I Miss Texas Already

We arrived in Dallas on Friday at about 2:30pm, picked up out luggage – Love Field is crazy efficient, and it’s usually a breeze getting baggage quickly. We hopped the tram to the rental car place, received out VW Jetta – a really nice car – and headed to the hotel. Naturally, since I was involved, there was a snafu at the hotel which cost us another hour, and after calling Kyle, he said to take our time, as he was finishing a paper for class.

We finally arrived on campus at around 5pm, meet Kyle, and asked if he wanted to have dinner at school. (The dinner we paid for.) He looked at us and said, “I really don’t want to be on campus right now. I haven’t slept much this week, and I need to get away.” Okay, done.

He took us to Slim Chickens, a nice fast food place whose chicken is pretty fantastic. Kyle said he still loves Texas, loves his lacrosse team, and the work load is becoming more manageable. We sat talking for a while, and after dinner, went back to his residence hall. We even hit the lacrosse field and shot on the nets before the rain came. The missus and I headed out around 9pm and said we’d be on campus early Saturday morning…

Continue reading “I Miss Texas Already”

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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!

Swag-tastic!

While the 2020 lacrosse season is still five months away, Kyle received a few gifts yesterday from the University of Dallas: mainly his new helmet and practice gear. Suffice to say, the gear is head and shoulders above high school swag.

(You can click the photos to embiggen.)

The helmet is pictured above, and UD is changing from white helmets to blue; a move I think is perfect. Kyle is already in love with it, and the decals aren’t even attached yet.

The practice jerseys and shorts are below the fold…

Continue reading “Swag-tastic!”

He’s Officially On His Own

Mrs. Earp arrived home yesterday at 6pm, none the worse for wear. Apparently it’s hot in Texas in August. She claims she didn’t cry when she left Kyle at his dorm, but I’m suspicious of that.

Anyway, here’s a summary of what went on during Kyle’s first few days as a college man. (You can click the photos – like the one of Kyle at the Tower – to embiggen.)

Kyle’s roommates are from Texas and Massachusetts. They get along well, and are both wicked smaht, but they’re homebodies. Kyle spent most of the 12-14 hour daily festivities at the many locations on campus, while his roomies stayed in the dorm. That’s not a shot at them – they’re very nice – but Kyle is a social butterfly.

Kyle had to get a key chain for his dorm key, so he decided on the one below. Apparently, the Lone Star spins; a feature which made Kyle very happy.

Kyle in his ridiculously small dorm room. There are three students living there, and it barely has enough room for two. Next year he moves into the newer, larger dorms, so it’s a temporary problem.

Notice the Thin Blue Line flag above. He asked for one as a graduation present, along with the one below… Because Texas is freakin’ awesome!

This is the Tower, the centerpiece of the campus. During some events, the students split into smaller groups. Every group had a funny name. Kyle’s was “Scholars With No Dollars.” Julia liked the female group, “The Towerpuff Girls.”

During lunch Saturday, Mrs. Earp and Kyle walked into the cafeteria, and Kyle was flagged down by a table of girls. He dumped Mrs. Earp and walked over to eat with the hotties. I don’t blame him.

Besides his lacrosse teammates, he is making many, many friends, both men and women. He seems to be more outgoing than he was in high school, which is a good thing. Later Saturday, they attended a church service in the gym. Mrs. Earp said most of the others were dressed in Sunday best, while my family was dressed, um, comfortably. At one point, it came to a part where you kneel, and Kyle figured they would sit, because there were no kneelers. Most of the Texas people knelt on the floor. Mrs. Earp muttered, “You’ve gotta be kidding me.”

Now maybe my Texas friends can answer this. I know it’s Texas, but is it really like that in most churches? For a northeastern guy, it’s, well, different.

Kyle sent me a text string Friday night, and complained most of the people at Dallas were “much smarter than me.” He seemed really down, and I did my best to reassure him. College is scary, but he’s a hard worker, and will do just fine. I saw very little sleep Friday night, stressing about how he was feeling. On Saturday, Mrs. Earp said he was much better, and at one point said, “You know I’ll be fine. You don’t have to worry.”

We’re parents. We worry from cradle to our grave. It’s our job. That said, I think he’ll be okay there. He is totally in love with Texas, UD, and the people. Plus, his home lacrosse schedule is nowhere near as tough as last year’s.

Well, They Made It

Sorry for the disappearing act yesterday. It was a stressful twenty-four hours.

Kyle and Mrs. Earp landed safely in Dallas yesterday at 3pm. Traffic getting to the airport was awful, and it took me over an hour to get them to the terminal. (Rush hour in Philly begins at 6am and ends at noon.)

Southwest is still our favorite airline.

After packing the Family Truckster, the kids said goodbyes. Kyle hugged everyone, and, as predicted, Julia was the most emotional. She left this for Kyle, hidden in his laptop bag….

Then this was inside.

Today is move-in day, so they’ll be busy sitting up the room, meeting his roommates – one from Texas, one from Massachusetts – and Kyle may meet his lacrosse coach as well. The parent-student orientation is Friday and Saturday, then Mrs. Earp comes home Sunday – Party at my house this weekend! Monday will greet Kyle with concussion protocol tests, student-athlete orientation, and checking out the babes.

On Tuesday he will receive his work-study assignment – and classes begin Wednesday.

Counting Down…

Oct. 28, 2018; Denton, TX; North Texas defeated Rice 41-17 at Apogee Stadium. (Mandatory Credit: Dominic Ceraldi)

I just wanted to let everyone know the rest of the week will be a juggernaut of stress and excitement.

Mrs. Earp will be taking Kyle to Dallas for orientation Thursday, and I will be Mr. Mom from Thursday through Sunday. (I had to take off three days from work, but it was unavoidable.) I’ll be driving them to the airport – jealously – then back to the Earp Ranch to run things and make sure the kids aren’t eating sugar and flour for dinner.

Not that my meals would be any better… or worse.

For his part, Kyle is handling this pretty well. I think he’s both scared and excited, as most of us were, but I’m sure he’ll do fine. His one roommate is from Texas and is majoring in Physics. The other is from Massachusetts, and he, like Kyle, is a Boston Bruins. I guess Kyle will have a Philly/Boston/Texas accent in four years.

I’ll be posting all week, but my commenting and responses may be spotty at best. I’m writing this Monday night and there are still a ton of things to do, and I just emailed all the medical paperwork for lacrosse.

Oh, and regular readers know Kyle isn’t going to the University of North Texas, but this girl was really stunning, so there ya go.

Committed!

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.)…

Continue reading “Committed!”

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.)

The Old College Try

So, this is something I never had to personally deal with before. While waiting for the kids to get out of school, I checked the University of Dallas’ athletics site. Specifically, the lacrosse page, since Kyle had been heavily recruited by the head coach. This is the headline which greeted me:

[Redacted] Resigns as Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach; Returns to Lake Erie College

Panic immediately set in, because the coach was so high on Kyle, and assured him he could see playing time as a freshman. While I played lacrosse in college and coached for more than twenty years, I never had to go through the recruiting process. What did this mean? Is Kyle still being recruited by UD? Will the new coach even be interested in him now?

After spending most of the day stressing out, I sent an email to the athletic director, who we met on the visit. Thankfully, he responded immediately:

Absolutely no change in status recruiting-wise. You are still a valued prospective member of this team. I will be taking over all of the recruiting until we find our replacement. We are going to move very quickly in the process of hiring and I will let you know just as soon as I am able once we’ve made the hire.

Thank. God. Kyle’s choices are narrowed to three schools, and Dallas appeared to be the best fit, both academically and athletically. If nothing else, we were put at ease by the AD’s email, and we’ll have a wait and see approach.