Recruitment Visit #1 Was A Success

So Thursday afternoon Erik and I traveled to Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, West Virginia. The school has been recruiting him for their lacrosse team, so we took two days to visit the campus, talk to the coach and learn about the school.

The journey was 350 miles from Philadelphia, but amazingly, the ride was really nice. The PA Turnpike, then parts of Maryland, and right into West Virginia. We stayed in a hotel Thursday night because the meeting was not scheduled until Friday at 11am. I’ll say this, because everyone always makes fun of West Virginia; the state is truly gorgeous, especially as the leaves turn colors. It is also, from what we’ve seen, it is very, very red. We saw more Trump flags and banners than I would have imagined.

I’ll also say West Virginians, for the most part are incredibly nice. We stopped at a few gas stations, rest, stops, and stores, and everyone was genuinely nice. When we arrived on campus, we didn’t know the lay of the land, and a student came over, gave us directions, and said, “Have a nice day.”

We arrived on campus and headed to the building to meet the lacrosse coach. The guy was much larger than I thought – tall, not fat – and he was extraordinarily nice. Erik filled out the application, and received a folder of all the things he needed to do to apply. He also said 70% of the students there participate in athletics.

The coach gave us a tour of the campus and its facilities, and offered us a history lesson, to boot. At the top of the campus hill, there are concrete placements where cannons were installed. On June, 3, 1861, the Battle of Philippi was fought – the first organized land battle of the Civil War -although it was more of a skirmish…

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Pitter Patter Let’s Get At ‘Er

Yesterday was the unofficial start of Kyle’s college lacrosse career with a scrimmage versus TCU. The day began with Kyle making University of Dallas’ Sports Med posting this photo of him on Instagram.

Then, a half hour before the game, Erik found TCU’s YouTube channel, which was broadcasting the game! Since Kyle is the primary faceoff guy, the announcers mentioned him often.

(As a parent, there is no bigger thrill than hearing your son’s name mentioned during a live sports broadcast.)

TCU has a much larger pool to draw from, and they outnumbered UD by a good 10-15 players. They were also very physical, and Kyle got hit hard a few times, always popping back up.

The plus side is he played a ton, but unfortunately, it was not Dallas’ day, and they lost 18-4. Thankfully it was only a scrimmage.

Either way, I’m very proud of him, despite the score.

The video of the game is below the fold, if you want to hear the boy’s name. He wears #13, and he gets a nice talk-up at 56:05. He is also the first player you see, taking the faceoff in gray.

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Today is the annual Father Judge High School Student-Athlete Signing Day. It is a chance to recognize those student-athletes who have committed to play a sport in college. Kyle, obviously, will be joining the University of Dallas lacrosse team in the fall.

Of course, there is always a catch. Kyle’s lacrosse “coach” – I place that in parentheses because he is literally the worst coach I have ever seen – received the notification for the event a few weeks ago, and decided to send it to the lacrosse players Sunday afternoon. So anyone who wanted to rush to the school – if it was local – for a t-shirt or hat was out of luck. And while Division I programs usually make a production out of this day, smaller schools don’t have the resources for that.

Mrs. Earp sent an email to UD’s athletic director – a fantastic person, by the way – asking if they had any letters of intent which Kyle could sign. The AD responded immediately and we had a copy printed in a half hour. (It’s amazing what a school can do when they actually care.)…

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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.

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.)

Heidel-Ho, Everybody!

For the second consecutive weekend, Kyle and I went on a college visit. Last week, it was the University of Dallas. This weekend it was Heidelberg University in Ohio.

Now driving a total of 1,034 miles in 38 hours is not my idea of fun, but Heidelberg was interested in Kyle for lacrosse. Kyle had already been accepted to the school, with a grant of $14,500, plus an extra $3,000 for being out-of-state. So, long trip or not, we definitely needed to go to Ohio to see what they were offering.

Eight. Hours. Later. We pulled into the campus and met the assistant lacrosse coach. (Guy looks EXACTLY like Jeff Gordon.) The coach gave us a quick tour of the athletic facilities – the stadium (above) is gorgeous – and explained the program, the conference, and everything else lacrosse-related.

The assistant coach then took us to meet Heidi in admissions – yes, Heidi works for Heidelberg – and she explained everything about the school, its programs, and so on. She also reminded us about Kyle’s $14,500 grant and $3,000 grant for being out-of-state. When Kyle said he’s looking at either business of science, Heidi told him the school has its own cadaver lab. Kyle looked at her, and she asked him if he knew what a cadaver was. He didn’t – which shocked me – and when Heidi said, “it’s a corpse,” Kyle made a nauseated face.

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The Least Wonderful Time Of The Year

Thursday signaled the end of Kyle’s 2018 high school lacrosse season. Once again, his team missed the playoffs, thanks mostly to injuries and a lack of adequate talent. Many of Kyle’s games saw their coach putting in freshman against varsity opponents, because some seniors never really progressed. That said, Kyle had a fairly decent season.

Kyle played ten of thirteen games – he missed three due to the knee injury – scores two goals and three assists, and won 20 of 51 faceoffs (39%). The team as a whole, however, did not fare as well; finishing with a 1-12 record. The team finished tenth out of eleven teams in their conference.

Thursday was rivalry night, where Kyle’s team played an away game against my alma mater. While starting out well, the game quickly turned into a rout, and the seniors on Kyle’s team had to suffer through an 11-2 drubbing. There were, however, some good things Thursday night.

There is more below the fold…

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Sunday Services

While the college lacrosse season is in full swing, Kyle’s first game of the season is set for tomorrow afternoon. Thus, today’s services will revolve around lax bros.

Lacrosse is a team sport played with a lacrosse stick and a ball. Players use the head of the lacrosse stick to carry, pass, catch, and shoot the ball into the goal.

The sport has four versions that have different sticks, fields, rules and equipment: field lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, box lacrosse and intercrosse. The men’s games, field lacrosse (outdoor) and box lacrosse (indoor), are contact sports and all players wear protective gear: helmet, gloves, shoulder pads, and elbow pads. The women’s game does not allow body contact but does allow stick to stick contact. The only protective gear required for women players is eyegear, while goalies wear helmets and protective pads.

It is by far the greatest sport in the world; not that I’m biased or anything. There are more photos below the fold…

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Days Of Blunder

During yesterday’s Caption Contest Winners post, Mike AKA Proof noticed I listed five entries but typed “Top Three Entries.” I noted I was having a terrible, awful, no good day, so I figured I’d take a moment to – like Clarissa – explain it all.

Every Spring I suffer through severe vertigo. My neurologist believes if has something to do with the pollen count, and my allergic reactions. It throws off my equilibrium, and I’ve been staggering around the office all day. Better yet, my sergeant was walking behind me as I was bracing myself against the hall, and when my lieutenant walked by, the sergeant quipped, “He’s been drinking all day, boss.” Thanks, dude. Really.

Halfway through the day, Mrs. Earp sends me a text message stating the team bus left school for their lacrosse game without Kyle. Apparently no one took a head count, so they just left. Now maybe it’s just me, but in two decades of coaching, I have always – ALWAYS – taken roll before the bus pulled out. I immediately sent a text to the head coach – who I am starting to dislike more every day – asking him to wait a minute for Kyle, and ten minutes later he responds with, “Oh, we’re already on the road.”


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Point Break


This may sound like a whining post – well, it IS a whining post – but to be fair, I am going to whine about all my crap at once, then never try to mention it again. So either bear with me, or wait a bit until the next post. Your choice.

First off, I have been very sick for almost a week now. I am recovering from a bout of the shingles, and I have the actual flu. Not flu symptoms, or a cold, the ass-kicking flu. The only good health news I’ve received this week was my yearly skin cancer screening was negative.

Work has been a nightmare these past few weeks. It’s not due to the crime or the criminals, but due in part by my coworkers. It seems everyone has decided to adopt Homer Simpson’s “Can’t Someone Else Do It?” mantra. Many of the detectives in my squad show at least a half hour late every day – if they show up at all – and when they do, they spend more time bitching about jobs, complainants, or supervisors than they do solving crimes.

Now I’m not the model employee by any stretch of the imagination, but I am always at work on time – usually early – work my ass of while I’m there, and rarely use sick or vacation time. (The last two days notwithstanding, since I am actually very sick.) I’m tired of the whining, tired of the lackadaisical attitudes, and tired of being the only responsible person in the building.

But wait, there’s more…

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