Connor Duffy, a junior tackle for Kingsway Regional High School in Woolwich Township, N.J., stands 6-feet, 8-inches tall, weighs 300 pounds and wears a size 22 shoe. That's the problem: Duffy, his parents and coach Tony Barchuk can't seem to find cleats that fit.
A reporter for the Gloucester County Times searched retailers on the Internet and found nothing above a size 18. Most sites had no cleats above size 16, including Nike's online store. And when Duffy's mother, Gretchen began, contacting shoe manufacturers to inquire about purchasing pair of size 22 cleats directly, she was told they only make shoes that size for NFL players.
Now she's hoping the media attention her son's plight has generated will help other young athletes in similar situations. "There's got to be other kids with the same problem," she told the Times. "We found a lady in Florida whose son had a size 20 cleat. They finally got help from the Miami Dolphins, I think. We don't want somebody to pay for the cleats. We just need somebody to make them. I'll pay for them. If this works and we can get him cleats, I may start a website for oversized kids."
"It's really crazy," Barchuk added. "We had a kid we didn't have a helmet for, or [who] needed larger pants, [someone] would help us out. But we've never had a kid with a problem with a shoe before. This is 2010 - could he possibly not be eligible to participate because of a piece of equipment?"