The Accolades Continue

So yesterday I was sitting at my desk entering jobs when Mrs. Earp sent me a text message. I looked at the message and was instantly thrilled. Erik made the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll!

Many athletes made the honor roll from Erik’s school, with a decent amount from the lacrosse team.

Sr. Maureen McDermott, IHM, PhD, Superintendent for Secondary Schools, Office of Catholic Education, has announced the 2021 Archdiocese of Philadelphia Spring Sports Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll, which recognizes the high school student-athletes of the Archdiocese who earned first or second academic honors in the third quarter marking period while competing in baseball, softball, lacrosse, outdoor track & field, boys’ tennis, crew, and boys’ volleyball or a fall sport that competed in the alternate spring season per PIAA guidelines.

The irony here is Erik missed First Honors this semester by one lousy point.

“AOP programs enjoyed great individual and team success in the Spring sports season,” said Sister Maureen. “To have such a significant number of students earn academic honors while competing in athletics speaks volumes about their commitment to the student-athlete experience.”

Erik, like Kyle, is a very good lacrosse player, and his grades have been pretty spectacular. In fact, Transylvania University in Kentucky sent him an email Tuesday offering him a priority application. The school has been looking at him for lacrosse, but his grades obviously made an impact.

As always, we’re very proud of him and his accomplishments.

So, This Is Pretty Great

Erik’s high school lacrosse season began toward the end of March, and while everyone assumed the season would turn out to be another mediocre year, the Crusaders have been totally outplaying their competition.

And by that I mean, they are currently 6-0.

Erik called this at the beginning of the year. He looked over the schedule and said, “I think we’re going to win a lot of games this year.” (Insert Dad eyeroll here). I reminded him there are some powerhouses in the league, but he continued to stand his ground. The team has been very confident, and it shows on the field.

No one was more shocked than I. That’s not a shot at the team, per se. They have a nice crop of good players this year – especially Erik and his two fellow face-off guys – but the competition in their conference is pretty impressive.

So far, the Crusaders have outscored their opponents 80-19, and during the game against Cardinal O’Hara, the three faceoff guys won 24 out of 25 face-offs. Erik won 5 out of 6.

Erik has ten games left, and of those, five of them are against very tough teams. They likely won’t go undefeated, but with any luck, they will earn their best record in years. It’s a nice change from finishing .500 – or worse – every year, especially with college scouts looking at him.

Adventures In Child-Rearing

Unlike Kevin and Princess P, Erik’s school is utilizing a hybrid school schedule. The school is doing one day in school and one day online. I think it’s a ridiculous scenario which doesn’t benefit the students, but common sense is not entirely common anymore.

Like every kid, Erik needs socialization. Spending all day, every day in your own home can do some pretty severe damage to people’s psyche, and leads to all types of problems, such as depression. The good news is lacrosse practices have begun, and while Erik is suffering from shin splints, he should be good to go for the regular season.

Or so we thought.

Yesterday, one of the administrators called to tell me “because your son, on Monday March 8,was in a classroom and in proximity of a student who tested positive for Covid-19, your son will have to quarantine for Mon-Thu next week.”

Are you f**king kidding me? Erik has no symptoms, and kids are almost always immune to the Chinese Wuhan Virus maladies. But hey, “abundance of caution,” or some other garbage.

Worse still, it means he is banned from lacrosse practice until next week, and will miss the team’s first scrimmage. Also note, his lacrosse season was canceled last year, thanks to the Chinese. As Mrs. Earp said yesterday, “I am so over this.” It’s been over a year since the ChiComs released this plague upon the world, and far too many Americans are still acting like it’s Bubonic Plague.

There was some good news yesterday, however.

Two weeks ago, Kevin took the practice test for a really good private school in the area. (We would rather he not attend the school Kyle and Erik attended. See above.) The test took three hours and had nearly 298 questions.

We didn’t tell Kevin that beforehand. Why stress him out?

Anyway, Mrs. Earp drove him to the test, and sat in on a few speeches about the school while Kevin was taking the practice exam. The administrators said if a student earned a high enough score, they would not have to take the test again. Kevin is a very smart 7th grader, but I told him to just do his best, and whatever happens happens.

Kevin was tired when he got home, but he said he thought he did okay. We received the results yesterday, and he scored an 89. We’re not sure if that’s good enough to get him in – and the tuition is crazy – but he was very pleased with his score.

Worse comes to worse, if the prep school doesn’t work out, there’s a very good charter school close to our home.

A Victory Of A Sort

This weekend I had the pleasure of taking Erik (#88 in blue) to Delaware for the Victory Fall Classic lacrosse tournament. The tournament spanned Saturday and Sunday, with three games for each team. Considering Erik’s sophomore season was eliminated thanks to the Chinese Wuhan Virus and our a-hole governor, this was his first tournament since summer of 2019.

Erik’s team is undefeated in their Fall league, but the competition in Delaware was much more impressive. I told Mrs. Earp we may come home without a win, but it’s always good when you play tougher opponents.

Erik is one of two face-off specialists on the team. Erik, like Kyle, is very good at face-offs; but he uses a different strategy. Kyle used his speed to win draws, while Erik uses his size and muscle. I hoped he had a good weekend because college scouts were in attendance.

Erik didn’t disappoint…

Continue reading “A Victory Of A Sort”

A Programming Note

Mrs. Earp is on Facebook, and she posted this photo of Erik and Kyle at Dover International Speedway in 2011. Erik was 7 and Kyle was 10. It popped up Wednesday on one of those flashbacks, so she sent it to me.

(You can click the photo to embiggen.)

I posted this because I’ll be scarce the next few days. Mrs. Earp and I will be headed to fabulous sunny Texas for the University of Dallas’ Parents Weekend.

I literally cannot wait to land in Dallas – our plane leaves at noon – and it’s quite possible I may stay there, quit my job over the phone, and abandon my house.

Unlike our recruiting visit a year ago, I’m leaving the laptop home, and while I’ll have posts set up for the weekend, I won’t be on much. Between the festivities and the kids’ demand for Texas souvenirs, we’ll be rather busy.

So enjoy your weekend – I know I will – and I’ll be back live Monday. God bless Texas!

It’s Tournament Season!

Well, it was. Erik’s summer lacrosse team finished their tournament season this weekend, after appearing in the Rutgers University D1 Summer Shootout. It was the fourth and final tournament for the freshman team, after the NYLA Summer Showcase, The Lehigh University Laxfest, and the Rider Trilogy Tournament. (Erik is #19.)

Erik was surrounded with a good group of players and a good group of kids. For the most part, they all got along, and they played well together. They would have played better if they weren’t so schizophrenic. The would look like world champions one game, and bottom feeder the other. There was no rhyme or reason – although they did not play well during early games – but when they played well, they would stomp teams.

The Rutgers fields were a mix of grass and turf. Saturday’s turf game was brutal, since it was 91 degrees at 11am with a heat index of 96. Everyone was sweaty, even the moms. Erik played well, scooped many ground balls and hustled during every shift…

(Click the photos to embiggen.)

He also did the little things, like collecting all the practice balls after warm-ups. (The coach asked someone to pick them up, and while his teammates walked away, Erik stayed and grabbed them.) He also picked up some of the trash after games – water bottles, etc. – and did the little things coaches like to see from new players…

Continue reading “It’s Tournament Season!”

Busy Weekend

I realize not many people will be headed here on Memorial Day – hell, I’ll barely be around – but I wanted to explain why I’ve been scarce this weekend. Last weekend, we bought tickets to see the Philadelphia Union soccer game. We haven’t been there in a year or two, and Kyle and Erik really wanted to go. Well, we were in luck, because the Union had a buy tickets, get another game’s tickets free deal.

Talen Energy Stadium – above – is gorgeous, and a terrific soccer venue. Sadly, the Union lost Saturday night, but it was Dollar Dog Night, so while the loss was not fun, our stomachs were full. (The Union are still in second place in the east.)

This weekend, the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Finals are back in Philadelphia. (They’re here in 2020 as well.) We never miss the lax championships when they’re in Philly, and we spent Sunday seeing the Division II and Division III title games. Before that, however, we attended Fan Fest, where we had some really cool opportunities.

Like, say, getting our pictures taken with the NCAA Division I Lacrosse Championship trophy.

The boy on the far left is Jake; one of Kyle’s oldest friends, and a former lacrosse player. I considered hugging and kissing the trophy, but I didn’t want to be brutally beaten. There’s more below the fold…

Continue reading “Busy Weekend”

My Kid Was Taking Shots

Kyle and Erik were off Monday, because apparently I am paying nearly $10,000 a year for them NOT to go to school. Instead, the day off was spent at the doctor’s office, as they both needed their annual physicals completed for school and lacrosse.

The office was crowded as always, and while we were sitting there we saw 1. an elderly woman being blown across the parking lot (Philly was dealing with 50+ mph winds Monday), 2. a man with a Red Sox cap (we despise the Red Sox), and 3. a high school girl who came to the office in ragged sweatpants and slippers. Slippers!

We eventually entered the exam room and the doc came to me first. “I heard you had a concussion. How are you, You having headaches?” I assured him I was fine, and he started the boys’ physicals. Erik was clocked in at 5’5 1/2″ and 128 pounds. Kyle was 5’11” and 124.6 pounds. The doc told Kyle he needed to hit the gym before college lacrosse, and turned to me and said, “You actually look slimmed down.” The kids replied, “Well, Dad is less-fat.”

Erik escaped without any shots, but Kyle needed two. The second dose of the meningitis vaccine and one for HPV. When the doc explained the HPV vaccine would protect him from sexually transmitted diseases, Erik and I replied, “Well, he’d need a girlfriend first.”

Kyle took the shots like a champ, but the point of this post was what happened when we arrived home. Kyle walked into the house, approached his mother, and yelled…

“I CAN HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX!!!”

The End Of An Era

After six productive years, a handful of all-star games, a few trophies, and a title appearance, Erik is officially retiring from soccer at the ripe old age of fourteen.

Erik has decided to play lacrosse (YES!) in high school, and considering how the high school runs “tryouts” – the teams are picked well beforehand – he wanted to spend his spring playing lax for his local club. The decision is bittersweet. During his first year, Erik was the kid who knelt down and picked the grass. Then, during a game, he was stung by a bee. After the tears stopped, he went on the field and completely took over the team. We’re convinced the bee was carrying steroids.

The kid once scored thirteen goals in a youth indoor soccer game (with one assist), and has always been a talented striker. He was the boy everyone said would be playing in college, and while he enjoyed lacrosse, he never really preferred it over soccer. I think he was swayed by the fact Kyle plays, and now that a few colleges have expressed interest in Kyle, Erik sees a future for himself.

Saturdays indoor finale was most likely his last, but he went out in style. Erik played harder than anyone on the floor, scored two goals, and played impressive defense. His team lost the game 11-3, but Erik made a statement during his exit.

It’s sad to see him not playing a sport he loves, but I have no doubt he will excel in lacrosse this spring, and for years to come.

Peace Be With You

Nine days into The Jury Trial Which Will Not Die, I am completely and utterly sick of court. After the events of this past weekend, I am completely and utterly sick of humanity. So, I needed to post something which will make me feel better.

My kids’ elementary school holds mass the first Friday of every month. During the celebration, the teachers give out an award called Peacemaker of the Month. It’s given to one child from each classroom based upon that particular month’s featured trait.

This week, my eighth grader Erik received the award for the trait of Fairness. I guess he let the girls in his class stare lovingly at some other boy last month.

Any hoo, Mrs. Earp was able to attend the festivities – since someone was stuck in court with the dregs of humanity – and the post-mass snacks. Erik has won Peacemaker a few times in his elementary school career, and it’s nice to see him win it before going off to high school.