Pickleball junior singles national champion, Wyatt Stone, is determined to grow sport
NEW BRAUNFELS – Pickleball is the nation’s fastest growing sport and a New Braunfels' 15-year-old, Wyatt Stone, is determined to be at the forefront of increasing its popularity among youth players. Wyatt, who was first introduced to pickleball just over two years ago in August 2018, has since amassed 32 medals. “Since then it’s just gone way up in my interest in what I’ve wanted to do for pickleball.”Later that same year in November, Wyatt became the USA Pickleball junior singles National Champion for his age division. He works with coach, Matt Laz, an International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA) Director and master teaching professional. He also became an IPTPA Level II certified pickleball teaching professional last summer wanting to grow the love of the sport in others.
Viral youth soccer standout, Mabry Williams, trains daily in hopes of continued success
Soon the video was being retweeted by some of the biggest names in sports – including FIFA Women’s World Cup and SportsCenter. “All my friends texted me as soon as it happened, ‘Mabry I see you’re on the news, you’re on Good Morning America, that’s so cool! I know you,’” said Mabry who will be a freshman this fall at Johnson High School in San Antonio. Mabry’s play even earned a 2020 ESPY nomination for Can’t-Stop-Watching Moment where she advanced in the voting to the quarterfinals. “You need to like have fun while you’re doing it because if you’re not having fun while doing it, there’s no point because you want to enjoy it,” said Mabry.
All the questions we are asking ourselves as return of youth sports takes shape
With more states lifting stay-at-home orders and loosening restrictions, it could lead to the return of youth sports sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic. While organizations in just about every state are formulating plans to return, some states have already set in motion dates for a return to action. The Ohio Department of Health said youth leagues for non-contact and limited-contact sports were able to start May 26, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said youth sports and camps could start back up May 31, with games likely starting in mid-June, while Florida Gov. For more serious and expensive travel sports, this might be about the time organizations start seasons and playing prominent tournaments, but the clock is ticking.
Forget pro, college sports: Why the absence of youth sports might have biggest impact of all
Little League International, which announced the move, also canceled regional tournaments but said the events would return in 2021. By contrast, the NFL, the world’s most affluent professional sports league, generated roughly $16 billion in 2018, according to USA Today. Major League Baseball generated $10.7 billion in 2019 and the NBA nearly $8 billion in 2018, according to Forbes, so youth sports generated more money than those leagues combined. The owner of Michigan Elite Volleyball Academy in suburban Detroit, an organization that’s home to 150 youth volleyball teams and has produced numerous Division I college volleyball players over the years, Sack had been, as usual, making preparations for the club’s signature event. “You go from ramping up to this.”Cancellations of such big youth sports events have a serious trickle-down effect, too.