat D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre. Following the competition, Ryder and his family will be guests of the Broncos, along with all of the other competitors, as Denver hosts the undefeated Patriots on Sunday Night Football.

For Ryder, getting a chance to go on the field prior to the game is very exciting for the local 7-year-old.

“I’m really excited for Sunday,” Ryder said while taking a break from Ski School, Friday. “We get to go out on the field before the game. That’s really cool.”

Despite being just 7 years old, Ryder as achieved quite a bit athletically, according to his dad. In fact, Ryder is an accomplished skier, having reached levels of skiing and snowboarding that is ahead of his age. With all of the achievements Ryder has accomplished in a short span, it still continues to suprise his father, Hutch, each and every time he progresses.

“Yeah, I’d say this is all very surprising,” Hutchinson said. “It appears, at least right now, that Ryder is very athletically inclined for his age. My wife and I, we try to get Ryder involved in each and very sport that we can. To reach this level, to be pick out of those four states for this competition, and to have the kind of scores that he put up, we are very surprised with what he’s doing.”

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