Tablet Sports

Azle quarterback wins national football competition

Ken Seals is a 13-year-old quarterback, but you wouldn’t think that if you saw his skills on the field.

Seals, who will be attending Azle Middle School this year, is returning from Ohio where he won the National Football Academy Quarterback Competition.

He faced 200 quarterbacks from 40 states in his age group to win the competition, which tests players on drop-backs, rollouts, accuracy, throwing and running speed and arm strength.

“They announce the four finalists and bring them into the stadium one at a time,” Ken’s dad, Robert, said. “It’s a pressure-cooker. He missed his first target, but finished perfect.”

He also finished third in last year’s competition.

In its fifth year, the competition counts Braxton Miller of Ohio State and James Franklin, a Lake Dallas grad with the Detroit Lions, among its alumni.

Seals has already been invited to numerous college camps, where he is the youngest of the group, including one at TCU.

“My dream is to play for the Horned Frogs one day,” Seals said.

A dual-threat quarterback, Seals passed for 1,202 yards and 27 touchdowns. He threw only two interceptions. He also ran 100 times for another 1,520 yards and 21 touchdowns as his youth league team went 11-0.

Seals, who is 5-foot-8 and 130 pounds, began to play football in the first grade, but didn’t start playing quarterback. Seals’ father played linebacker, so he followed in his footsteps.

“I played linebacker because I like to hit people on the field,” Seals said.

It wasn’t until the fifth grade when Seals started at quarterback and threw for 800 yards, something Seals’ father said “you don’t see every day.”

Seals has grown up a Dallas Cowboys fan and believes he models a part of his game behind Tony Romo, but also likes Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson and Hall of Famers Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach.

Seals has had multiple sources of help, from his parents to his coaches, but one person who has helped him the most is Ryan Roberts, a personal trainer for quarterbacks who played at Keller High and was a roommate of Robert Griffin III at Baylor.

“Ryan is great, we work well together,” Seals said. “Every week, we’d go to training to keep me fresh. He helps me stay focused and keeps me on track.”

When he isn’t working out with Roberts, Seals is working on drills with his dad, mostly drop-backs and throwing the football through nets that his father set up in the back yard.

“My dad plays a huge role, helps me stay on track. He motivates me day in and day out,” Seals said. “He helps me with mental notes and key points on what I have to work on.”

Seals has a brother who will be playing fifth-grade football and a sister who is participating in karate. As the oldest, he helps set an example at home, like he does on the field.

“Being a quarterback means being a leader. It’s like a thermostat, the quarterback controls the temperature of the team,” said Seals, who was a straight-A student at Azle Elementary. “That’s one of the true characteristics to the position.”