By Michael Slother - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A Frenship Middle School football player got a chance to represent the Dallas Cowboys over the weekend. 13-year-old Nick Sanchez represented the Cowboys in the NFL's Punt, Pass and Kick competition in Atlanta.
He was one of 40 students that took place in the competition during the Packers-Falcons game. Perhaps even more impressive was that he was one of only four in his age group. Nick tried to punt, pass, and kick the football further and more accurately than the rest. Even though he placed third, he says it was a weekend he'll never forget.
"I was the talk of school today," Nick said after his first day back at Frenship Middle School. Monday, Nick left school an hour and a half after the rest of his classmates. He spent his after-school time catching up on history and math work he missed while at the competition.
"It's the furthest I've ever been from home," he said. Nick said the furthest he'd been from Lubbock was Oklahoma. His father got to go with him to Atlanta. "We just had a lot of fun together and experience a whole new big city with big buildings and just a great time overall," said his father Nicholas.
If you visit Nick's room, it doesn't take long you pick up on his favorite football team. From banners to helmets, Dallas Cowboys gear is everywhere. "The Cowboys have been my favorite team ever since I can remember," he said.
It was only fitting that Nick represented his favorite team in the competition. At halftime, Nick got a taste of what his idols go through every Sunday. "I don't see how the players can handle it; so much yelling and screaming. Your blood starts running after you look up to crowd," he said.
While in Atlanta, Nick got to meet a couple of NFL players and got a special helmet for his trophy case. The only trouble is finding a place to put it. Nick's father says he encourages his son in sports to learn valuable lessons in life. "It's an overwhelming joy to see your children be able to compete at the highest level; and they can be there if they really work hard," Nicholas told us.
Nick's only a few months away from high school football. While he knows it will be a new challenge, he says he's ready. "They just said get ready to get to work because it's going to be tough. You're always going to end up on top if you work hard," he said.
Nick actually prefers baseball over football, and while it's almost time for baseball season, he says he'll work hard to make it to the tournament again next year.
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