Youth Sports Now: A league of its own

news-lundEric Lund says he's out of the print biz and into youth sports.

Eric Lund was having a hard time figuring out in which of the many baseball leagues his athletically inclined offspring should play. From that frustration was born, a content aggregator for the myriad sports available in the area for kids age five to college.

"We're covering 23 sports," says Lund, including squash, rowing and cheerleading.

For content, he relies on parents and coaches to report scores–- and on other media. "Instead of a reporter, we'll link to a story on the Daily Progress or on Scrimmage Play," says Lund. "We linked to a Hook story on the ice park."

In 2007, Lund launched a shelter mag called Charlottesville House and Home and Garden, and followed that in 2008 with the Next 50, a glossy for aging baby boomers. Both quietly folded later that year. "I'm out of the print business," declares Lund.

He teamed up with Jerry Miller, who does a local sports show called Varsity Lights on NBC29, and Lund says they're counting on peer pressure and social networking to get parents to cover all those kids' games.

news-youthsportslogoThe youth sports niche suddenly seems crowded. Last fall, a glossy devoted to area high school sports, Scrimmage Play, started publication.

"There's a major difference," says Scrimmage Play co-publisher Bart Isley. "Ours is journalistically based. Theirs is user-generated. We're putting high school sports coverage in the hands of experienced journalists."

And Isley doesn't see too much overlap. 'There's usually a place for a voice for everyone," he notes. "That's for readers to decide."


Really? It doesn't make any sense? It's pretty simple. People don't like to give their $$ or support to jerks. It isn't that hard to be nice, and people who go out of their way to badmouth their competitors look scared, weak, and amateurish.

kyle are the chubby, bald man who keeps showing up in espn 840 videos butchering the game of golf? if so, you need some practice but it certainly has given us guys at work a huge laughs laughing at you and your golf swing.

kyle hanni are you the chubby, bald man.... sorry forget the "you."

Hoolarious, btw the best name yet on here since noone uses their own. If the truth is negative, well then so be it. If having ethics and actually covering the sports is negative, dont know what to tell you.

Not sure who you are, but you dont make any sense to me.

Maybe you need thicker skin. I grew up in a town were the local paper does cover Little League and Pop Warner. No one ever put your station down. I just gave an opinion that you actually validated by saying you were going with your strong suite. Scrimmage Play has a strong fan base and has nothing to worry about from YSN.

Just pointing out...the Scrimmage Play/Kyle Hanni/William Morris posts on this board are aggressive, overreacting, uncivil, and appear very very wrapped up in their own dramas. Big negative.

The guy from youth sports now, by contrast, seems nice.

You know, marketing is not just something you pay money for in order to get a logo or brochure--it's how you conduct yourself in public, and that includes on chat boards. My impression now of Scrimmage Play is negative.

It will be good for your golf swing, that's all. Keep those videos coming for all of us to laugh too.

Yup, thats me. Glad it was entertaining to folks. Thats the main thing, if it made someone laugh, it was worth it. Im trying, been a long winter time to hit the cardio, keep the head down and practice....

First, I would like to offer a thank you to Lisa Provence for writing the article on Very much appreciated, Lisa!!

On March 1, 2010, Eric Lund and I ambitiously launched because we realized the Central Virginia community has an awesome passion and commitment to sports on all levels, especially at the youth level right here in our backyard. As a result, Eric and I have embarked on a journey that has been so tremendously rewarding. We have built a custom web platform, designed a user-friendly interface, featured athletes and coaches in the YSN video player, in YSN Q&As, and in many, many different YSN features. We ABSOLUTELY ORIGINATE GREAT CONTENT, while also cross-listing the other great sports content in Central Virginia from our many reliable media outlets and resources.

In this short time, has experienced tremendous success and web traffic growth, while staying strong to our No. 1 goal: To positively promote youth athletes, their coaches, their families, the selfless volunteers that give their time and energy to these athletes and all the schools, leagues, clubs and non-profits that offer the structure and resources to the student athletes.

And, as we continue to enhance and grow (we are discussing expansion to Richmond and the Shenandoah Valley in the near future), please realize we will forever be committed to athletes ages 5-22 who deserve positive coverage and attention for all their hard work and discipline.

We are VERY excited for what's in store for 2010!!!

Jerry Miller

I couldn't disagree more. "Coach Tim Ryan" seems to work for the web site, as most of their message board postings are him, Jerry, and some other guy talking to each other.

As for Jerry's show being popular, there's a difference between being popular and being on television. Why do you think his show airs between the infomercials and cartoons? It's called "paid programming". If I had the money, I could have my own "show" too.

I don't listen to AM radio, except when they have programming relevant to me and my family. My point was that an AM radio station already does what Jerry's trying to do online, and they do it BETTER. That's embarrassing.

YSN isn't killing off AM radio, local newspapers, or Scrimmage Play. It's just Jerry Miller (who no AM radio station will hire) trying to hang on to a sliver of relevance. Game over.

What niche do you speak of webster52.I have lived and worked in a micro,small and medium sports talk market and at no time was there any coverage of little league or pop-warner football,oh thats right those are youth sports. It only took the braintrust at Youthsportsnow about 2 min to start covering high school and prep sports. Youth sports is defined as up to 8th grade not well into high school.

Im sorry we dont cover enough swimming and wrestling for you webster 52. Maybe the reason we have Scrimmage Play on is to discuss those sports. Can't cover everything. At least we go to watch some of the high school action. I have never seen anyone from Youth Sports Now out at events. I talked football cause i played, we may revert to basketball because we have a former college basketball player on staff and she is also a coach. I was always taught in this biz go to your strong suite, but then again i have been doing this for 7 plus years and interned under some of the best in the business.

I got pretty thick skin, but i draw the line when you put down the station i work for because we dont cover enough swimming or wrestling. Are you serious!!!!

William Morris hits the nail right on the head, its not bashing it happens to be the truth, backed up by documentation and witnesses. I have worked with one of the guys that started this site.

Oh and agarn (i prefer real names and not to hide my identity) thanks for listening to ESPN 840, well have more funny stories for you we found on the internet. Please invite me to your job so i can see what you do sometime.

I had to post this cause i had just had enough, of everyone trying to justify a need for this site that is obviously trying to compete with the great team at Scrimmage Play. Thats not even a competition. Game Over!

Rewind past J.Miller web sites, radio shows all discontinued wthout notice. YSN is a kissing cousin of the past web failure "Varsity Lights" you know the site where Miller would get on and scold you if any negative comments were out towards players or teams, or the classic "rap scheme" radio show. Same 14 callers everyday, 3-4 times a day getting barked at during comments. Man do i miss the classics!! good luck!!

Oh, Kyle, go back to the golf course and shank some golf balls around at Jess and Mike!!!!! Getting personal and up in a bundle on a comment board shows your character and ethics. There is a place for everyone, such as Youth Sports Now, Scrimmage Play, Espn Radio, Fox Radio, WINA and the Regress. Just let everyone enjoy all the coverage and don't forget to yell, "FORE!"

I visit everyday. It is an excellent website and a much needed resource for our Central virginia community. My kids and their friends have loved the site and are always watching the feature interviews that Jerry Miller does with all the local kids. With almost no local sports coverage in the area, has been so well received by our community, especially the youth athletes, families and coaches who are starving for coverage. We certainly love it. Kudos to Jerry Miller and his team for filling a much needed niche in Central Virginia.

As they admit in the article, Youth Sports Now rips off content from everyone else, and provides nothing constructive. Would you read a newspaper that did nothing but take stories from other papers? They're not covering 23 sports, they're covering NO sports. This town has tons of better local sports coverage that cares enough to actually attend our kids' games.

Scrimmage Play has much better writers and more in depth coverage than YSN in every sport. Scrimmage Play is on the radio on ESPN 840 EVERY DAY talking about our local kids. Even ESPN 840, an AM RADIO STATION, has live online video of youth sports. I watched my nephew play in the VBDL championship on their site, and I think they have live lacrosse and baseball as well.

Eric Lund and Jerry Miller (who was fired from ESPN840 btw) are just trying to make a buck off our kids while doing as little work as possible. Charlottesville deserves better, and we already have better.

I think that they are doing a fine job. Eric Lund and Jerry Miller are quality people that serve our comunity. Jerry's Varsity Lights show is quite popular in the area and showcases some of our best Athletes and Coaches. The youthsportsnow website just did a great piece on the lights situation at Lane. How often do you get a little league score or highlights in the local paper?


Agreed, webster52. This site serves a great purpose. Anytime that youth athletes get more coverage in all the sports than that is good for the community, the families and parents. And Youth Sports Now also does originate content like the recruiting feature on the Fluvanna soccer play, the baseball update on young Molinaro, on all the great video interviews. This is content that is unique to YOuth Sports Now and information that you cant get in Scrimmage Play, the Progress, The Hook or any of the AM radio stations that no one listens to anymore. As the internet and sites like Youth Sports Now get more popular, traditional media outlets (Progress and AM radio) will become non-existent. This transformation is already happening now. Kudos to Jerry MIller and Lund for building such an important local resource.

Coach Tim Ryan

taking stories ferom elswhere and putting them in a central location is a GREAT business model. does this with all the oddball stories and is one of the most popular sites on the net. Where do you think the funny sports stories you here on ESPN 840 come from?

Good for you guys...

Scrimmage Play is excellent and ESPN 840 does a good job as well. The writers at Scrimmage Play are very knowledgable of all high school sports while ESPN seem limited to Baseball, Basketball and Football. When Bart tries to talk about athletes in sports like wrestling or swimming, the ESPN folks always redirect them back to basketball.
Youthsportsnow fill that niche of youth sports that has been lacking in the area for some time.
Varsity Lights has had features on some of the area's best athletes such as Duke Pickett, Willy Crawford, Zach Morris and many others. Bashing Jerry does not help your cause William.

This is what I love about youth sports - over-involved adults with nothing better to do complaining about one another!

FB fan come out and play with us sometime. Bet you tee off from the blue. Thanks for taking an interest in ESPN 840. Call in any time, bet it would be epic.

Webster 52-i think your a prime candidate to be a youth sports consultant. maybe e-mail me some updates. Thanks for listening to ESPN 840.

So that is you, Kyle Hanni! Man, keep your head down on your backswing and eye-on-the-prize: The Ball!!

ESPN840 is the best keep up the great work Kyle Jess an Mike.Hey Football Fan grow up Chubby who says that.ESPN840 rocks