Category: Youth Sports

Massive catfish caught by 13-year-old is a pending Texas record

A 13-year-old Texas angler on Saturday reeled in a blue catfish so massive that it appeared to dwarf the boy while he posed for photos.
Brayden Rogers of Cisco reeled in the 67.1-pound behemoth while fishing at Lake Tawakoni with Michael and Teri Littlejohn’s Guide Service.
The catch is a pending Texas record for junior anglers, besting a 66.2-pound blue catfish landed at Lake Worth in 2011.

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The fish was kept alive and weighed by the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, which will review catch details before deciding whether to recognize the new record.
Another twist to this story is that rather than release the fish back into the lake, Brayden agreed to donate his catch to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, where it’s now on display in a large tank popular among tourists and school kids.

Teri Littlejohn told FTW Outdoors that Brayden was drifting with guide Noel Ibarra, and using cut shad for bait when the whiskered behemoth stuck at about 8 a.m.
“The rod tip bent all the way to the water and the kid just started reeling,” Teri said.
The fish was landed after a 10-minute fight, and kept alive in a holding tank on the boat.
Brayden Rogers with his record-breaking catfish catch (Photo: courtesy of Michael and Teri Littlejohn’s Guide Service)
Teri said a 78-pound blue catfish was caught in the same spot later on Saturday morning, by an older angler fishing with Michael Littlejohn.
The Lake Tawakoni record stands at 87.5 pounds.
For the sake of comparison, the Texas state record is 121.5 pounds. That fish was caught at Lake Texoma in 2004.

'Blaze The Great,' age 7, looks like he has super speed on the track

Do you remember that part at the end of The Incredibles (and at the beginning of The Incredibles 2) where the Parrs finally let their son, Dash, race for his school team?
For years, they hadn’t allowed him to run because his superhuman speed would have given him an unfair advantage. But after saving Metroville, they finally gave in.
Well there’s a young runner from Tampa Bay, Fla. who looks like a real-life version of Dash — if his parents forgot to tell him to “make it close” and “go for second.”
Watch 7-year-old Blaze run a pair of races and thoroughly dominate his … well, “competition” isn’t the right word.

If you think he is fast now, just wait until he gets into high school
(Via blaze_813 / Instagram) pic.twitter.com/lz5BiQ8Pcd
— MaxPreps (@MaxPreps) February 10, 2019
In the video above, Rudolph “Blaze” Ingram ran an 8.69-second 60-meter dash and a 13.48-second 100-meter.
Look at that form. He’s the only runner with a proper stance prior to the start. He doesn’t teeter around awkwardly off the line.
The 2019 season is underway for Blaze, a 7-year-old who’s probably faster than you.

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If that 100m time is accurate, it would break the current U-8 record of 13.69 listed on USA Track & Field.
Blaze is only 3.39 seconds behind the 17-18 men’s record listed on the site, and he still has 10 years to train and beat it.
With speed and coordination like that, it’s unsurprising to hear he’s also a good football player who has gained the attention of LeBron James.

Two parents arrested for brawl after fourth-grade basketball game

Two parents of players on fourth-grade basketball teams were arrested for fighting after a basketball game on Jan. 19, according to WLWT.
Video shows a small group of parents inside the doorway after the game between two undefeated fourth-grade teams in the Cincinnati Premier Youth Basketball League, Mariemont and West Clermont.

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It appears two parents began pushing at each other and others began to intervene.
A kid who had been watching nearby jumped at one parent after she apparently threw something at a parent inside the tussle. The kid fell and, as he tried to get back into the group, was pushed to the outside by a group of other parents who appeared to be coming in to break up the fight.

#VIDEO of tonight’s story. #wlwt @wlwt pic.twitter.com/nZV4yN9BqC
— Dan Griffin WLWT (@DanGriffinWLWT) January 29, 2019
The Fairfax Police Department told WLWT two parents, Aishia Peoples and Tasha Roland, were charged with disorderly conduct.
Peoples told WLWT that a West Clermont parent was being intimidating during the game.
The parents and athletes have been expelled from the league for the rest of the season, WLWT reported.

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VIDEO: LeBron James' younger son Bryce impresses at Crossroads School

LeBron “Bronny” James Jr. has been a known entity on the youth basketball circuit for multiple years now. A skilled ball handler with exceptional court vision and an ever-improving shot and athleticism, Bronny James already looks like a serious recruit, and has received attention accordingly.
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LeBron’s younger son, on the other hand, has to this point been more of a mystery. Yes, we caught a glimpse of Bryce Maximus James connecting on a deep trey during a December game, but that’s largely been it since the start of his age 11 campaign.
Now we’ve got more video and … it’s impressive.
Here’s some of Bryce’s highlights from a recent game for his Crossroads School team released by his Dad and promoted by Overtime:

Bryce Maximus is looking NICE (via @KingJames) pic.twitter.com/wa19dg0Q3n
— Overtime (@overtime) January 24, 2019

A few quick thoughts:
— That up and under lay-in in traffic is something. Pretty, pretty bucket for anyone, let alone an 11-year-old.
— Speaking of traffic, Bryce clearly isn’t afraid of it. He was scything his way through the defense and into the lane pretty much at will. If that looks familiar, well, look no farther than Bryce’s dear old dad.
— Like both his father and older brother, Bryce has exceptional start-stop change of pace in the open floor. This isn’t a long enough clip to determine whether he has the sudden acceleration of either of the other male James’es, but the ability to create the contrast is there and natural.
Keep in mind, Bryce is still 11. He’s eleven! Both his ball handling and general athleticism are pretty exceptional for his age. The more we get to see of him, the more impressive a player he appears to be. That should be a scary thought for any of the school’s who have to face Crossroads in the years ahead.

VIDEO: Watch 14-year-old Mikey Williams clear videographer on incredible slam

Mikey Williams’ star continues to rise. On the weekend that Williams traveled from his native Southern California to Texas to take part in the Hype Sports Winter Jam, a video also emerged showing the 14-year-old throwing down an epic slam after completing clearing a 6-foot-plus Overtime host.

RT if you want the MIKEY WILLIAMS Overtime Challenge pic.twitter.com/4HcBl49CEV
— Overtime (@overtime) January 6, 2019

That’s Williams soaring to the rack as if he was trying to win an NCAA or NBA dunk contest. As you hear in the video, he has got freaky bounce … and he’s just 14!
As for the Hype Winter Jam, Williams competed for the Beyond Basketball squad alongside fellow Blue Chips alum Jahzare Jackson (both were teammates with LeBron “Bronnie” James Jr. in summer 2018). While there were a number of talented teams in attendance, Beyond Basketball and YGC36, a homestanding Texas program, clearly stood out. The Beyond Ball boys eventually pulled out a narrow 54-51 victory against YGC36, with the win punctuated by a massive Williams dunk on the break just after time expired.

It was an impressive win quarterbacked throughout by Williams, who mixed big time shotmaking with decadent assists and the occasional explosive drive to the rim.
It’s not hard to see why some have called him the most impressive 14-year-old to hit the circuit in some time. If he continues progressing, he might even reach some of the heights that have already been predicted for him.

Ind. middle school basketball coach claims he was fired because of blowout wins

An eighth grade basketball coach says he was fired from his job at a Portage Township middle school for lopsided scores, including a home-opening 90-10 victory.
The school district denies that allegation, saying coach Mike Kobe offered his resignation two weeks ago when he stormed out of the locker room during halftime of a game, throwing his clipboard and yelling, “I’m done.”
The controversy regarding Kobe and his Fegely Middle School team started, he said, when his team won by 80 points against Morgan Township on Nov. 1.
“I understand that we don’t want to run up scores, but we weren’t pressing, weren’t playing zone. We were playing solid man-to-man,” Kobe said. His team also shot 75 percent from 3-point range that evening.
“It was a game that is not going to happen again,” said Kobe, who coached the same boys in seventh grade last season, with an average winning margin of 30-plus points. He said he received no complaints that season from school officials.
But after that blowout Nov. 1, Fegely’s principal and assistant principal called a meeting with Kobe to talk about the game.
“We discussed everything from the score and how they wanted me to coach, pretty much about the (substitutions) I was making,” he said. “The starters were playing less than the subs at that point.”
Two weeks later, Kobe was out of a coaching job.
“It’s been painted as coach gets fired for winning or scoring too much. That’s just not it,” said Ken Elwood, the attorney representing Portage schools. “Did we receive complaints about the scores? Was coach talked to about those complaints? Absolutely.”
But the school system didn’t fire Kobe, Elwood says.
“He was not let go,” he said. “We accepted his resignation.”
Ruckus on the court
Kobe’s resignation, the school said, came in the form of a verbal, “I’m done,” at a Nov. 20 game against St. Paul Catholic, Valparaiso.
Fegely led St. Paul 34-7 at halftime. When the team went to the locker room so did Fegely’s athletic director Joe Bachan.
“He came in there and I looked over and said, ‘Excuse me, is there a problem?’” Kobe  said.
Bachan then asked Kobe if he was going to play his second string, according to Kobe, who told Bachan he had played his bench the entire second quarter. Bachan was not made available for comment as school officials are talking only through Elwood.
“I played 11 kids that first half and the starters played under six minutes,” he said.
The Times of Northwest Indiana interviewed St. Paul athletic director Ray Tarnow after the game. Tarnow said he was fine with the outcome of the game and Kobe’s coaching and “there (were) no shenanigans there.”
That’s where Kobe tossed his clipboard and said, “I’m done with it.” He went to the locker room and assistant coach Dan Filla finished coaching the game. It was not a resignation, Kobe said.
‘Best for the kids’
Kobe, who was raised in Portage and played basketball through high school, said he has coached AAU, travel teams and leagues for years. He also runs the Portage Basketball Academy, a youth program.
His seventh grade Fegely team finished undefeated last year and his eighth grade team was unbeaten when he left. With two more games since then, the team remains undefeated.
Outside of school ball, Kobe coached the same boys this past summer as seventh graders, beating Carmel seventh graders by 30 points in a tournament, twice.
“If you beat Carmel by 30 you’re going to beat other teams from over here by 30-plus,” he said. “Carmel is basketball royalty in Indiana.”
IndyStar reached out to three of Fegely’s opposing teams from this season and did not get a response.
There are no rules in middle school about lopsided scores — such as banning the press or zone defense or initiating a running clock. Same goes at the high school level in basketball, said Jason Wille, spokesman for the Indiana High School Athletic Association.
For football, the National Federation of State High School Associations outlines national high school football rules, which do “allow for a running clock to be used at any time during a game as long as the referee and both coaches are in agreement to use it,” Wille said. “What we don’t have is a point differential that automatically triggers a running clock.”
A running clock would quickly take care of an 80-point win in basketball, said Solomon Alexander, director of the Sports Foundation and Sportsmanship Initiative at the St. Louis Sports Commission. But 20- or 30-point margins likely can’t be stopped, he said.
“With the skills sets among eighth graders varying so widely, that is going to happen, particularly in a sport like basketball,” he said. “And it would look silly to just be running around with the ball, under the basket and not doing anything.”
Alexander said it is the school’s obligation, whether in academics or extracurricular activities, to prepare middle schoolers for high school. Coaches should be giving all players time on the court.
“I think an 8th grade team, when run by the school, should want to include as many kids as possible playing,” he said.
But there is a fine line between sportsmanship and coddling an opponent, said Gene Milner, a member of the board of directors for the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.
“Because it’s junior high you don’t automatically say everybody gets a medal,” he said. “There are lopsided scores at every level. You go to the pros and they get beaten by 40 points some games.”
In many cases coaches have enough respect for each other that they take reasonable measures to avert a blowout, Milner said. That could mean things such as not shooting 3-pointers and requiring five passes before a shot.
“But sometimes your players are just better all the way,” Milner said. “Sports is a competition. If the kid’s the last, worst player on the team, he’s still trying hard to compete.”
For more on this story, visit our Gannett partners at the Indianapolis Star. 

VIDEO: Check out Kings star De'Aaron Fox dunking in middle school

De’Aaron Fox is blazing fast. He has the quickness of a fox and a social media handle with a subtle nod to Dora the Explorer.
In other words, he’s a heck of a lot of fun. And here’s something about De’Aaron Fox that’s even more fun: De’Aaron Fox dunking in middle school.

De’Aaron Fox was dunking in MIDDLE SCHOOL @swipathefox (via Lorrainefox5/YT) pic.twitter.com/zKC2tff4Vg
— Overtime (@overtime) December 5, 2018

Yes, De’Aaron Fox, a relatively diminutive (sure, he’s 6-foot-3, but this is the NBA, right?) point guard, was already throwing down dunks when he was in middle school.
Fox’s soaring to the rim speaks to the athleticism that would become the hallmark of his game. Also his tenacity, which was obvious on the steal itself.
The point? Sometimes NBA stars were NBA stars long before they were NBA stars, if you know what we mean. De’Aaron Fox has been that guy since just about forever. Or at least middle school.

Canadian 41-0 youth hockey rout sparks frustration, hurt feelings

A Canadian youth hockey game that finished with a lopsided 41-0 scoreline has sparked outrage and a national discussion north of the border about when a goal of skill improvement goes too far.
As brought to our attention from our USA TODAY Sports Media Group teammates at The Big Lead and originally reported by the Waterloo Region Record, a hockey game between 8-year-olds in Canada devolved into a stunningly demoralizing blowout, with the Kitchener Junior Rangers Red squad pulling out a 41-0 whitewash of the Cambridge Hawks Red team.
Tony Martindale, the executive director of the Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario, told the Record that 41-0 was the single biggest blowout his organization has ever encountered. And all available intelligence points to a belief that the Rangers Red squad instituted practice structures in an attempt to limit the damage on the scoreboard. Here’s what Kitchener coaches attempted to do, per the Record:
Once the game got out of hand, coach Chris Berscht made it mandatory for his players to pass the puck five times before trying to score and also instructed them to bring the puck back into their own zone before going up ice.
It didn’t work. The Rangers Red squad averaged more than a goal per minute in the game while the Cambridge squad never showed any signs of life.
Naturally, this isn’t entirely on the Rangers team; the Hawks had been outscored 91-4 in six previous losses, so a narrow loss would almost be out of context for them at this point.
Still, everyone agrees that a final score of 41-0 does no good for anyone; not for the Kitchener team, not for the Cambridge squad and not for anyone who has to be associated with that kind of an end product.
“We don’t want this,” Kitchener Minor Hockey Association president Tom Graham told the Record. “This is terrible. This is not who we are by no means. It’s not good for Cambridge kids and it’s also not good for the kids that are playing against them, too.
“We would never put that score up on the board. That’s not a good thing for the kids to see.”