Prom Night

In typical teenager fashion, Kyle decided to attend last night’s junior prom a few days before the ticket deadline. One of Kyle’s friends from grade school – a girl I always wish he would dating (she’s incredibly nice) – set him up with one of her friends from high school. Lily, as you can see, is also a redhead, and Julia was very happy she could claim two “Ginger Buddies.”

Lily came to our house last night for pictures, then they went to the local park for group photos with their friends. I missed out on the occasion – and many chances to embarrass Kyle – because Kevin had belt testing for karate. (When Kevin saw the photos afterward, he told Mrs. Earp, “LIly looks like a Disney princess.”)

I’m daywork this week, so I wasn’t awake when Kyle got home, but Mrs. Earp said they had a very good time, and Kyle said he was glad he went.

Which brings me to another point. As far as dating is concerned, times have certainly changed since I was a lad. When I was in high school, my school (and surrounding ones) always held dances and socials. We met girls there, and relationships formed out of those events.

Kyle goes to an all-boys school which no longer holds those social functions. Between schoolwork and lacrosse, he doesn’t interact with or otherwise meet girls. As such, he’s never had a girlfriend.

Now, I really have no desire for Kyle to get a girlfriend. The last girl he really liked inexplicably went from a close friendship to despising him in a matter of seconds, and he never really got over it. Plus, as I have told Kyle on many occasions, “Bitches be crazy.” That said, it’s an odd situation to me. He has a lot of female friends from grade school, and from all accounts, Lily is a terrific person, but boys aren’t meeting girls anymore.

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Baby Driver

So, this happened…

A few weeks ago I took Kyle to take his learner’s permit test. We waited at the DMV for almost an hour until we were called, and when our number finally came up… Kyle failed the eye test.

Fast forward a few weeks and one doctor’s note later. Mrs. Earp took him again Thursday, and he earned a perfect score on the written test. As such, he is now allowed to drive as long as a parent is with him. He will need 65 hours behind the wheel to be able to take his driver’s exam.

Mrs. Earp took him out Thursday, and I got him Friday. Now, I’m not very good at being a passenger in a vehicle. I’ve been in a few accidents, and the one I had with Miss America – long story, I’ve blogged about it before – was especially rough. Since then, I need to drive, or I suffer anxiety attacks.

So, I sucked it up and let Kyle take the keys. We spent an hour and a half on the open road, in the rain – they want you driving in all types of weather – and with the exception of a few foibles, Kyle did very well. He is a bit of a Larry Leadfoot – like his mother – but besides a few anxious swerves and one burnout – again, leadfoot – he’s on his way to getting his license.

*Where he will then be responsible for transporting his siblings to sports/dance practices, gassing my car, and doing other menial tasks I refuse to do.

A Golden Opportunity

Kyle’s lacrosse season opener was Monday, and we were pleasantly surprised to see him on the first midfield line, starting ahead of some seniors. Kyle shared faceoff duties with the senior captain, which bodes well for his college prospects. (Faceoff specialists are in high demand with college programs, and as one of two faceoff guys, Kyle is in a good position.)

The team shot itself in the foot many times, mostly with terrible, preventable penalties. Then, in the second half, the senior captain was tripped, landed one his shoulder, and had to leave the game.

Yeah.

Kyle took the rest of the team’s faceoffs, and ended up winning two out of five, which isn’t bad. Sadly, the team lost by a score of 7-2, but Kyle played well for his part. Kyle was then informed he had to take faceoffs during the JV game because he was the only other person on the team who could do it.

Yesterday the coaches came to Kyle at practice and told him the senior broke his collarbone, and done for the season. They then told Kyle he was now top dog, and would be taking all faceoffs for the rest of the season. After practice, I drove him home, and he was incredibly stressed out. He claimed he can’t carry the team, and wasn’t good at the senior faceoff guy. Kyle spent the rest of the night stressing about today’s game, until his former coach – who coaches his summer league team – sent a text message saying, “You’ll be fine. You’re ready.”

I tried to impress upon Kyle what a great opportunity this is. He can tell recruiters he had to step up as a junior and become a leader on the field. If his faceoff win percentage hovers around 50% this season, he’ll be gold.

Now if we can just get him past the nerves…

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This

Yesterday I spent the day in South Jersey at the South Jersey Saints lacrosse College Prospect Day. Kyle signed up for the event, which included three hours of instruction, drills, and scrimmages in front of an audience of college lacrosse coaches. There were schools from Division I, II, III, and a junior college in attendance for Kyle to impress.

Now, I am brutally honest about my kids’ talent levels. Kyle is a very good lacrosse player – he’s been playing since first grade – but he is not a Division I quality prospect. He can, however, be competitive in a Division II or III school, and this was a nice event to show scouts what he can do.

Kyle, being my son, was a bundle of nerves the entire drive, and through the first half of the day. He was worried he wouldn’t impress anyone, and worse still, his favorite coach – from his freshman year of high school – was in attendance. Kyle did not want to disappoint him especially…

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A Star-Studded Gala

A week or so ago, Kyle received a letter from school – no, it was not his release; that one was mine – stating he would be receiving an academic award at the Honors Convocation.

Kyle, being Kyle, immediately quipped, “Well, that’s gotta be a mistake.” Naturally we agreed, but hey, the school was offering free snacks afterward. Free. Snacks.

Kyle had to wear his school uniform, and the missus made me dress up. I chose ripped jeans and a tuxedo t-shirt – because I keep it classy – and we headed to school.

None of the letters identified the award the students would be receiving, nor the teacher who made the nomination. So it was like the Oscars, without pompous blowhards making political speeches, but chock full of wardrobe malfunctions…

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A Midseason Report

Yesterday Kyle’s lacrosse team played its seventh game of a twelve-game season. Kyle (left above) is primarily playing junior varsity this year, thanks in part to the minuscule number of players who came out to play. We have 37 on the roster, but we rarely see that many on game days, and while we do have enough to play games, some players have to play both varsity and JV the same day.

Kyle, a sophomore, has seen some varsity time, but it’s few and far between.

The boy has been playing very well on JV, however. Kyle is the JV top face-off guy, and through seven games he is 18-for-33, which amounts to a 55% win rate. He has also added two assists – a stat which angers him, because he knows he should be putting up better offensive numbers – and runs the offense on the field for the top midfield line.

I’d like to see him score more often, and I definitely want him feeding linemates more, but otherwise I am very happy with his play. The kid is the typical grunt player. He runs through kids to scoop ground balls, he sacrifices his body to draw penalties, and he leads by example. In short, he does all the things I did when I played, except he has much more raw talent that I ever had.

The Crusaders currently have a record of 3-4 overall and 3-2 in their conference. Their next game is Friday afternoon.

He’s Right In The Head

Among his other studies, my oldest son Kyle is trudging through a high school government class. Normally that would worry me, because I always worry about the indoctrinators which have infiltrated our schools.

So when he told me his teacher gave out a quiz which would help determine your political affiliation, I worried further. The last thing Kyle needs is to be attacked by a snowflake teacher.

Kyle’s class took the quiz, and there were increments ranging from very liberal – think Harry Reid – to very conservative – think Ronald Reagan. The class took the survey and was split into groups based upon their affiliations.

I am extraordinarily pleased to say Kyle came in just to the right of Goebbels!

When I asked him if the teacher was a liberal, he said, “Honestly, I don’t know. He doesn’t telegraph it one way or the other.”

That’s reassuring… or it will be until Kyle starts failing exams.

You Can’t Spell Baptists Without PSAT

kyles-psat-scoreNo, I literally have no idea how that title is relevant to this post, but it looked kinda Christmasy.

Do Baptists even celebrate Christmas?

Anyway, this is Kyle’s minty-fresh PSAT score. Kyle, a sophomore, took the test for the first time, and was hesitant in his expectations. Now, back when I was a lad – walking to school uphill in the snow BOTH WAYS! – a perfect score was 1600. Nowadays, a perfect score is apparently 2400(?) so I’m guessing Kyle’s score was more impressive when parachute pants were in style. UPDATE: Mrs. Earp just informed me a prefect score is 1520-1600, and this is Kyle’s second time taking the PSAT. He scored a 950 in the first go ’round.

Of course, I don’t remember if I took the PSAT, but my SAT score was a mediocre 1090. It was enough to get accepted to three schools (St. Joseph’s, LaSalle, and Ursinus), so I figure that was good enough.

Kyle’s grades are much better than mine, so even if his PSAT score is so-so, his grades will help him in the long run. Either way, I’m proud of the boy. Standardized tests aren’t usually his milieu.

Mission Impossible

Kyle Playing MidfieldAfter being retired from coaching high school lacrosse for six – glorious – years, I was pulled back in to help out Kyle’s team. I was not the only new face, however. This is Kyle’s coach’s first foray into head coaching. While he coached on every level, this is his first head coaching position.

His work was cut out for him. Kyle’s school has had a rough couple of years, and the athletic director told the head coach we were expected to win three games out of eighteen. Ryan, the head coach, said the team’s three goals this season were to have a record of .500 or better, make the playoffs, and beat our rival – my Alma mater, Archbishop Ryan.

I giggled when I heard those goals because with this team, I figured we had no shot…

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Storybook

Kyle Verus Westtown

Kyle’s lacrosse team played Valley Forge Military Academy yesterday. VJMA does not have a JV team, so it was only a varsity contest. That said, all the JV players were required to attend. Kyle is a swing player. He made both the varsity and JV teams, but had not suited for a varsity game yet.

VFMA is a decent team, but they were shorthanded yesterday. Our guys came out strong, and after the first quarter, we were up by a score of 8-1. Before the start of the second quarter, the head coach turned to Kyle and asked, “Do you have your equipment with you?”

Both Kyle and I looked at the coach and thought, “Are you serious?”

Kyle said yes, the coach gave him the keys to the locker room and he sprinted toward it. As if reading my thoughts, the coach turned to me and said, “I told you he was going to get some varsity time.”

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