WHERE WILL THEY BE?

These 14 teens have already found their places in the sun. Watch over the next few years to see how far their dreams will carry them—to college stardom, professional titles or Olympic gold
July 12, 2009

KOLOHE ANDINO
15 > SURFER > San Clemente, Calif.

Achievements
Having surfed competitively for half his life, Kolohe has earned two under-14 Surfing America USA titles and a record nine National Scholastic Surfing Association boys' championships; he's also twice been named King of the Groms. (Grom is slang for a young surfer.) The son of former champ Dino Andino finished fifth in the U-16 division at the ISA World Junior Championship in April in Ecuador.

Reminiscent of
Taj Burrow and Mick Fanning. Says Dino, who coaches his son, "He's got Mick Fanning's linkage, where he doesn't have to break between his maneuvers, and Taj Burrow's youthful excitement and unpredictability."

Coach's comment
"Kolohe's special because he's a deep-thinking athlete," Dino says. "He has an innate ability to learn through visualization and figure out body positioning and technique. That's been his strong point his whole life—to be smart enough to figure it out. Watch it, learn it and then be able to do it."

Next step
A sophomore who attends two high schools, Kolohe will try to win the World Juniors U-16 event next spring. He plans to join the ASP World Tour after he turns 18.

COURTNEY PROCTOR
15 > STRIKER > Santa Clarita, Calif.

Achievements
In 2008 she was the youngest player on the national U-17 team. As the youngest player this season on her club team, the Santa Clarita United Blazers, Courtney was the leading scorer with 28 goals. In '07 she netted the game-winner for the Blazers in the final of the Super Y National Championships and earned the tournament's MVP award.

Reminiscent of
Landon Donovan. Like the Galaxy forward, the 5'8" Courtney can be a playmaker or a finisher. Factor in her unflagging defense, and it seems she has no off button. "I never stop running," she says.

Coach's comment
"Once Courtney gets out in the open field, nobody can stop her," Blazers coach Clint Greenwood says. "She has a sprinter's speed with the ball. She might be faster with the ball than without it."

Next step
In March, Courtney committed to UCLA; she'll start in 2011. "I wanted to stay in Southern California and go to a Pac-10 school," she says. Next year she'll represent the U.S. at the U-17 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago.

KENNY HILLIARD
17 > RUNNING BACK > Patterson, La.

Achievements
The 6-foot, 221-pound junior at Patterson High rushed for 2,377 yards and 34 touchdowns on 256 carries last season and was named National Sophomore of the Year by EA Sports. He's on pace to break the state records for yardage and TDs midway through his senior season. Football runs in the family: His uncle Dalton was a running back for the Saints for eight years, and his cousin Ike, a wide receiver with the Buccaneers, finished his 12th NFL season in 2008.

Reminiscent of
LenDale White. Kenny has the size and speed to burst up the middle with power, à la the Titans' back. "The first contact usually doesn't slow him down," Lumberjacks coach Tommy Minton says.

Coach's comment
"A lot of times kids who are as gifted as him at an early age just [rely on] that athletic ability," Minton says. "But he has a tremendous work ethic in the weight room and with the conditioning program."

Next step
Kenny has offers from LSU, Alabama, Minnesota, Tennessee and Texas A&M on the table. For now, he's concentrating on ways he can improve—especially as a receiver out of the backfield.

KALEENA MOSQUEDA-LEWIS
15 > GUARD > Santa Ana, Calif.

Achievements
As a sophomore and captain at Mater Dei High, the 6-foot Kaleena led the Monarchs to a 31--0 regular-season record—averaging 24.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists—and the state semifinals. She's a lethal shooter who can also dominate in the paint with her size and strong upper body. Heralded as the most complete player in her class, Kaleena was named a Parade Magazine first-team All-America and Gatorade California player of the year.

Reminiscent of
Diana Taurasi. Like the UConn grad and WNBA star, Kaleena is a natural scorer who commands attention when she's on the floor. "It's just a charisma some players have," says Mater Dei coach Kevin Kiernan.

Coach's comment
"She's always played against older people, and she's really comfortable with older people," says Kiernan. "She was the leading scorer as a freshman, and that's hard. Not just on the court but also mentally. But she's very mature."

Next step
Kaleena's got a packed summer that includes a couple of national tournaments and a trip to Mexico City with the U-16 U.S. team. As for college, she intends to go through the recruiting process but says, "I want to go to a big school."

JORDAN SPIETH
15 > GOLFER > Dallas

Achievements
Jordan began swinging clubs when he was 18 months old, and 14 years later he's the top-ranked junior golfer. Seven months after winning the 2008 PING Invitational last October, the sophomore at Jesuit Dallas took the state title, shooting a seven-under 65 on the second day. Though he averages 290 yards off the tee, Jordan says, "My short game is definitely my strength."

Reminiscent of
Scott Verplank. The Dallas natives share a home course, Brookhaven Country Club. At week's end Verplank ranked 140th in driving distance on the PGA Tour but fourth in accuracy; Jordan, too, spends most of his time on fairways.

Coach's comment
"Jordan has an interesting mental outlook," says his swing coach, Cameron McCormick. "He's always searching for that next pinnacle, that next mountain to climb."

Next step
This month Jordan will compete in the U.S. Juniors; he finished third last year. In August he will compete against players of all ages at the Western Amateur. Jordan plans to go to college—"most likely for all four years," he says.

MADISON KEYS
14 > TENNIS PLAYER > Boca Raton, Fla.

Achievements
As a 12-year-old in 2007, Madison won the prestigious Eddie Herr and Junior Orange Bowl tournaments. In April she made her WTA Tour debut at the MPS Group Championships in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and beat 81st-ranked Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia. The straight-set victory on clay, her favorite surface, made Madison the seventh-youngest player to win a main-draw match in WTA history.

Reminiscent of
Venus Williams. "We're built similar," says Madison, who's 5'11" and grew up idolizing the elder Williams sister. "We both have big serves, and we both like our forehands. I didn't really plan to [model my game after Venus]—it just kind of happened."

Coach's comment
"Mentally, she's fearless," says John Evert, head of the Evert Tennis Academy. "She likes to move forward and be aggressive. For a 14-year-old girl, she serves as big as most of the women on the circuit."

Next step
Madison made just one WTA start this year because of her age; she can play only a limited number of tournaments until she turns 18. Her goal is to win a Grand Slam title. Which of the four does she want most? "Any of the above."

CHRISTIAN LOPES
16 > INFIELDER > canyon Country, Calif.

Achievements
After being named the U-13 Player of the Year in 2006 by National Youth Baseball, Christian had an MVP season as a freshman for Valencia High, batting .408 with 10 home runs. The 6-foot, 185-pound middle infielder hit .453 with 15 homers and 33 RBIs batting leadoff as a sophomore. "For us to be successful, we need Christian to be at the plate four or five times a game," Valencia coach Jared Snyder says. Last month Christian made the first cut for the USA Baseball U-18 team.

Reminiscent of
Derek Jeter. The lifelong Mets fan has profound respect for the Yankees' shortstop. "He's such a humble player and a good leader," Christian says. "I even met the guy, and he's such a class act. He didn't big-league anybody."

Coach's comment
"He had five strikeouts in 86 at bats," Snyder says. "His plate discipline is pretty phenomenal, and when he gets his pitch, he usually hits it."

Next step
A superb student—Christian's 3.8 GPA as a freshman earned him a Scholar Athlete Award—he wants to go to college and already has a stack of letters from programs across the country.

CHASE ELLIOTT
13 > AUTO RACER > Dawsonville, Ga.

Achievements
The son of former NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, Chase grew up on the track and started go-kart racing as an eight-year-old. By age 12 he had earned seven state titles, including the Georgia semipro championship. In May, in just his seventh race with the lighter versions of standard stock-racing cars, the 5'1", 105-pound Chase won at his home track in the Georgia Asphalt Series Super Six 100s, beating drivers more than twice his age.

Reminiscent of
Bill Elliott. People often tell Chase he races smoothly like his father, and that would make sense: The elder Elliott spots him on the track, warning him of cautions and teaching him as he goes.

Coach's comment
"It doesn't do good to run into people and bump them out of the way—you need to race people with respect, and he does that," crew chief Ricky Turner says. "His maturity level is really high for 13."

Next step
Still three years from being eligible to enter a NASCAR-sanctioned event, Chase will continue to compete in the asphalt series. In anticipation of his move to NASCAR, his uncle Ernie Elliott, who used to build motors for his dad during the '80s, is working on a super-late-model, 700-horsepower engine.

CIARRA BREWER
15 > TRIPLE JUMPER > Union City, Calif.

Achievements
Last month the sophomore from James Logan High won the state championship in Fresno with a jump of 42'11½", then placed first in the World Youth Trials in Ypsilanti, Mich., by going 43'4¼", a personal record and the sixth-best performance ever by a high school girl. Ciarra holds the indoor record for sophomores (42'½") and the national indoor record for 14-year-olds (41'8¾").

Reminiscent of
Sheila Hudson, who was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. from 1989 to '96. Says Arno Brewer, Ciarra's father, who triple-jumped at Cal State--Hayward, "They're probably the best two technicians."

Coach's comment
"She learned how to do the event properly at a young age," James Logan coach Lee Webb says. "I believe the national record's right around the corner for her."

Next step
Ciarra will compete at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Bressanone, Italy, this week. How she does there could indicate whether she'll be able to achieve her goal: a medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

ALEXIS THOMPSON
14 > GOLFER > Coral Springs, Fla.

Achievements
In 2007, at age 12, Alexis became the youngest golfer to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open; she's also qualified in the two years since. Though she has yet to make the cut, she played on the weekend for the first time in a major in April, when she shot a three-under 69 on Sunday and finished tied for 21st at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. After winning two junior tournaments earlier this year, Alexis is ranked No. 2 among junior girls—despite being at least two years younger than the rest of the players in the top five.

Reminiscent of
Cristie Kerr. Like the 2007 U.S. Open winner, Alexis is strong with her irons, and she's already as long off the tee as the 31-year-old LPGA pro.

Coach's comment
"Even in practice, if she hits a bad shot, she can't believe it," says her swing coach, Jim McLean. "The intensity she brings whenever she's hitting balls—in practice or in a tournament—stands out."

Next step
Homeschooled since she was 11, Alexis hasn't decided if she will go to college. If she continues to progress, she could join the LPGA Tour at 18.

SETH JONES
14 > DEFENSEMAN > Dallas

Achievements
The son of former NBA power forward Popeye Jones, Seth scored 33 points in 31 games last season for the Dallas Stars Bantam Major team. The Everett Silvertips took him 11th in the WHL's Bantam draft in April, though he most likely would have gone higher had he ruled out playing NCAA hockey. He was among the youngest invitees to the IIHF Development Camp in Finland this month.

Reminiscent of
Nicklas Lidstrom. "He always makes the smart play," says the 6'2", 170-pound Jones of the six-time Norris Trophy winner, "and I'm not overly physical. I hit when I need to."

Coach's comment
"He's got incredible hockey sense, and his hands and skating ability are far above players his own age," says Kent Murphy, who coached Seth for three years. "He's just a great leader, too."

Next step
This season he'll join the U-18 Dallas Stars junior team. Because of his October birthday he can't be drafted by the NHL until 2013.

MICHAEL GILCHRIST
15 > FORWARD > Somerdale, N.J.

Achievements
A consensus top three player in his class, the 6'8", 218-pound sophomore averaged 14.9 points and 8.3 rebounds and led St. Patrick to the New Jersey Tournament of Champions title in March, scoring 16 points despite coming off a badly bruised ankle. Last month he was named Most Promising Player at the NBA Players Association Top 100 camp.

Reminiscent of
Kevin Garnett. Michael may not grow to be as tall as the 6'11" Celtics forward, but he's displayed similar versatility. "[Michael's] a good rebounder, he really competes, and he's a good shooter," says St. Patrick coach Kevin Boyle. "And he's really good defensively. He can guard just about any position."

Coach's comment
"In traffic he comes up with balls," Boyle says. "He always has three or four steals, two or three blocks, several assists; he's at the foul line. His stat sheet is always full."

Next step
When recruiting season opened this summer, Michael got calls from 10 schools in the first two days. A couple of years ago Memphis might have been his pick; now, he says, "I'm open to everything."

LIA NEAL
14 > SWIMMER > New York City

Achievements
Lia broke three national age-group records as a 10-year-old, and at the 2009 Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Guam she set the U.S. mark for 13-year-olds in the 50-meter freestyle (25.82). Her time of 56.87 in the 100 free in January '08 broke the U-12 U.S. record—one that had stood for 23 years—by 1.30 seconds.

Reminiscent of
Natalie Coughlin. Though Coughlin is primarily a backstroker, both are fierce competitors. "The focus Lia is able to summon when the gun goes off is like Natalie's," says AGUA swim club coach Brian Brown. "In a race she shows much more than you see day to day."

Coach's comment
"In swimming we'd say Lia has what it takes to get her hand on the wall first," Brown says. "She's really powerful and aggressive when she gets into the water."

Next step
At the world championship trials in Indianapolis this week, Lia will try to qualify in the 50 and 100 free, the same races she swam at last year's Olympic trials. A freshman at Covenant of the Sacred Heart, she's also working on her butterfly to increase her chances of qualifying for the 2012 Games.

LUKAS VERZBICAS
16 > TRIATHLETE > New Lenox, Ill.

Achievements
In March, as a freshman, he broke the national indoor 5K record for high school runners with a 14:18.42 at the Nike Indoor Nationals in Boston, but his passion isn't limited to track. The Lithuanian-born sophomore at Carl Sandburg High is a sprint-distance triathlete at heart. At the youth elite nationals triathlon in Colorado Springs last August, Lukas came in a full minute ahead of the second-place finisher, and in April he won gold at the Pan Am Junior Championships with a time of 58:03.

Reminiscent of
Steve Prefontaine. "Like [Prefontaine], I like to run in the front, not the back," Lukas says.

Coach's comment
"I'm not impressed by much, but he's absolutely amazing," says John Chaplin, the 2000 U.S. Olympic coach, who thinks Verzbicas's best events are the 5K and 10K. "If he stays in track, he'll rewrite everything in America."

Next step
Lukas will compete at the World Junior Championships in Australia this September in the sprint triathlon. "I just want to make it to the 2012 Olympics [as a triathlete]," says Lukas. "But in 2016 I think I can win."

FOURTEEN PHOTOSPORTFOLIO BY AL TIELEMANS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)