Kern coming into his own at QB

Michael Kern, QB

As he gets older, Michael Kern is enjoying football more than ever.
Kern, a 12-year-old quarterback from Orlando, Fla., is always looking to put the ball in the air.
In past seasons, Kern played in run-oriented offenses that lacked sturdy pass blocking and advanced receiving skills.
This season, as Kern and the rest of his teammates on the Avalon Wolves continue to develop and gain experience, the passing game has opened up.
“I’m excited by the way the season is going so far,” Kern said. “We’re passing more this year and it’s a lot of fun because I’ve been able to contribute more than I did last year.”
The Wolves, who compete in the Pop Warner League, have roared out to a 5-0 start and Kern has been the driving force behind the team’s success.
Kern threw 25 passes in Avalon’s first five games and connected on 20 for 265 yards, a 13.25 average gain.
He also threw 3 TD passes without being intercepted, giving Kern a 151.3 passer rating – with 158.3 being the highest possible total.
“The past few seasons, I ran the ball more than I passed,” Kern said. “I like to run and pass a lot. But I feel really excited when I get a passing touchdown because I didn’t get as many as those in past seasons. I really like it when the coach calls a passing play.”
Considering he is usually the fastest player on the football field – Kern ran a 5.4 in the 40-yard dash this summer when he was 11 – having him tuck the football away and run has been good strategy in past seasons.
And while he is enjoying a more sophisticated passing game this year, Kern is still an effective runner.
In the five straight wins to open the season, he has carried 17 times for 190 yards, an 11.2-yard average. Kern has also returned 2 kicks for a whopping 112 yards, and one was a 72-yard return for a touchdown.
While football is currently his one and only sport, Kern is strongly considering running track at Avalon Middle School in the spring. Naturally, he would be a sprinter.
Kern started playing flag football when he was 7 years old and he switched to tackle football when he was 9.
He’s always played quarterback, and Kern has worked hard to make himself a standout player at the position.
“I like being able to take control of the offense when I need to and always having the pressure on me,” Kern said. “It’s something I think I can handle and it’s a part of the game I really like.”
Attending NFA camps for three years – including the Duel of the Dozens this past July – has helped Kern develop as a QB.
“I would have to say that No. 1, they’ve helped me so much with my mechanics and throwing the ball,” Kern said. “And No. 2, they’ve helped me become a better leader on the field and doing everything I can to help my team and make them better. Attending NFA camps, I’ve gotten to learn a lot of things and I’ve been able to use them on the football field.”
Learning seems to come as easily to Kern as playing quarterback.
He is a straight-A student at Avalon Middle School and a Pop Warner Academic All-American.
While he dreams of one day playing football at the collegiate level, Kern enjoys living in the moment and developing as a quarterback,
“We have a really good team this season and my goal is winning the Mid-Florida championship,” Kern said. “If we can win our region, we want to try to make it to Disney for the (Pop Warner) Super Bowl. We are off to a really good start, so hopefully we can make it happen.”