At just 18 years old this high school student has taken the sports-journalism world by storm

Very few people know what they want to do in life when they begin their college career. If you’re lucky, you’ve had a dream since a child and hope to learn enough about that dream to some day master it.

For Chris Cotillo of Northborough, Massachusetts, that dream is becoming a sports journalist, and he is leaps and bounds ahead of many of his older peers. After creating a Twitter account amassing daily baseball rumors, Cotillo began contacting baseball executives, agents and players to try and get scoops for himself.

And they answered.

“There was definitely a little doubt because of my age. Baseball is like a huge a family, everyone already kind of knows each other,” Cotillo told Rare.

“A lot of people always use the same line when I ask for help, they say ‘I had to start somewhere and someone had to help me; so, some day when you’re 30 or 40, some kid will come along and you’ll help them too.’”

By successfully crafting these relationships, Cotillo has broken into a niche of the profession that is dominated by relationships, some of which he says have lasted for decades.

Despite the acclaim that has followed Cotillo, he hasn’t given up on his studies and managed the difficult class of being recognized as a national voice for the game while also making sure he could still be a kid.

“It’s a lot of balance; that’s the most important thing. For me, I always looked at school as the No. 1 most important thing,” he said, noting that he has been able to do everything a normal high schooler should.

“I’m a pretty normal kid. I go to sporting events, I go to school plays. I’m just on my phone more than most people. [Writing] is just something else I do in addition to everything else.”

Cotillo on Sunday will graduate from Algonquin Regional High School armed with over 20,000 Twitter followers and the respect of some giants of the journalism world and this fall Cotillo will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to pursue a degree in, you guessed it, journalism.

Unlike many of his future classmates, Cotillo could have skipped high school and gone straight into the working world of the profession he loves but wants his degree.

“I’m going to be a sponge down there when sitting in those journalism classes. [UNC] has some of the best professors in the country, and I’ll be surrounded by people pursuing the same career paths,” he says.

“I kind of worked backwards in this whole thing. I did the practical side before the classroom side of things … I want to learn all the ins and outs, the law behind journalism, the theory behind journalism. My writing has a long way to go; I’ve only been at it a little over a year.”

Along this journey, Cotillo has broken major baseball news stories, attended the baseball Winter Meetings and been on the field before several playoff games and last year’s World Series, eventually won by his favorite team, the Boston Red Sox. While Cotillo enjoys being a kid, the exposure to the more adult side of things has certainly kept his fire going.

“I’m in a really good place. I’m able to experience a kids world, but I can take a break and do something like go to the World Series or the Winter Meetings and be in this adult world. I like the balance of two completely separate worlds I can be apart of.”

When the decision to go to UNC came down, Cotillo consulted with his colleagues about what to do, ultimately, the college experience was something he could never pass up.

“I want to be a writer, but I also want to be a Tar Heel for those four years. I don’t want to grow up too quickly.”

You can read Chris’ latest at MLB Daily Dish and on Twitter.


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