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Mae Hensley eighth-grader excels
Ceres High assistant football coach Brett Johnson participated in the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition during his freshman year of high school in the San Diego area.

He placed second at sectionals.

"I still have my trophy," Johnson said. "It's pretty cool."

Caden and Conner, Brett's two sons, have followed in his footsteps.

Caden finished runner-up at sectionals and first at a local competition in the 14-15 age group in 2010.

Conner, an eighth-grade student at Mae Hensley Jr. High, earned bragging rights over his father and older brother this past year.

Conner won sectional and local titles.

He finished second at team regionals in Oakland last month.His total was 273 feet, 6 inches. He had a punt of 74 feet, pass of 109-3 and kick of 90-3.

"I've been competitive my whole life," Conner said.

Added Brett: "He's grown up around football."

Conner and other team-regional participants took part in an exhibition during halftime of the Raiders-Cleveland Browns game on Dec. 2.

"I wasn't really nervous," he said. "I guess I was in shock. I really never imagined me being on the field."

Conner signed up for his first NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition two years ago.

He placed second at sectionals and first at the local level.

"I like meeting new people and comparing my abilities towards theirs," Conner said. "My strengths are throwing and kicking. I need to work on my punting."

Conner has already surpassed Brett's and Caden's achievements in Punt, Pass & Kick.

"They're excited for me," he said.