12 Insane Youth Sports Stories
I want to personally thank my Mom and Dad for signing me up for soccer at age three, baseball at age five and basketball in the third grade.
If it weren't for them, who knows if I would have been as sports-obsessed as I am today?
While they supported and challenged me, I'm glad they never showed up in the local or even national news for doing something they would regret.
For better or worse, these are the parents (and kids) that gave us the most insane youth sports stories any of us have heard.
We start off with a kid that was supposed to transform the sport of soccer in the United States: Freddy Adu.
After becoming the youngest player in over a century to sign a pro contract in the U.S., then 14-year-old Adu may have seen instant team success (as his DC United squad won the MLS Cup in his first season of 2004), but he had his playing time limited in order to help him develop.
Ten years later, Adu may not have elevated himself to where many thought he would, but he's still 24 and playing professionally, so who knows if he can regain his youth form?
Youth Coaches Brawling
Even with all the good that most youth sports coaches bring to kids, they sometimes let their inner-competitiveness get the worst of them.
Over the years we've seen coaches fight on the field after games, punch referees and even attack a poor kid on the opposite team.
Come on guys, if coaches who are getting paid millions don't do this stuff, why are the volunteering Dads?
It's bad enough when we see coaches go after each other during a youth sporting event, but it might be even worse when the young whipper snappers actually do it themselves.
Pro athletes might get bashed for swinging punches at each other, but they're lucky enough not to have the threat of being grounded by their parents like these kids do.
Hopefully we'll stop hearing about these types of stories, but I unfortunately doubt it.
With word spreading of the kid as Sills continues to work with some esteemed coaches, Southern Cal coach Lane Kiffin decided to extend the quarterback a scholarship offer for the class of 2016.
Yes, that means that at age 13, in the midst of his middle-school career, David Sills has already agreed to play for the Trojans.
He might not be the next great USC signal-caller—there will be three or four to hold that claim—but here's to hoping he grows into one once he gets to Los Angeles.
Anytime a hockey player's name is being mentioned in the same breath as Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby, he's probably going to be become pretty popular.
That's what happened for current high school hockey stud Connor McDavid, who is widely believed to be the next great Canadian skater destined to take over the NHL.
Seeing that McDavid started getting high praise at 13, I'd think he's pretty well-accustomed to the high expectations that will follow him as he continues his career.
Soccer Mom Fights
I love the passion and support of any parent who gets up at eight in the morning on a Saturday to go to their kid's soccer game, or who splits work early in order to pick them up from practice, but I can't help but laugh and shake my head at the ones who fight with each other.
As I mentioned in the previous slides of coaches and kids brawling, no Mom should ever take her responsibility of being a "Soccer Mom" a little bit too seriously.
With so many crazy examples of parents fighting, though, I have a feeling we'll keep hearing about them on the news.
Just as we've seen recently with Dodgers' young phenom Yasiel Puig this year, and reigning "Rookie of the Year" winners Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, everyone loves talking about the next big thing in baseball.
And although this kid Jayvon Springfield is only 14, he may someday live up to the billing.
With so many up-and-coming baseball prospects, who knows which one will shine next, but I bet we'll hear thousands of names and see hundreds of videos put forth by parents in the hopes that their kid will be it.
Although Cody Paul's YouTube video got millions of hits, his career to date hasn't lived up to the video poster's description of the 12-year-old running back as the "Best Ever Running Back" in 2006.
All of us were amazed at how he ducked and weaved past defenders during pee-wee games, but thanks to being a bit undersized after that thing called puberty—he's only 5'5"—he found himself on the outside looking in on major programs coming after him.
Cody may just be a forgotten commodity as a tailback, but that doesn't mean he once wasn't the talk of football everywhere.
Here's to him finding something else to succeed in like he used to at football.
'Trick Shot' Titus
When a toddler who struggles to even stand on his own two feet can hit trick shots seemingly whenever he wants to, people tend to take notice.
That's what happened with this little guy, Titus Ashby, who found himself on late-night shows like "Jimmy Kimmel Live" shooting against future Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal.
It may have been way past his bed time, but that didn't stop Titus from beating Shaq—much to the chagrin of the big fella.
Titus' Dad at least likes all the fame—but for reasons other people probably wouldn't think.
Though I have plenty of good stories here that outline the unbelievable talents (and exposure) some kids get, it's not always roses in the land of youth sports.
That was proven earlier this year when Canadian pee-wee hockey coach Martin Tremblay actually tripped an opposing 13-year-old player during the routine postgame handshake.
For his dumbass move, Tremblay was arrested and actually sent to jail for 15 days.
Great example for the kids, dude.
In the past year or so, there hasn't been a nine-year-old more talked about than Sam Gordon.
After taking the Internet by storm by showing off her Reggie Bush-like agility on the football field, she rose to stardom when ESPN found out about her video.
With all her success against the boys on the gridiron, Sam got her own Wheaties box to look at over Saturday morning cartoons along with numerous awards.
She says that soccer is the sport she hopes to pursue long-term, but as of now, all of us are still enamored by her running back skills.
LeBron James might be a superstar these days—especially after collecting a fourth league MVP and second-straight title—but before all the NBA awards and millions of dollars, Bron was just a hyped-up high-schooler for whom everyone had high expectations.
Born and raised just 10 minutes or so from James and sharing his same age, I personally saw the media attention from my freshman year on throughout his four years at St. Vincent-St. Mary's high school.
It started with a mention from my Aunt Claudia (where I admittedly rolled my eyes at her praise), then to national publications talking about him, and finally, where ESPN started broadcasting his high school games.
No one had ever seen anything like it before, and love or hate him, James has single-handedly revolutionized the way youth sports is covered—while exceeding the expectations set when he first got noticed.