Hayes Rule (19) is the senior editor and founder of Youngspeak. A self-renowned sports fanatic, he covers the NFL, NBA, PGA and fantasy football. Rule is an avid fan of the Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat and Florida State University athletics.
Rule, also known as “The Sportz Guy” -- notice the “Z” instead of “S” to differentiate himself from the more well-known Bill Simmons, who also goes by the pseudonym, “The Sports Guy.” Bonus points for originality -- lives for sports. Whether it’s playing sports or talking about them, he thrives off the competitive nature of the game. Hayes has played sports since a young age – most notably golf since the age of 2.
Justin Baxley (21) is an assistant editor at Youngspeak. He is a junior at Mercer University, majoring in journalism and criminal justice with a minor in napping. He is the sports editor at The Mercer Cluster and occasionally edits things.
Baxley was born with a golf club in his hand, and his love of sports grew from there. At the age of 5, he won his first golf tournament and received the greatest trophy known to man, a box of Krispy Kreme donuts. His favorite golfers are Tiger Woods and Payne Stewart. It was the first real “team” or “individuals” that he ever rooted for. The day Payne Stewart died was like someone in his family had been taken from him.
The New England Patriots were chasing their fourth Super Bowl title. The Patriots had won eight games in a row and were the favorites to lift the Lombardi at the end of the night. With five seconds left on the clock, down by four, Brady threw a Hail Mary, but it wasn’t enough. The Giants were victorious, and hopefully they enjoyed it, because their seasons have been far from prosperous since.
This game is what started a burning passion for sports inside of Sara Shepherd (16). Since that tragic day four years ago, Sara’s love for sports has only grown. While football will always be first in her heart, she is also an avid fan of basketball, baseball and international soccer.
Justin Dade (20) is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire studying sports journalism. He is currently employed at the university in the sports information department. In addition to being on staff at Youngspeak, he also maintains a job at iHeart Media, broadcasting local high school sports. He has previously written for FantasyPros and Fansided.
Hopefully, the Bengals will win a playoff game before Charlie's sports writing career takes off. Inspired by Bill Simmons, Zach Lowe, Paul Daugherty and Pablo Torre, Charlie Goldsmith wants to be a storyteller who affects others' opinions and perspectives. He grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, attending as many Reds, Bengals, UC and Xavier games as possible.
But, the NBA is definitely his favorite. A fan without a favorite team, Charlie looks at the NBA through an unbiased, honest lens. Charlie, 17, will start his senior year of high school in Cincinnati this August and is excited to share his passion for sports writing with the Youngspeak audience. He plays tennis and basketball at school and enjoys French, calculus and writing classes. With a loud voice and an analytical brain, he is excited to share his mind.
Stephen Galloway (18) is a staff writer at Youngspeak and is currently a proud freshman at Mercer University who is majoring in economics and minoring in political science. From a very early age, Stephen has had a profound interest in sports, and it all started with Michael Vick’s run as the quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons. His love for sports blossomed when his beloved Auburn Tigers -- “WAR EAGLE” -- went undefeated in 2004 and were wrongfully held out of the BCS National Championship Game (thanks, Reggie Bush).
As he continued to get older, his love of sports and everything related to it continued. He started watching the incompetent knuckleheads over at ESPN every day after school argue over the most pointless and trivial sports topics of the day and had the bold idea of actually trying the sport of football and somewhat succeeding in it during his Pop Warner years. In middle school, his love for football became almost an obsession. Not only did this average-to-above-average athlete have Division I dreams, but he thought he was the coach for the Auburn Tigers.
Avery Braxton (20) is a junior at Mercer University studying the fine art of journalism. When he's not yelling at a television screen over a blatant missed call or doing a happy dance because the Falcons just scored (something that's become few and far between as of late), Avery can be found scouring the Internet for that meme that perfectly encompasses his brazen, goofy form of sarcasm.
Avery is a lover of all things Atlanta sports, but don't count on seeing him at a baseball game, because he cannot stand it. He is also a passionate Ravens fan with roots that go back to his home state of Maryland. Ray Lewis is his all-time favorite football player for obvious reasons. Avery also loves Georgia football and wishes his Maryland Terps could be equally as good but recognizes that basketball and lacrosse are much more Maryland's thing. Avery also loves the black skin he's in and will be writing on what it feels like to be in that skin, because "melanin absorbs sun light. We are light filled." In other words: We lit.
Christopher Kauffman (17) is a staff writer for Youngspeak. He has the least experience of being a human in the Youngspeak group, yet holds the Youngspeak record for most letters in one name. He is an Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Hawks, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets fan. That’s a lot, right? Well, that’s the case if you have two hometowns. Because he was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and raised in Eatonton, Georgia, Chris has many teams. Christopher will cover the WWE, MLB, NFL, NBA, and NCAFF; he’ll also provide insight on his unusual multitude of favorite teams.
With the awareness of JaVale McGee and the athleticism of Kendrick Perkins, Chris is a former football, baseball, basketball, and track star. Sure, he has his moments, but he makes stupid mistakes that make him look like a fool. Due to this, he has permanently retired to the fan section where he plans to be as obnoxious as possible.
Evan Park (19) is a major sports fan of many teams which cover many cities and states. He has played every major sport in the book at a competitive level at some point in his life. His specialties are, but are not limited to, MLB, WTA, and NCAA Basketball coverage.
Many sports nicknames coincide with the new Georgian; they mostly depend on which sport he is playing: “Porzingis” if the lanky 6-foot-4-inch Caucasian sharpshooter is on the basketball court or “Big Handsome” if he’s mixing it up with his 100-plus miles per hour serve on the tennis court. He’s also been called “The Bigger Unit” when pitching on the baseball diamond, showing his superiority to Roger Clemens. The names go on and on.
Justin Hanson (18) is a sophomore at Mercer University, where he is pursuing a double major in finance and economics. He grew up in Minnesota cheering for the Vikings (don’t you dare mention Blair Walsh to him right now), Twins, Timberwolves and Wild; he mainly follows baseball and football.
His grandfather played in the Brooklyn Dodgers’ farm system, leading him to become a huge Los Angeles Dodgers fan, as well, with his favorite players being Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig. Justin loves deer hunting and has shot about two-dozen deer, including some pretty nice bucks, such as a 12-point trophy with his crossbow. Hanson is a member of Mercer’s Division 1 cross country and track and field teams and has been quoted as saying his favorite place to be is 10 or 11 miles into a nice, hard 14-mile run. When he isn’t running, he is likely watching sports or keeping up on the latest political and economic news. Hanson primarily covers politics.