Cameron Smith

  • Iowa prep track coach pokes fun at Justin Bieber in recruiting campaign

    Cameron Smith at Prep Rally 10 mths ago

    Seeing is Beliebing. That was the general principle behind an amazing promotional poster using Justin Bieber's mugshot that should result in Ankeny (Iowa) Centennial High's girls track and field team competing for a state title if there's any justice in this world.

    In an effort to encourage girls to come out for his team this season, Centennial coach Andrew Kruzich concocted a tongue-in-cheek poster with the following message (h/t USA TODAY): “JUSTIN BIEBER NEVER RAN TRACK. NOW HE’S IN JAIL. Coincidence? Don’t Beliebe it. Don’t end up like Bieber. Run track.”

    Naturally, the running community has embraced Kruzich's creativity, transforming a simple poster into a viral phenomenon. He has tracked the campaign's success in a few updates on the team website, including his dream of getting Bieber to sign a copy of the poster that could fetch enough on eBay to pay for an indoor track facility. He wrote:

    Go Jaguars!

  • One-handed Washington gymnast emerges as team’s top scorer

    Cameron Smith at Prep Rally 11 mths ago

    The uneven bars are hard enough with two hands, but Kirkland (Wash.) Juanita High junior Amelia "Millie" Andrilenas is making gymnastics look easy with just one.

    The top scorer among 27 gymnasts on Juanita's team, Andrilenas hasn't let a congenitally malformed left hand stop her from winning a statewide competition before the age of 13, qualifying for the state meet as a sophomore and winning the all-around competition in one of her first three meets this season, according to a fantastic Seattle Times feature.

    "It doesn’t matter if you have any ‘issues,’" the 17-year-old told the paper. "If you really want to do something, if you want it with your whole life, you can do it. If people are there to help you, it’s really nice. But if you really want it, you could do it by yourself."

    Andrilenas scored an 8.5 on the vault and a 9.0 in her floor routine at the Class 2A/3A state meet as a sophomore and is well on her way to qualifying once again this February.

    - - - - - - -

    Follow @ypreprally

  • Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow

    Cameron Smith at Prep Rally 1 yr ago

    My parents always told me that all good things come to an end, and for me, Prep Rally has always been a very good thing. For better and for worse, now it's come to an end for me.

    When I started this blog for Yahoo Sports three-and-a-half years ago, I sat down with a pair of sports blog editors and came up with a strategy we thought would present compelling content that would help people connect with prep sports. We never imagined it would become what it has.

    It goes without saying that these stories are captivating because they showcase the best of the human spirit. In truth, prep sports tend to do that all the time. We shouldn't read and write about school sports simply because they are sports; we should read and write about school sports because they showcase the best of sports, and ourselves.

    As for myself, I'll be writing again sometime soon, though I can't say precisely where or when yet. In the meantime I would love if people follow me on Twitter right here. I'll be tweeting about the best and worst of prep sports and plenty of other fun moments in sports.

    - - - - - - -

  • The Clausen brothers will combine to coach a California prep football team

    Cameron Smith at Prep Rally 1 yr ago

    Remember Casey Clausen? Sure you do. The former University of Tennessee quarterback and older brother of Rick Clausen and Jimmy Clausen, both former starting college quarterbacks in their own right. While the youngest Clausen is still technically on an NFL roster — Jimmy Clausen was put on Carolina’s injured reserve in August — both Casey and Rick have remained active in football by serving as assistant coaches at Oaks Christian High (Westlake, Calif.).

    "I think it’s a great opportunity," Casey Clausen told the Los Angeles Times' Eric Sondheimer.

    At the moment, those concerns seem to be far away from the Clausen brothers, who are excited to get started.

    - - - - - - -

  • West Virginia school district weighs mandatory participation rule for middle school teams

    Cameron Smith at Prep Rally 1 yr ago

    If you want to ensure your middle school-aged child gets on to the field or court of their choice, now might be the time to move to Charleston, W. Va.

    As reported by Charleston news outlet WSAZ and the Charleston Gazette, a new proposal in Kanawha County (W. Va.) would require middle school coaches find playing time for all students who want to compete on their teams. This is a step beyond the occasional mandates that force coaches to keep anyone who wants to compete on a team’s roster. This time, all those players will have to see time on the court or field.

    If that seems like an indication that the new middle school policy in Kanawha County might be at odds with social expectations, it doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be embraced. Some advocates of the policy proposed by school board member Becky Jordan have been very vocal in their support of equal participation across the board.

    - - - - - - -

  • A different kind of buzzer beater earns Illinois student $500

    Cameron Smith at Prep Rally 1 yr ago

    The video you see above showcases a buzzer beater, but it came with a very different prize that your typical late-game victory. This time it brought $500.

    As reported by USA Today's Scott Allen, Athens High (Athens, Ill.) student Madi Epperson hit a four-shot sequence in 30 seconds as part of a halftime contest with a prize of $500. After easily knocking down a layup and hitting her second free throw attempt, Epperson connected on her first shot from behind the three-point line.

    That left just a half-court shot between Epperson and some cool cash. The teen had just enough time to hoist up two attempts. The first fell short, but an outlet pass sent to her from a rebounding school official under the basket gave her just enough time to gather, dribble and fire.

    The result was another early season buzzer beater from a girls basketball player, this one just came during a boys hoops contest. Epperson didn't even have to go to the bank on her mid-court heave; she watched the swish and then could take her money to the bank instead.

    - - - - - - -

  • California high school hires one former NFL star to replace another

    Cameron Smith at Prep Rally 1 yr ago

    Among all the qualifications needed to be the head football coach at Bishop O'Dowd High (Oakland), the school seems to put special emphasis on one very specific trait: they must have NFL experience. While that wouldn’t seem to be necessary for teaching high school players the ropes, its a background that both departing coach Hardy Nickerson and incoming head man Napoleon Kaufman share.

    Kaufman spent the previous season as the O'Dowd freshman coach, his first at the school. When he becomes the varsity coach in 2014, one of the players he’ll be coaching is his son, Napoleon Jr.

    "We believe our young men will benefit greatly from Napoleon’s positive outlook and leadership," O'Dowd principal Pam Shay told the Times.

    "I felt like there were other things that I wanted to pursue that are not football-related," Nickerson said. "Bishop O'Dowd has been great. The administration has been great."

    - - - - - - -

    Follow @ypreprally

  • The wildest six seconds of the prep football season unfolded in Virginia

    Cameron Smith at Prep Rally 1 yr ago

    If a team is facing a fourth down with just seconds left on the clock in a football game, doesn’t it always seem like the easiest way to seal the win would be to have the quarterback take the snap and just run around the backfield until time runs out? Well, one Virginia team tried that exact plan, and to say that things didn’t go as expected would be quite an understatement.

    The video you see above chronicles the eventful final 6 seconds of a Northern Virginia playoff game between Briar Woods High (Ashburn) and North Stafford High (North Stafford). Briar Woods held a 27-19 lead and was facing a 4th-and-14 on North Stafford’s 35 yards line. Faced with the choice of punting the ball away or trying to run out the clock, Briar Woods decided on the latter.

    You can see a close up of that final play below.

  • The catch of the week was made by a Pee Wee player

    Cameron Smith at Prep Rally 1 yr ago

    Sure, that headline might sound too good to be true, but this is the Pee Wee Super Bowl playoffs.

    Competing at the Walt Disney World Wide World of Sports complex, Creeks Outlaws (Julington Creek, Fla.) wide receiver Garrett Deny pulled in one of the best catches of the season at any level with a full-extension grab in the end zone.

    The touchdown was part of a Creeks rout of Ward 5, a squad from Washington, D.C., in a Pee Wee Division II national semifinal. You can watch a full replay of the game here via Watch ESPN if you choose.

    It remains to be seen if Creeks can win the title, but we're glad that the Outlaws have another game in the Pee Wee Division II championship on Saturday just so Deny can try and outdo himself. That will be no small feat.

    - - - - - - -

    Follow @ypreprally

  • Here’s the prep hoops season’s first dramatic, game-winning full-court shot

    Cameron Smith at Prep Rally 1 yr ago

    That didn’t take long.

    Less than a full month into the high school basketball season, a Pennsylvania squad provided the first dramatic game-winning full court heave of the year. Cameron County High (Emporium, Pa.) edged past Ridgway High (Ridgway, Pa.), 44-43, when Dylan Clingan gathered a rebound from a missed free throw that was tipped to him by teammate Nate Sestina. Clingan only had time to fire up a full-court prayer.

    Incredibly, the 80-foot shot sailed right through the net. Game, set, match, Cameron County.

    As noted by USA Today’s Scott Allen, the play earned a spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10. Clingan celebrated the score and subsequent attention the best way he knew how: With a tweet of the final scoreboard.

    - - - - - - -