The Most Laxerful Time Of The Year

Kyle (Left) Going To Work During A Faceoff

Kyle and Erik’s high school lacrosse season officially began yesterday with their home opener. As a freshman, Erik is playing on the JV team, and he did well for his first high school contest. He played attack as well as midfield, and barely missed scoring what would be the tying goal.

Sadly, the JV team lost, 2-1, but Erik did well.

Kyle’s day was more trying. They lost by a score of 5-4 to a team they should have dominated, but the new head coach felt the best way to win a home opener is stack the varsity squad with underclassmen and new players.

Kyle got in a good number shifts, but he took zero – ZERO – face-offs. That role went to a brand new player, who finished the day winning only five face-offs out of thirteen. Judging by what I saw of the other team’s face-off guy – Kyle would have doubled those wins. Easily.

Obviously, Kyle was pissed after the game. The team lost, he was wide open a number of times and his teammates refused to pass to him, and he was unable to get in any face-off work – which is why the University of Dallas wanted him.

I blame myself for a lot of this, because I disagreed with the previous coach on many things – most notably the fact he was a terrible coach – and this new clown is continuing the grudge. Either that, or he wants the team to lose games, because no one in their right mind would keep the statistically best face-off player on the sidelines. It is inconceivable to me a four-year senior, a kid who has done everything he’s been asked, to be treated this poorly.

So let’s recap. Kyle was recruited heavily by a Division II program and two Division III programs, and saw looks from many other II and III schools. He was one of two face-off guys for the South Jersey Saints, one of the best club lacrosse programs in New Jersey. Plus, he was asked to submit his name to the Saints because they are interesting in adding Kyle as an assistant face-off coach this summer.

But for some reason, Kyle is not good enough to take face-offs at a school which has three combined wins since 2016. Seems legit.

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!!!”

It’s Dallas!

Kyle officially made his college decision, and he has decided to commit to the University of Dallas. The choice was not too difficult, because Kyle loved the city, the school, and his prospective teammates. There was only one hiccup: the coach who recruited him left for another school a few months ago.

Thankfully, the new coach was still interested in Kyle playing lacrosse for him, and offered his a spot on the roster.

Academically, Dallas is a great school. USNews & World Report ranks UD #14 in Regional Universities West, #4 in Best Value Schools, and it is ranked as the 5th Most Conservative College in Texas. There are always concerns when your child goes to college, but I’m fairly sure indoctrination won’t be a problem here.

So, it looks like Kyle will be buying a pickup truck, a rifle, and a giant belt buckle next August, while his father works copious amounts of overtime to pay for it all. (Although, he did receive a $12,000/year academic scholarship.)

Nationwide Is On Everyone Else’s Side

So after two phone calls and two voice messages, our Nationwide agent finally called Kyle Friday night – four days after his accident.

The woman asked to speak with Kyle, and he took the phone into his room to tell his side of the story in relative peace. A few minutes later, he came downstairs and handed me the phone. The agent wanted to speak of the owner of the Saturn, and I figured I could give her some background on the incident.

Shockingly, she didn’t want to hear it.

“After talking to your son and the other driver, it appears we will be finding Kyle liable for the accident. The other driver claimed she went through a yellow light, and Kyle claimed it was red when he made the turn.”

I immediately interjected: “Excuse me, but how could it be yellow for her and red for my son if they entered the intersection at the same time?” The bitch had no answer for that, so I realized the fix was in. Our insurance company was siding with the older, more experienced driver over my son, the new driver. The agent then admitted she did not see the police report yet.

“Well I did, and I had it the evening of the accident. Who do you think has more reason to lie, the striking vehicle or the vehicle which was struck?”

Again, no answer, but she did have a question: “Do you think you could scan and email that report for me?” I initially said yes, but after promising an email immediately, I changed my mind after an hour of waiting. Why should I give this woman a professional courtesy when she already made up her mind?

Once we give the repair money to the piece of shit who t-boned my car, we’ll immediately be dropping Nationwide after two decades of coverage. If this is how they treat their customers, I want no part of them.

I will also remember this incident next time they call my division – which insurance companies do often – asking for information on burglaries and auto accidents.

History Repeating

So I’m at work last night, when I received a text message from Kyle…

“Me and Ant were in my car – heh, he thinks it’s his – turning on Conwell when someone sped around the first car in line and clipped the back of the car and drive off. Nothing is broken except in the back corner. It’s cracked a lot.”

Kyle followed up with, “F**king a**holes need to be publicly executed.”

He’s not wrong. I told Kyle to bring the car home, since the accident occurred a block from our house. Mrs. Earp was at karate with Kevin and Julia, and I was at work. A few moments later, I get another text saying he found the twat who was driving the vehicle. He took a photo of her license plate, sent it to me and said the woman called police to make a report. I told Kyle to stay there with Ant – the witness – and be polite to the officer.

The officer arrived and conducted an investigation. The female was found to be the striking vehicle, because her front fender was cracked, while Kyle’s rear was hit. Kyle said the woman as arguing with the officer, while he was polite. He said the officer probably liked him because he called Kyle, “Bro.”

The district was kind enough to send me a copy of the report, and yes, the woman who was at fault was listed as the striking vehicle. That’ll go a long way toward repairing the rear bumper of an antique 2007 Saturn VUE.

Oh, and for the record, neither Kyle nor Anthony had any injuries.

Weighing His Prosepcts

A few weeks ago, Kyle received an invitation to Chestnut Hill College’s Game Ready Prospect Camp. CHC is good school on the outskirts of Philadelphia, and they have a fairly successful Division II lacrosse program. Naturally, Kyle wanted to attend.

Kyle, like his father, is not a morning person. We needed to be at the campus by 8:30am, so we all woke up at 6:30. Kyle was sleepy during the ride, and despite it was cold and windy, his play early on told me what I needed to know: he wasn’t awake yet.

He lost all but one of his faceoffs in the first scrimmage – a rarity – dropped a few balls he normally would be money on, and was slower than he usually runs.

At around noon, the athletes – about thirty-six off them – went inside for weight training, lunch, and to watch film of the early session. During the second half of the day, the Kyle I know returned. He won three faceoffs in a row, his passes were pinpoint, he was using his body to move people off the ball, and he had an amazing jumping catch, which he turned into a 60-yard run upfield toward the goal.

After the camp, I asked Kyle two questions: 1. Did you have fun?, and 2. Did you learn anything? The answers to both questions were an enthusiastic yes. After a few minutes asking where this magic was in the morning, Kyle laid back in the seat, and rested during the drive home.

I’m not sure if Chestnut Hill will be interested in Kyle, but the experience was well worth it.

The Strain

Kyle’s lacrosse season is winding down, and it has not been a memorable one for his team. The team currently sits at one win and ten losses, partly because there is a lack of viable talent, and partly because of injuries. One of those injured is Kyle.

In the first quarter of the season, the team lost its top faceoff guy (a senior), its starting goalie (a junior), and its best defensive midfielder (a senior). Kyle was called upon to carry a lot of the load at midfield. In that vein, he played most of every varsity game, then stayed to take faceoffs for JV games. Mrs. Earp and I worried the extensive playing time would come back to haunt him.

It did.

Kyle had been complaining his legs were burning after games and practices. Then a week or so ago, he caught a terrible stomach virus, causing him to miss his first ever high school lacrosse game. The coach benched Kyle the next game because he was sick the day before. (A rule I think is ridiculous, but whatever.) He was allowed to play that day for JV – again, ridiculous – and after that game he asked us to take him to the doctor’s office…

Continue reading “The Strain”

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.

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…