Facebook Twitter

PROVO YOUNGSTER TO KICK FOR $25,000

SHARE PROVO YOUNGSTER TO KICK FOR $25,000

Tyler Sycamore hopes the 100 practice kicks a day for the past week will give him a golden foot when he travels to the World Cup soccer tournament in California this week.

That's when the 12-year-old Provo boy will have one shot - from 15 yards - to kick a soccer ball through a 4-foot diameter hole that is 31 inches off the ground.The prize for success? $25,000.

He'll attempt the winning kick on the Fourth of July in the Rose Bowl stadium, Pasadena, during a giant Independence Day celebration.

"I'm not going to be that nervous - 100,000 people don't bother me," Tyler said while practicing kicks in the side yard of his north Provo home.

Last month Tyler and his father, Leland Sycamore, were shopping at Albertson's in Orem when they noticed Gillette was sponsoring a contest for a free trip to a World Cup game and a chance to win $25,000. Both filled out entries and mailed them in.

Last week, Tyler Sycamore was notified that his entry was selected from all entries from Albertson's 30 Intermountain stores. Nationwide, 20 contestants will kick for the chance to win $25,000 each.

"All Tyler really wanted was to see a game; the chance to win $25,000 is just a bonus," Leland Sycamore said.

The father and son will fly to California Saturday and will attend a World Cup semi-final game Sunday. Monday, the younger Sycamore will kick for his fortune in front of a packed Rose Bowl. Gillette sent him a practice net last week so he can prepare for the once-in-a-lifetime event. During practice, he's been making about 20 percent of his kicks.

"It's going to be pretty tough to make it through the net, but I can probably do it," Tyler Sycamore said.

The 12-year-old's been playing soccer since he was 4-years-old. He also plays baseball, basketball, tennis and football, but he says soccer is his favorite sport.

He's been following the World Cup games and knows which teams have been eliminated and which ones are the favorites. A few months ago, Leland Sycamore contacted a travel agent about attending a World Cup game but decided it was a trip the family couldn't afford.

"We figured we probably wouldn't be going - until he won," Leland Sycamore said.

If the Provo boy returns home with $25,000, Leland Sycamore said his son can spend the winnings on anything he chooses - within reason. Tyler Sycamore said he'd save the money for college and a church mission. None of the money would be spent on toys or vacations.

"I can always earn the money I want to spend on fun," he said.