Chalky White

July 24th, 2017 at 7:55 AM ^

Years ago I saw a documentary about the Massilon vs McKinley rivalry in Ohio. They mentioned the common practice of deliberately holding back the entire class of 8th grade boys in order for them to be a year stronger in 12th grade. They said it's common.

I can't see myself allowing either of my sons to be held back for the purpose of a sport they most likely won't play beyond 12th grade.

Everyone Murders

July 24th, 2017 at 8:27 AM ^

This happens often in the South, sometimes for sports and sometimes for academics.  The thinking (which I disagree with) is sometimes couched as "girls mature faster than boys, so you should hold your sons back a year".  So you end up with a lot of the class being a year older than you'd guess.

That stated, the Bama (and Ole Miss and Mississippi State) offeree kid is a beast for a rising ninth-grader too.  I hope he keeps his head on straight with all this attention, because he looks like a BCS player already.


July 24th, 2017 at 10:11 AM ^

The Malcolm Gladwell book "Outliers: The Story of Success" started a huge redshirting crazy among people who read.  They had a story about how the majority of NHL players are born in the later half of the year of their grade.  The theory goes that if you're bigger and more coordinated you'll get more attention, coaching and playing time.   That extra time makes you better.   The problem is that my 8 year old daughter who is young for her grade and short for her age is competing against kids a full year and a half to two years older than she is.   She's smart and tenacious, so she's still at the top,  but it's weird that her classmates are a full foot taller than she is.  

That said,  Southerners need an extra year of school.  It's just too bad they don't teach science in those schools....


July 24th, 2017 at 10:22 AM ^

There is some truth to that NHL thing. If you look at the vast majority of North American born players in the NHL, Most of them are born in the months of January, February, and March. 
The reason for this is hypothesized that due to the cuttoff date for age classification for youth hockey (which I think is December 31st) kids born in the first three months of the year are going to be a bit stronger and more developed than kids born later in the year due to them having a few extra months of growth. As a result they make the best youth and travel teams and as a result get the best coaching and training. 

Moral of the story, if you want your son to become a pro hockey player, make sure he is born in January, February, March. 


July 24th, 2017 at 9:56 PM ^

the concept was excellent, it made you think a little, true or not, the idea made sense.  Having taught 8th grade for 25+ years, and coaching at the ninth grade level a few of my years the growth in boys was remarkable over that summer from 8 to 9th grade...they were literally men in many cases, hairy legs, jaw change, grew a foot, and if you held them back, now they play vs 8th graders and pummel them, and just as they are maturing into their body, they have four more years of athletics ahead.

I would by NO means have done that to my own kids, as most have stated, it's freaking high school sports, MAYBE just MAYBE collegiate, and then they need to live always disturbed me to see travel teams load up with older kids. One in particular ONLY took kids with April birthdays to play the oldest game. Another would literally take their upper teams, swap jerseys in the bathroom, and when they faced a tough team, played kids who were two or three years too old, but 'represented' a player on say a 12U just cheated for a $20 trophy...I bet college programs are looking for their next head coach at 12U peeve.

Steve in PA

July 24th, 2017 at 3:56 PM ^

One local school that won states in baseball and went deep in basketball had a roster of mostly 19/20 yo seniors.  A few went to ACC for baseball and promptly disappeared when the faced off against kids their own age.

They hold them back in 5th right before the eligibility clock starts.  


July 23rd, 2017 at 11:22 PM ^

He probably is about to turn 16. It's becoming more and more prevalent that kids are being held back either for grades or their parents are having them take "redshirt" years as young as 3rd grade. There is a great podcast on the redshirt year I think on The Sporting Report by ESPN

1989 UM GRAD

July 23rd, 2017 at 11:31 PM ^

Yes, most kids are 13 when entering the 8th grade.  Our son (now entering 11th grade) is "young for his grade," so he turned 13 in October of 8th grade.  Even kids who were held back or "redshirted" for a year would likely still be 13 or will have just turned 14 when starting 8th grade.


July 23rd, 2017 at 11:47 PM ^

I work at a Title 1 school in Fl and the state law says that you cannot be 16 and still be in middle school, which is why at that point we push kids up. Not saying true for this situation, or all situations, but we have PLENTY of students in that situation that if it wasn't for a late birthday would have to be pushed up to high school. It is a very different world from when I was in school.


July 24th, 2017 at 2:54 AM ^

My twin sisters were held back before entering first grade (had moved to a new country with a new language before kindergarten, so took an extra year to learn the language). They turned 15 in 8th grade. So unless this kid was held back two or three times, I'm going to say he's not older than 14, on the verge of 15.


July 24th, 2017 at 12:18 AM ^

This has gone into affect and you cannot be 19 yrs and 6 months old. If so you can't play sports. This is to help prevent the kids from being held back. This rule is especially good for Spring sports (Baseball) is worse then football seeing as it's a late sport (Spring) I coach High School Baseball and a Elite Travel Team here on the West Coast and its horrible the age of some of these pitchers in high school now. 19 yrs old plus is the norm for some big time pitchers.

SF Wolverine

July 24th, 2017 at 8:55 AM ^

So, are we to understand that last year this kid was playing against real 12-13 year olds?   That doesn't seem at all safe, and if he is "redshirting" a year or more (which seems at least possible), it seems pretty unfair.  Hard to see how he gets better squashing 140-150 pound kids day after day.


July 24th, 2017 at 8:47 AM ^

Yet again, I examine my life and realize that I must have had far too much candy-ass milk since it has taken me all of 40 years to achieve and for now maintain 5'9". I mean, I knew kids in eighth grade that were pretty substantially sized, if you will, for their age, but I can't think of anyone who was the size of many current defensive ends in the pros, let alone college.