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.

Might As Well Jump

The Philadelphia CYO High Jump Divisionals were held last night at St. Hubert’s High School. Erik was one of three competitors from Maternity BVM school, and one of two boys in the Minors Division. Either way, Erik would make the Area Championships tonight, as long as he cleared his first jump.

Clearing 3’6″ is no big feat for him, and I told him he needed to clear at least 4’0″ to be on pace for Areas.

The boy didn’t disappoint.

After easily clearing 3’6″, 3’8″, and 3’10”, he hit the bar at 4’0″. You have three chances to clear each height, and when Erik hit the bar again at 4’0″, I asked him if he wanted me to stop taping his attempts.

His response? “Um, yes!”

I stashed the cellphone, and he cleared his third and final jump at 4’0″. Best jump, evah! Even more impressive since the bar was above his shoulders.

Erik has two more weeks of practice before Areas, and his coach believes he can hit 4’6″ before then. Erik is now locked in to the Area Championships for the high jump, and can earn a ticket there for the long jump and 200m run this weekend.

His clearance of 3’10” is below the fold…

Continue reading “Might As Well Jump”

Jump Around

Erik Long Jump 2015

Now that Kyle’s lacrosse season is over, I can get reacquainted with my other little monsters. Erik, in particular, has been the most neglected because I have been unable to see his track meets and lacrosse games. That changes tonight, when Erik will compete in a high jump competition.

For the past few years, Erik had run the 100m sprint, the 4×100 relay, and performed the long jump. His best jump this season was 11’10”, crushing his previous best of 10’10”. This year, his coach asked for volunteers to compete in the high jump. Ever the gamer, Erik volunteered.

His first-ever jump was three feet, which is an okay height. Last week, he jumped four feet, which was enough for the coach to enter him into tonight’s competition. The coach believes if he jumps four feet or more, he will move on to the divisional championships. I’m confident he will perform admirably.

UPDATE:

Erik High Jump

Erik cleared 3’8″ tonight, cementing an appearance in the CYO Divisional Track Championships!

Missing Persons

Erik Long Jump 2015In the last few weeks, I’ve been posting about Kyle’s lacrosse season, but have been neglecting Erik and his updates.

Erik is playing three sports this spring: soccer, lacrosse, and track. Lacrosse and track take precedence, but he will make as many soccer games as possible. My work schedule is such that I can make more than a few track meets – Erik’s long jump gal is 13 feet this season – but Mrs’ Earp informed I can make none – zero – of Erik’s lacrosse games.

Damn.

Part of the problem is my work schedule, and the other problem is as Kyle’s coach, my first priority is to the high school team. So, in effect, Erik gets screwed. I told him I would make every effort to see him play lacrosse, even if it means taking a vacation day, but I feel badly. Erik is a very good lax player, and I want to watch his games.

I get with four kids I cannot make every event, but it would be nice to see one lacrosse game.

The Kids In The Hall

Erik And Julia Reading

So while I was working last night, Mrs. Earp sent me this photo. Apparently, Erik decided to lie down in the upstairs hallway to read. Okay. A few minutes later, Julia joined him, and the two read books for almost an hour. I thought the hallway was an odd choice, since their bedrooms are only feet from where they were lying, but if they’re reading, I’m happy. I just thought it was a nice picture.

Oh, and for the record, the plastic bag behind Julia is not trash. It’s clothing.