Hesse’s trip to Arrowhead ends with win


December 22, 2016 - 12:00 AM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Zoie Hesse had her back to Travis Kelce as the Chiefs’ tight end walked down the line of NFL Punt, Pass and Kick participants and the two athletes missed out on exchanging a high-five like Kelce did with many of the other competitors.
That was unfortunate for Kelce, because the seven-year-old from Iola was able to do something that Kelce and his teammates couldn’t — she picked up a victory on Sunday despite the extreme cold in Arrowhead Stadium.
“It was cold,” Hesse said with a laugh.
After advancing out of the Iola competition on Sept. 7, then advancing through the other local winners at Council Grove on Oct. 23, Hesse got to take on the other regional winners from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa.
The competition is judged by how far each competitor can throw, punt and kick the ball and distance is subtracted based on how far the ball lands from the target line that each participant is aiming down.
Zoie is the daughter of Brad Hesse and Brian and Alisha Rutherford. Her step-father Brian helped her train for the event and he says the element she had the most difficulty with was accuracy on her kicks.
Hesse overcame that though and won the girls’ six and seven year-old division with a total distance of 89 feet and nine inches.
Hesse has the chance to advance and compete at the Super Bowl on Feb. 5. She is now one of the 32 champions from each NFL team and the top-four distances from each division across the country will be invited to compete in Houston.

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