UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
High School

Future Game Changers

Who's got next? Well, it might just be this remarkable group of 14 teenagers. Their sports résumés are impressive despite their young age, and over the next few years, it'll be fun to see how far their dreams carry them -- whether to college stardom, professional titles or Olympic gold.

For a full photo gallery of our up-and-coming stars, click here.

Sport: Football

Hometown: Aspen, Colo.

Skinny: As a freshman at Aspen High last season, Beirne threw for 22 touchdowns and more than 2,000 passing yards in leading the Skiers to a 7-4 record. Those numbers helped the 15 year old earn an honorable mention on the U.S. Air Force Freshmen All-America team in January.

Beirne, who stands 6-foot-2 and 218 pounds, has since transferred to national power Christopher Columbus High in Miami, a program that has produced famous alumni including former NFL quarterback Brian Griese (Class of 1993) and Raiders cornerback Pat Lee (Class of 2003). A rising sophomore, Beirne will start next fall for the defending Class 8A district and regional champs.

Evokes: A young Daunte Culpepper, for his arm strength and ability to throw on the run.

VIDEO: Get to know Jane Campbell

Sport: Soccer

Hometown: Kennesaw, Ga.

Skinny: One of a talented crop of current U.S. U-17 national team goalkeepers, the 5-foot-9 Campbell hopes to one day follow in the ranks of American stars Brianna Scurry and Hope Solo. During the recent CONCACAF U-17 tournament, she recorded five straight shutouts and did not concede a goal in all 450 minutes of the tournament. Campbell's performance earned the U.S. a berth in the 2012 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Azerbaijan.

"Hope Solo is the best goalkeeper in the world right now and if I want to be like her I have to keep reaching my own smaller goals," Campbell told U.S. Soccer's web site recently.

The daughter of a pair of former Navy pilots -- her father, Mike, flew in the Blue Angels -- the 17 year old has already committed to play at Stanford in the fall of 2013, when she graduates from the Darlington School.

Evokes: Solo, the star goalkeeper of the U.S. Women's National Team.

VIDEO: Get to know Arielle Gold

Sport: Snowboarding

Hometown: Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Skinny: Gold won silver in the halfpipe and slopestyle events at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympics in Austria in January, and she followed that up with gold in the halfpipe at the Junior World Championships in Spain in March.

Now 16, she has not shied away from increasingly complex tricks -- and has walked away with some hardware as a result. Gold initially planned to complete an easy run at the 2012 Youth Olympics before seeing her competitors pull some surprise tricks. In response, Gold opted to launch her best trick, a frontside 900, in what was essentially an audition. She didn't land the move cleanly, but she still won silver after showcasing a series of advanced tricks. This fall and winter, Gold will enter several Olympic qualifying events in advance of the 2014 Sochi Games. Evokes: Kelly Clark, the Olympic halfpipe winner and four-time X Games superpipe champion.

Sport: Ski Jumping

Hometown: Park City, Utah

Skinny: A senior at the Winter Sports School in Park City -- a program that runs April through November so students can compete during the winter months -- the 17-year-old Hendrickson is the top-ranked ski jumper in the world. She is the early favorite for the 2014 Olympics.

Just 5-foot-3 and 95 pounds, Hendrickson claimed the first women's World Cup ski jumping title earlier this year after winning nine of the 13 World Cup events. She'll be eligible to compete at the 2014 Games as the International Olympic Committee has included ski jumping on its program. Hendrickson first tried ski jumping as a seven year old on a small K5 hill.

Evokes: A pioneer in her sport, Hendrickson is blazing her own path. Still, she hopes to follow in the ski tracks of one of her favorite athletes, Lindsey Vonn.

Sport: Golf

Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand

Skinny: The No. 1 player in Golfweek's Junior Rankings and the No. 5 player in Golfweek's Women's Amateur Rankings, Jutanugarn has exploded onto the international scene. In May 2012, the 16 year old won her second consecutive Rolex Girls Junior Championship title, setting a tournament record for margin of victory by finishing 18 shots ahead of the runner-up, her older sister, Moriya. In 2011, Jutanugarn won the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship and the Junior PGA Championship.

"She's just an amazing player," fellow junior golfer Casey Danielson recently told the Bangkok Post. "You know that every hole she's going for birdie, she's going to do it because she's got that mindset."

Evokes: Lexi Thompson, who won her first LPGA title at 16, for her dedication and excellence at a young age.

Sport: Football

Hometown: Sandy, Utah

Skinny: Kafentzis was named MaxPreps' National Freshman of the Year in 2011 after passing for 3,188 yards and 23 touchdowng, rushing for 1,377 yards and 22 scores and leading Jordan High to the state Class 5A semifinals. BYU has already offered a scholarship, and Kafentzis has been visited by a number of college coaches, including Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

In addition to his performance on the gridiron, Kafentzis, 16, broke the Utah Class 5A record in the javelin in May with a throw of 190 feet.

Evokes: Aaron Rodgers, for his ability to throw passes into tight spaces.

VIDEO: Get to know Jeremy Martinez

Sport: Baseball

Hometown: Fountain Valley, Calif.

Skinny: One of only two underclassmen to participate in last year's Under Armour All-America Game, Martinez appears poised to be a first-round pick in next year's MLB Draft. He's currently the top-rated 2013 prospect by ESPN, and in March, he helped Mater Dei (Calif.) High to USA Baseball's inaugural High School invitational title. Martinez batted .538 in four games; for the 2012 season, he hit .388 with 18 RBIs.

Martinez verbally committed to USC at the end of his freshman season, but that likely won't stop a MLB team from drafting him early. If he wants to remain a catcher, however, going to college may not be a bad choice. Since 2005, just one high school catcher picked in the first round (Devin Mesoraco, the backup for the Reds) is currently in the big leagues at the postion (Others, such as Brandon Snyder and Brett Lawrie, were converted to infielders). College catchers selected in the first round have been far more successful. The post-2005 class of collegiate catchers includes Buster Posey, Matt Wieters, J.P. Arencibia and Jason Castro.

Evokes: Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, the former for his batting stance and the latter for his defensive skills.

Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

Skinny: Though Mitchell is only halfway through her Princeton High career, she has already set the women's basketball community abuzz. A 5-foot-7 guard with a smooth shot, excellent defensive intangibles and advanced ballhandling skills, Mitchell is the highest rated Class of 2014 prospect, according to ESPN. She's already been invited to participate in the U-18 USA National Team trials despite the fact that she doesn't turn 16 until November.

As a sophomore, Mitchell averaged 19.4 points, 3.9 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.9 steals, earning a First Team All-State selection. Despite her national praise, her father, Mark, insists it hasn't gone to her head yet.

"She said the ranking didn't mean anything to her," Mark told the The Cincinnati Inquirer. "She wanted to know when we were going to go work out next."

Evokes: Skylar Diggins, who led the Irish to the national championship game in 2012, for her similar offensive skill set and her quick hands.

Sport: Swimming

Hometown: Mission Viejo, Calif.

Skinny: Coming off his freshman year at Capistrano Valley (Calif.) High, Norman made the USA Swimming Top 10 list for several events. He was listed for the 500 and 1,000 freestyle for boys age 14, and for the 500 free for boys age 15. He also posted a time of 15:50.41 in the 1,650 freestyle competition for the boys 14-and-under age group, the second best time in the country this year.

Just 14, Norman became the eighth swimmer in U.S. history under the age of 15 to break 16 minutes in the men's 1,500 freestyle. He accomplished that feat at the Missouri Grand Prix.

Evokes: Grant Hackett, who won Olympic gold for the 1,500 freestyle in 2004 and 2008, for his lightning-fast times and endurance in the same event.

VIDEO:Get to know Jahlil Okafor

Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Chicago, Ill.

Skinny: The top-ranked big man and overall No. 3 player in the Class of 2014, according to Rivals.com, Okafor is touted for good reason. This past season, as a sophomore, the 6-foot-10 center averaged 21.9 points and 12.3 rebounds for Chicago's Whitney Young High, leading the Dolphins to the Illinois Class 4A Sectional semifinals.A distant cousin of Wizards center Emeka Okafor, the 16 year old has received offers from countless Division-I programs. This summer, he's already led the FIBA U-17 national team to the title at a warm-up tournament in the Canary Islands and will compete for gold this week at the World Championships in Lithuania. Evokes: Jared Sullinger, the recent Celtics' draft pick and one of his favorite players. He's even known to some as "Little Sully."

VIDEO: Get to know Jabrill Peppers

Sport: Football

Hometown: Midland Park, N.J.

Skinny: A huge playmaker on both sides of the ball, Peppers helped powerhouse Don Bosco (N.J.) Prep to back-to-back New Jersey state championships. He is the top-ranked strong safety and No. 3 overall prospect in the Class of 2014, according to 247Sports, and was named the Air Force National Sophomore of the Year in 2011. He was also named the National Freshman of the Year in 2010.

After dazzling as both running back and cornerback, Peppers transferred to nearby Paramus (N.J.) Catholic in February. His greatest asset might be his speed, as he set the New Jersey Non-Public Class A outdoor 100-meter dash record with a time of 10.77 seconds. The 16 year old already holds offers from several of the most prestigious college football programs in the country: Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Rutgers, South Carolina and UCLA.

Evokes: Patrick Peterson, the dynamic first-round draft pick by the Arizona Cardinals last year.

Sport: Tennis

Hometown: Stockbridge, Ga.

Skinny: A 16-year-old Chicago native who attends the USTA training center headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., Townsend is the No. 1-ranked junior in the world. Despite the lofty expectations that accompany such a title, Towensend has been a star thus far on the junior circuit.

In January, she took home the singles and doubles junior titles at the 2012 Australian Open, becoming the first American to accomplish a sweep at a Grand Slam since Lindsay Davenport at the 1992 U.S. Open. Townsend followed that up with a singles third-round and doubles semifinal finish at the French Open.

Following her impressive run, Townsend should be able to make good on her goal of cracking the Women's Tennis Association's Top 200 by season's end, when she conceivably will turn pro.

Evokes: Martina Navratilova, her idol who also played lefthanded and wasn't afraid to charge the net, for her aggressive all-court power game.

Sport: Basketball

Hometown: Pearland, Texas

Skinny: Arguably the top women's basketball prospect in the Class of 2014, Turner is a 6-foot-3, explosive forward who possesses a fantastic combination of size and athleticism. In March she was named to the U-17 USA World Championship Team, the only player from the Class of 2014 to make the cut. She turned 16 on July 5.

While Turner hasn't fully developed a perimeter game, she is a force in the paint and averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds at Manvel High last season. On the defensive end, Turner is a force. She averaged 4.7 blocks and recorded an eye-popping 15 blocks in a Feb. 21 victory over Wheatley (Texas) High.

Evokes: WNBA stars Maya Moore and Candace Parker, for her body frame and immense potential.

Sport: Wrestling

Hometown: Coos Bay, Ore.

Skinny: A seventh grader at Millicome Middle School, Wittlake Jr. amassed a 306-1 career record over four years with Team Bucs wrestling club (coached by Wittlake's father). He also won back-to-back national titles in all three styles of wrestling (folkstyle, freestyle and Greco- Roman) in 2010 and '11, becoming only the sixth wrestler to win two straight triple crowns. In addition to capturing the Oregon state title in scholastic wrestling, Wittlake was named to the 2011-12 list of Future Olympians by USA Wrestling. He'll compete on USA Wrestling's Tour of America folkstyle circuit this fall.

With nine national titles under Wittlake's belt, it's no surprise that the 12 year old is garnering so much attention. Looking ahead, Wittlake hopes to become a four-time state champ in high school, attend Oregon State and become a four-time NCAA champ. He also has the Olympics in mind.

"I have big things ahead of me," he said.

Evokes: Wrestling icon Cael Sanderson, who posted a 159-0 record at Iowa State.

More High School

SI.com

Drag this icon to your bookmark bar.
Then delete your old SI.com bookmark.

SI.com

Click the share icon to bookmark us.