Freshman in college dating a sophomore in high school
She arrived at the field for the first football scrimmage of her son's life and immediately saw a huge problem: Her boy was crouched over in the middle of the offensive line, playing center of all positions. Her boy, Akrum Wadley, was the fastest 7- or 8-year-old on the field in Willingboro, a small town in Burlington County, already capable of spinning away from the other boys and juking them out of their tiny cleats.
But Phelps kept her lips pursed, watching intently as the minutes ticked away.
"He was a star in the making," said Arnold Carmichael, one of the team's coaches.
The position change was nearly the only time Wadley's mom interjected on coaching decisions, Carmichael recalled.
"The game was over and he never touched the ball," Phelps remembered. I didn't send my son here to be no center.' Long story short: That was the first and last time he ever played center." It would not, however, be the last time Phelps made her indomitable presence felt in her son's life.
Although she rarely meddled in coaching decisions beyond that youth scrimmage, Phelps would continue to be the guiding light for Wadley, now a redshirt senior running back at Big Ten power Iowa.
John Wadley and Phelps are separated but raised Akrum and his three brothers together and maintain a close relationship.He also led Weequahic to a 9-3 record and the state championship game."His mother's a coach, so she understands the business," Logan said. She liked the direction he was going in, so she didn't bother us." Despite his success on the field, Wadley was lightly recruited, so Phelps took matters into her own hands.She mostly lingered in the background and let the coaches do their jobs, always keeping a close eye on things.But she demanded Wadley perform off the field first -- making good grades, finishing his homework and behaving at home and school.