It would be accurate to say Peyton Rottinghaus had a big season.
Before suiting up for the Urbandale (Iowa) J-Hawks the eighth grader wanted to be an even more accurate passer than he was the year before, when he threw 4 interceptions quarterbacking the Johnston Dragons.
Rottinghaus accomplished that goal, completing 23 of 48 passes for 514 yards while connecting for 5 touchdowns. He also rushed for a TD and threw only 1 interception.
“Heading into the season, I wanted to help my team win and mentally, be as close to my teammates as I possibly could be,” Rottinghaus said. “I also wanted to reduce my interceptions, which I was able to do. I was also really pleased with how we bounced back during times of adversity.”
The J-Hawks finished the season with a 3-2 record.
When it was over, Rottinghaus reflected on his eighth year of playing QB. “It’s a challenging position and I like working with the many coaches to become not only a better quarterback, but a person as well,” he said. “I feel like I communicate well with my teammates and coaches well, and my preparation and studying game film has improved. I feel I need to continue to work on extending plays and buy more time to throw.”
Rottinghaus’ year-to-year improvement and impressive passing accuracy are reflections of his six years of training with NFA. “I have learned a lot training with NFA, I’ve learned what steps to take and how to take them,” he said. “Mentally, NFA’s helped me to help my teammates and also helped me outside of football, especially in school.”
After qualifying for the Duel at an NFA immersion camp in Phoenix, Rottinghaus placed third among incoming eighth graders at the international quarterback competition in Atlanta.
“I was pleased placing third,” he said. “It boosted my confidence heading into the season and gave me extra motivation. I hope to improve on the third-place finish in the future if I’m given the opportunity.”
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Before the first game of the season, Colton Becker jammed a finger on his throwing hand and wasn’t able to pass a football. His team, the Seahawks, lost the opener 42-0.
Becker was feeling better in the second game, and so was the offense. Playing quarterback for the Seahawks in the Primetime Flag North Scottsdale 12U, Becker completed 10-of-15 passes and had 3 touchdowns in a 21-6 win.
Feeling much better in the third game of the season, he was 16-of-20 with 5 touchdowns. In the Seahawks’ 42-12 win, Becker also returned an interception for a TD.
“I’m happiest about the team’s improvement and winning games,” he said. “Heading into the season, my personal goal was 20 passing touchdowns.”
Even with the finger injury, Becker is well within reach of attaining his goal. He is also looking to solidify his strengths at QB and work on his shortcomings.
“I think my strength is extending plays,” Becker said. “But I can be better at everything. I’m working on improving my throws when I’m on the run. I also want to get better on deep throws.”
A fifth grader at Kyrene de las Brisas Elementary School in Chandler, Ariz., Becker is also a success in the classroom and is an Honor Roll student. “Doing well in school helps me to read plays and make decisions when I’m playing football,” he said.
Even though he’s a young player, Becker is in his eighth season playing quarterback. “I like playing QB because I get to make decisions on where the ball goes,” he said.
Becker’s ability to make strong, accurate throws paid off at the Duel, where he placed third among incoming fourth and fifth graders. He qualified for the showcase competition at an NFA camp in Scottsdale.
“The Duel was a great booster going into the season,” Becker said. “I feel great that I improved year over year at the Duel. Earning third place was a bonus.”
Becker has improved his overall play by training with NFA the last two years. He has also worked with NFA product Tommy Thornton, who was a college quarterback at Wyoming.
“NFA has helped me with my accuracy through the throwing mechanics and fundamentals,” Becker said. “I can’t wait to get better in the off-season with NFA.”