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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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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Kyle, in a game from 2015.
Kyle, in a game from 2015.

Kyle’s second lacrosse game was yesterday, and it was the home opener against a powerful Archbishop Wood team. Father Judge High School has a brand new turf field which is teh awesum, but less awesome during steady downpours. That said, since lacrosse is not a sissy sport – looking at you, baseball – the teams play in the rain.

Kyle played JV yesterday, which was probably a smart move, because Mrs. Earp said some of the Wood players were monsters. The boy earned a ton of playing time, and made the most of it.

Wood took control early, and steadily built up a 5-1 lead. Amazingly, the JV fought back, scoring five goals to earn a 6-6 tie.

Kyle, for his part, won five of seven face-offs – an incredible stat for a freshman – and added an assist on the game-tying goal. Mrs. Earp said he owned his opponents in face-offs, and probably had his best game ever. Since I was working, I’ll ask my fellow coaches how they thought Kyle played, because they are harder on him. The numbers don’t lie, though; 5-for-7 is a dominating performance.

It was a nice display of hard work from the young team, even if they didn’t win the game. Their record is now 0-1-1 heading into tomorrow’s game at Conwell-Egan.

The Varsity team lost by a score of 10-9 in OT. They are now 1-1 heading into tomorrow’s game.

UPDATE: Today was a good day. The varsity won 3-2, and the JV won 5-1. Kyle won his only face-off, bringing his season record to winning seven out of nine face-offs in three games.