Thursday, February 28, 2008

High School Varsity Debut

Will was quite humble describing his play in his High-School Varsity baseball debut, hardly mentioning the large role he played in his Northside Christian Athletics Lions doubleheader sweep over the Georgia Force, in Winder Thursday night. He was the youngest of four players to go 3 – 6 or better at the plate.

After winning Game One 15 – 3, Will was named the starting pitcher in Game Two. He retired the side in the first inning on 9 pitches, striking out the number 3 hitter on a full-count called third strike. The first two Force batters reached to lead off the second, on an error and a full-count ball four just low. Will then struck out the next three hitters to strand the runners.

In the third inning Will struck out three more batters. On one strikeout the catcher couldn’t pick up the dropped third strike in time to put out the batter. Will got the other out on a hard grounder hit right back at him. He speared the ball just behind him, and threw out the runner at first.

He finished with 7 strikeouts in 3 innings, and allowed no earned runs. Will played the rest of the game in left field, but did not have a ball hit to him in 7 innings of outfield play.

At the plate Will went 1 – 2 in Game One. He hit a hard grounder past the first-baseman for a single, then raced to second on the throw to third. Two batters later his former teammate David, the hard-playing catcher, doubled to the fence in left-center with the bases-loaded, driving in 3 runs.

In Game Two Will went 2 – 4 with a run scored and RBI. In the second he hit a grounder off the third-baseman’s glove. The shortstop had moved to his right to field the grounder, which deflected to the area the shortstop had vacated. The second-baseman chased the ball down. With second-base uncovered, Will made it there safely. He advanced to third on James’ single, and scored on a wild pitch.

With 2 out and runners on second and third in the top of the 3rd, Will laced a line drive into left-field that the outfielder fielded on one hop. The ball was hit too hard for the runner on second to score, so Will only got one RBI on the play. He was robbed of a hit in the 5th, when the shortstop dove to catch his hard grounder right at second base. The shortstop instantly tagged the bag with his glove to retire Isaac coming in from first, then rose to his feet and just barely threw out Will at first…an amazing double-play.

Besides the hard-playing David, the Lions are made up of several other older, hustling players. David’s cousins Josiah and Isaac G played Flight basketball with Will, and both are even better on the diamond. Flight Varsity captain Ben, DJ’s older brother, also played well. Coach Roy’s twin 18-year old sons James and Josiah scored 9 runs between them.

Leading the way offensively:
James (Sr): 3 – 6 with 6 runs, an RBI, BB, SB, 2B, & HBP
David (Jr): 3 – 5 with 4 runs, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 2B, 3B, & HBP.
Josiah G (Jr): 3 – 7 with 6 runs, 3 RBI, 2 BB, SB, 2B, HR.
Josiah R (Sr): 3 runs, 2 RBI, 2 BB
Steve (Jr): 3 – 6 with 3 runs, 5 RBI, two 3Bs, Sac, BB, & HBP
Will (Fr): 3 – 6, with 2 runs & an RBI.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Georgia History: Eli Whitney

Saturday we went over to play board games with a family from our small group. In the game you had to make up the answers and try to fool the other players. Ceil said this man invented the cotton gin. I knew that was Eli Whitney, from Georgia history, but I wasn’t going to say anything. But the 12-year old girl also knew, as did the grandmother, and they blurted it out. Today Matthew’s history lesson was on Eli Whitney.

They gave us two HUGE bags of boy’s clothes, from a neighbor of theirs. Matthew loves jeans, and there were 7 pair of Levis, plus some cords and Gap, old navy, and Nike shirts, cowboy boots, Pirates of the Caribbean PJs, and Spiderman boots for the creek. The neighbor boy took a bunch of clothes, and we still have a bunch left over to give away. The temp working with me might can use them. Matthew is the one family member who doesn’t need clothes, since we have tons on hand-me-downs from Will.

Got Will’s high school team’s schedule this weekend…he’ll be playing a lot of baseball this spring. Thursday he plays in Winder. Today he has class from 11 to 2:25, practice from 3:30 – 5:30, leadership training from 5 – 7, a basketball banquet from 6 – 9, and a practice game from 8 – 9:30. He’s missing the Leadership and practice game.

Yesterday Will was involved in a home run derby. He only got four swings, and failed to homer. His teammate Audie hit one. They were on a small field, but Audie’s almost cleared a second fence as well. Will popped up three, but at least he was patient and waited for good pitches…probably from watching the MLB HR derby.

Saturday Matthew enjoyed the baserunning drills. We need to work on his catching. He likes his tiny old glove, and needs to use the bigger one we have for him. He‘s not bad on grounders, but not good on throws or fly balls. The whole team needs to hit more. First game is late Saturday afternoon.

Our temp who’s taking the place of the girl going back to the credit department is supposedly doing well. My temp has done well, but she’s also had to help with the stainless bus people. There’s plenty she can help me with. Today Brad, a longtime quality guy, told us he’s now officially on our team, as a pricing specialist, same as Sue and Matt. We had that position open for a while, and since everyone’s been so busy, our new boss is filling slots. Damon is in Alabama at the customer for a few days. This means we have two more people than we have desks…perhaps I’ll volunteer to move somewhere else.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wii Golf: A Primer

What is the world coming to? I wrote a video game review!

Wii Golf is fun, though efforts to score real low are hampered by tough finishing holes and few club selection choices. Each hole offers a different challenge…

Wii Golf only provides four rudimentary club choices: driver, iron, wedge, and putter. The iron provides no spin; both driver and iron shots bounce long and low, and are hard to stop. Wedge shots from the rough, and putts from the fringe, come out slow, as if the club digs up a huge divot. But by compensating with a harder swing, the ball often flies well past it’s target.

1. Par 4…guarded by a front left bunker that’s rarely trouble. Easiest hole to birdie…with a good wind, you’re hitting a wedge into the green. I once eagled this hole from 100 yards with an iron.

2. Par 3…like many holes, guarded by a front middle bunker. Often times even landing the ball just over the bunker before the green, the ball bounces well past the hole.

3. Par 5 dogleg left. To get in eagle position, a slightly risky tee shot is required…hitting through the trees at the corner of the dogleg. Often times the ball will hit the trees and drop in the rough, or bounce through the fairway to the rough on the other side. A second shot from the rough makes for a layup, and a much longer third shot.

There is a secret landing spot in the woods to the left, though it’s very tough to stop the ball in the fairway here. Don’t and you’re out of bounds. Certainly not worth the risk, since birdies and eagles can be had cutting the dogleg.

4. Par 3 Usually a windy hole, also with a bunker in the front.

5. Par 5 Dogleg left. The bunker at the dogleg tempts players to cut the corner, which can be done most times. The second shot is uphill, over another front right bunker to a large level green. Often times it’s tough to stop a long second shot on the green.

6. Par 4 Dogleg left. Tee shot over water is easy, even with a fairway bunker to the left. Second shot is trickier, over water and a front right bunker…can be hard to stop the ball on the green, which is quite hilly.

7. Par 4 Dogleg left. A long drive is needed to avoid trees down the right side of the fairway. Only when a strong wind is blowing from tee to green can a direct shot be taken over the trees…often without success. With bunkers front and right, and most hole loacations on the upper back side, many attempts to hit it close bounce off the green. Tough birdie hole.

8. Par 3 Toughest hole. Uphill over cliffs to a level green, it’s hardly possible to stop the ball on the green…you’re either short or over. Pars are to be celebrated.

9. Par 5. Tee shot over water must stop on the fairway to be in position for another long second shot, also over water, to a small, elevated green. Then it’s almost impossible to stop the second shot on the green…most shots wind up in the rough. The hole is always at the top of a small hill, so all putts are straight and uphill.

My best score is six under for nine holes, though I’ve often been four under after four or five holes. One round I eagled the first two par fives.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Another Blue Jersey Rumor

Chipper mentioned the blue jerseys when he was posting on DOB’s blog a couple of weeks ago. I relayed the info to Paul Lukas at UniWatch/ESPN, but since it’s so unconfirmed, he didn’t report it. The only thing about navy is that it looks like BP or spring. The braves have become like the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox and Tigers…I don’t think they’re going to mess with the white uni and red tomahawk.

I have thought about those websites where someone has devoted lots of time to specific subjects. UniWatch has lots of links to uniform sites like that, as well as some to baseball card sites. That ABA movie does look good. I was especially not a Will Ferrell fan when he was on SNL, so I never watched his movies. My old boss is a movie bug, and made me watch Old School. Later I saw Elf and Ricky Bobby.

Ceil wants an iPod…I don’t know the different types enough to know. The shuffle is usually $80, right? I think she wants the $150 one.

Ever read Joe Garagiola’s book “Baseball is a Funny Game”? Lots of good stories from the 50’s and 60’s, especially about his friend Yogi. I still have my old paperback copy, that’s falling apart.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Walking Off



Will walking off the court, breaking a team rule by un-tucking his jersey. That's Holt looking at the camera, with game MVP Josh with his head down. Conner is hidden behind Will.

2008 Flight JV



L-R: Max, Joel, Coach, Kevin, Josh, Holt, Conner, Will, Coach H, Isaac, DJ.

Cards and Cars

Ceil’s dad ran a small grocery in the middle of her hometown. It was always busy, especially since he had a meat department. As a child she’d go there after school and get a package of refrigerated cookie dough, and walk the mile home, eating it. As a single person, at the end of every visit home her dad made her take home a bunch of groceries. This continued after we were married, until he finally retired and sold the store. He didn’t mind me taking 5 – 6 packs of baseball cards, as well as candy to keep me awake during the drives back. I accumulated a bunch of 1990’s cards just from that.

Will and Matthew (and Anna) were never as interested as me. Will would sometimes dabble in the cards, but nothing serious. George Ewing gave Will his small collection of 1980’s cards. For the last few years Lang’s dad has sent three baseball and three basketball cards to us, every week. He buys boxes of packs, then opens a pack a day. Perhaps one day I’ll organize Will’s collection. He was never as careful with the cards as I would’ve liked.

As a kid we’d get a pack here or there. I have some of those old 60’s and 70’s cards, but supposedly my sister has more. My dad says she and her husband have a house full of old stuff like that, including my old Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars.

DOB must be moving up in the world. I get the AJC sports email every morning, that usually includes a direct link to the columnists latest column. This week was the first time DOB was listed down with Bradley, etc. I see today Bradley is calling for Woodson’s head. Ever enter his final four fiasco? Funny that one year REM’s Mike Mills won…Just looked Mills up on Wikapedia (which I never use) and noticed that winning the Fiasco was listed as one of his accomplishments. He was a year older than me in Macon, but I don’t remember running across him. Wikapedia didn’t mention that he’s a big Braves fan. How’s that for a rambling paragraph?

Hadn’t heard about the Rays park, unless it was a long while ago. I never thought that dome was that bad on the inside…with such small crowds you were pretty close to the action. Looks ugly on the outside.

Last night I went to pick up Will at practice. I just parked and watched the end from my car, listening to my book on CD. I thought Will was in CF, then he moved to 2B. Noticed the kid at the plate was OK. Turned out it was Will hitting, not out in the field. Practice games start next week. Matthew had a practice game rained out today, with another one on Saturday. They’ve had hardly any BP, so all the players need lots more. I’m sure Tim, his old coach, is hitting a bunch more. His regular season starts a week from Saturday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

LOST

Since Anna and Matthew now go to class on Wednesdays, they got to participate in a class valentine swap for the first time. About a week before I had taken Matthew to Kroger to buy a pack. As with most things like this, he treasured the box and carried it around everywhere. One day I saw it on his bed, the top bunk...which often serves as his space/headquarters/desk. A few days later they were nowhere to be found. Anna let him use some of hers. Last weekend Will and I cleaned out under his lower bunk…and found the valentines.

Will had a better attitude yesterday about his baseball team, and attended BP. With Anna and Matthew both having Monday afternoon activities, he didn’t want to burden Ceil with another place to go (his usual ride, the older Norman boys, are out of town. Whether he’s the youngest on a team or the leader, he still needs to put a much greater emphasis on practicing hard. When he was playing rec ball I’d always tell him practice would become more important when he got older. The high school team has 16 players…it’s not like he’s the only one who can play key positions. He needs to show the coach he wants to play. They have him at 2B and CF, and even have him pitching some. His travel team is the same as last year…he’ll be a main pitcher, catcher, and shortstop. Will does say he could play some centerfield, as they have more good infielders.

I've been reading the Braves reports, but nothing big has jumped out yet.

Supposedly at Browns Bridge a fire alarm went off one crowded Sunday morning, and the result was more panic than one might have expected.

Most days I have to track down the mail and put it in a safe, undisturbed place…after immediately throwing away junk mail.

Wii Bowling Pays Off

Matthew’s Rockies baseball team had their bowling fundraiser yesterday. Matthew made an extra effort to go, and finished with the second-highest average on the team…guess all that Wii bowling paid off.

112…Jason

97…Matthew

96…Philip

95…Kells

94…Gracie

90…Stephen

88…Tyler

86…Joshua

71…Daniel

Instead of selling Cookie Dough, players get pledges for how many pins they’ll knock down. For Matthew, a pledge of five cents per pin would calculate as follows97 avg/game X 3 games X $0.05 = $14.55. You can send pledges to me or Mt. Paran, with checks made out to Mt. Paran North Sports. Last year this fund-raiser was supposedly raised more than past cookie dough sales. Unlike county parks, who receive tax dollars for baseball programs and field maintenance, Mt. Paran Sports are completely self-sufficient…not even receiving funds from the church.

Flight Jayvee Regular Season Finale

Facing a tough opponent in their final regular-season game while knowing they already had secured a place in the tourney, the Flight JV boys emptied the bench in their Wednesday night 62 – 47 loss to GAAA.

Flight started the game on a hot streak, with DJ draining all three of his long first-quarter three-point attempts. Kevin added a basket, and DJ added two other baskets as the first-quarter ended with Flight up 36 – 12.

DJ scored ten more second-quarter points, including going 2 – 2 from three-point land. Substitutes Joel, Max, Jordan, and Will came into the game at various times in the quarter, but even regulars Conner, Josh, Isaac, and Kevin were repeatedly getting inside shots blocked. Offensively GAAA found their game, using fast breaks and quick, sharp passing to score 24 points in the quarter, with the help of only one three-point shot. At halftime GAAA led 36 – 30.

In the third quarter Flight went into a shooting slump. DJ not only missed both of his three-point attempts, but his one-handed shots on drives to the basket weren’t falling either. Scoring only one foul shot, he wisely started passing off, but crisp passes to both Will and Josh bounced off their hands, and Kevin cut to the basket just as DJ threw a pass to him in the corner. GAAA outscored Flight 16 – 5 in the quarter.

DJ sat out the fourth quarter, saving himself for the upcoming Varsity game. In three quarters he scored 24 points, with 5 rebounds, 3 steals, and an assist. GAAA emptied their bench, rotating three or four reserves with one or two starters. Conner led Flight as they fought to stay in the game, at one point narrowing the lead to single digits. Conner battled mightily inside, finishing with 5 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. He had a three-pointer taken away on a three-second violation.

…Holt was the one Flight player able to hold his own inside. He had no shots blocked, and scored 9 points with one rebound.

…Josh continued to play well, with 5 points and rebounds, a steal, and 2 blocked shots.

…Kevin had 5 boards to go with his one basket.

…Jonathan and Isaac played a good portion of the game, and both logged one steal.

…Jordan and Max each had a rebound. Max played quite aggressively inside, and was called for a foul.

…Joel played well and got off two shots.

Will had 3 rebounds and made a nice pass inside. On one missed shot the rebound came off the rim, and several players deflected it over toward Will. He jumped up and caught the ball, laying it into the basket in the same motion.

Arrangements on the 13th

Wednesday afternoon I ran out to Harry’s to get some roses for Ceil. They had 4 flower arrangers, plus one novice Harry’s employee just starting out…a guy. Guess which one came available when I was next in line. He wasn’t doing too good, but luckily one of the real arrangers stepped in at the last minute and made it looked nice. Then I put them in my trunk, and noticed Will’s batbag. He was supposed to have two practices today…luckily both were cancelled.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Conference Champions

This goes with the photo...stats from the championship game.

12 Max

34 Jordan…DNP (in back)

5 Joel…steal

23 Kevin…7 pts, 5 RB, 3 A, 2 steals

11 Josh…14 pts (season high), 8 RB

24 Holt…2 pts, 3 RB (in back)

3 Connor…9 pts, RB, assist, 2 steals

2 Will

21 Isaac…8 pts, 3 RB, steal…in 3 qtrs

14 DJ…12 pts, 7 RB, 3 A, 8 steals, BLK

20 Jonathan…DNP (not pictured)

Friday, February 15, 2008

I May Have a Life After All!

Wild development…they have suspended the South Region’s conversion to SAP for the time being. This means I will have a life this year. Hopefully this week I’ve been able to communicate to my boss what’s going on with my position, and how the lack of leadership in the Textron group has created several layers of problems, not just the ones related to the customer and suppliers. The Stainless Bus group has also been trying to get through to the boss with their frustrations and needs.

I stumbled into a long conversation with my boss late Thursday, and I was able to detail many issues. He had said he wanted to talk last Friday, but hadn’t had the time to get back with me. In the meantime I was able to sort out my thoughts on paper. I wasn’t carrying the printout, but it was all clear in my head. No SAP could change things, however. Next week we could have another round of talks (had one after I typed this).

This situation has to do not only with the exponential increase in business, but also several lingering problems that hadn’t been dealt with…several of which deal with personnel matters. We lost three people last year and only added one point five.

What will happen with Clemens? Sounds like he wasn’t very convincing. Think history will now regard Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz higher?

Weekend plans? Tonight Matthew has practice, then there’s small group.

Saturday is busy…Will has baseball from 11 – 1, Matthew from 3 – 4:40. Will’s basketball championship game is at 5:30.

How did valentines day come off for you? I got a 12-pack of Diet Coke. I almost took Anna out, since Ceil’s friend was here…but Matthew was acting up, so we stayed home. Yesterday Anna got dumped at ballet hours early so Ceil could go to the airport. Will bummed a ride to the Varsity tourney games last night.

Vacations

Quick word on vacations…without this SAP conversion, I can work on a family trip to Florida when Will has his June tourney.

Ceil’s friend that was here last night lives in VA, but we didn’t discuss whether we’d visit them in early August, or if they’re coming for the Peachtree Road Race. He travels a lot and racks up airline and hotel points…just got back from two SF trips. Their oldest daughter is about to go to college, so they decided to take one last big family vacation this year. In year’s past they went to Europe and Greece, and want to go to SF, but this year only had points to fly to Tampa for a mid-July cruise, which may rule out an Atlanta trip. Their 2 oldest kids wanted to go on a church trip to Germany, but it was too expensive. The dad used to be an accountant.

Seemed like Petite wanted to stay out of trouble…I agree, he didn’t want to lie like the 2 others. Funny about Clemens wife taking HGH before the swimsuit shoot.

My boss was trying to appease frustrated employees. Perhaps he’ll be making time for more one on one talks with me. I didn’t quite make all my new points, but I made a few. When the Ogre got the SAP news, he started a conga line in his office.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Poetry Recital



Matthew breezed through his first Veritas poetry recital, and was walking on air the rest of the day. This despite not practicing much, like his big brother. Note the omnipresent Crocs on his feet.

Dad completely forgot about it...I was going to make an effort to go.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bright Yellow Tennis Balls

Last fall my tennis playing sister gave the kids a case of brand-new, unopened tennis balls…they play with them in the yard. Soon thereafter Matthew opened up the entire case. Now they’re in a bucket and have been mostly unused…so they’re still bright yellow. That’s what he hit on Saturday. Last night I got home around 6:30, and we immediately went out so he could hit. Due to darkness I bounced them once on the driveway, though at first I still threw them relatively fast. By the end the only way we could see the balls was because of the bright yellow color.

Will got to play with the varsity Monday night…he scored a basket and grabbed some rebounds.

Tuesday Will has basketball at 5:50 and baseball at 6:30. Matthew has a baseball meeting at 6:00 and Anna has ballet from 6:30 – 7:45. Ceil has a friend flying in Thursday, so we’ll see what that does to Valentines.

Weekend Recap

Friday we all took Will to basketball, then battled traffic to Lenox and back to the Sandy Springs Harrys. We got back to practice early. The team was divided into 3 teams…

…the starting five (Ben, Willis, DJ, Ryan, Josiah).

…the next best (Walker, Conner, Kevin, Josh, David)

…the last five (Will, Holt, Isaac, Joel, Max).

The two best teams played hard, and team 2 won the first 5 minute scrimmage. Then they blew out Will’s team, who didn’t play as seriously. After practice I had to point out to Will how the difference in effort was obvious to those watching. Tonight the Varsity plays up 575 on Sixes Road, and the JV is dressing out since the opponent’s pretty easy, but I doubt I’ll make the drive.

Saturday I worked around the house. Matthew’s new Coach Tracy called…the father of Will’s speedy teammate Jake, whose house burned down last year. Matthew was happy, particularly because John Fulton’s sister is on the team. Saturday afternoon I pitched Matthew a bucketful of tennis balls, throwing them pretty hard. He hit all but the very worst pitches, though he was using a tennis racket. Practice will be a challenge, as usual.

Saturday night Ceil and I visited Cumberland Mall for the first time in years…Ceil had heard about a cheap clothing store. I didn’t realize they had put in a bunch of nice restaurants and valet parking…PF Chang, Ted’s, Cheesecake, etc….or that there was a Costco there. Besides that, seemed like the mall had gone downhill. Then we drove down Northside and ate at the OK CafĂ©, then continued on Northside all the way down to IKEA. Ceil wanted some small rugs, and I remembered your IKEA rug comment. Saw our just-divorced neighbor buying new household items with a new girlfriend.

Sunday Ceil and Will went to the Avenue early in the afternoon. Didn’t do much yesterday…watched You’ve Got Mail, America’s Home Makeover, and Pride & Prejudice. Only then I remembered I needed to organize tax stuff and do some other things.

LOST seems good, but I didn’t get in on the beginning. I read where the Regular Guys were back, along with Southside Steve, but I forgot to note what station they were on…what is it? 100.5, I think.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tech Uniform Changes



Great...looks like Tech is joining the Miamis and Clemsons of the world, uniform-wise. More editorial comments to follow. Could be worse, but it could be so much better.

Letterman Joke

"One good thing came out of the Super Bowl.

The E-Trade talking baby was adopted by Angelina Jolie."

Will's New Spikes




Reebok Vero FL M5 Black/White Mid Metal Baseball Cleats

Reebok's Vero FL M5 is made of a soft synthetic and mesh upper that's breathable, lightweight and extremely comfortable. The TPU toe guard reduces abrasion in the toe and the soft textile collar lining with foam padding provides excellent comfort around heel and ankle. A molded EVA sockliner with ETC top cover reduces friction and heat build up. Thicker innersole board drastically reduces cleat pressure. A TPU speed plate comes with 5 stainless steel cleats.

Worn by Beckett of the BoSox, and Will's Sandy Plains team.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Quoted in Uni-Watch Lead Article!

Wednesday the Uni-Watch blog read had a write-up on Punt, Pass, & Kick. He had asked for input a few weeks ago, and I wrote in. I was one of about six guys that were quoted…I came off sounding like a goober, but it was what I wrote. I’ll have to tell Lang. Uni-Watch also mentioned that on Feb 29 the GT women’s team was wearing 1979 throwbacks. The old photo they ran was of a girl that was in my classes.

Busy at work, and everyone’s sick at home…Anna went to the doctor yesterday and missed ballet. Tonight Will has baseball and basketball practice, tomorrow just baseball. Matthew starts next week.

See where Chipper was on the AJC blog? I read it…big thing to me was that the Braves will wear blue jerseys next year. Lots of people were gushing over Chipper and asking questions, but one guy was still a jerk.

Tech is finally making a move in basketball. Saw Shaq on the cover of a Diabetes magazine at Kroger.

Injury

Will almost made it through the entire basketball season uninjured…I got him some of those ankle supports. Then Wednesday night in his last regular season game the point guard threw him a pass that Will wasn’t ready for…he barely got his hands up so the ball didn’t hit him in the face, but the pass sprained his hand, and it swelled up. I thought it was just his pinkie finger, and I wasn’t going to let him miss baseball practice because of that! But it was his entire hand…I think it’s better today. Today he’s going straight from baseball to basketball practice.

Talked to Matthew’s coach from last year today. They are drafting tonight, and two of the teams are being coached by good guys that Matthew likes. I will be able to help out with Matthew more this year, but it will be harder to get off early…so I won’t be an official coach. It has been nice the last few years to be able to get off early when needed, and I did so as much as I needed to. I knew the day would come when it would be harder. Still, I may take a long lunch next week to go hear Matthew in his Poetry Recital.

Will almost got on a baseball team that had a few games in Augusta. The one thing I thought was that the Millers could come to those games! They also had games in Alabama…Will would’ve missed too much school, and the practices and games would’ve been an hour away from home. I would’ve missed almost all the games, as they play on weekday afternoons.

I’m still enjoying writing those recaps…I have been busy here at work, but I try not to let that get in the way of the writeups! Another thing is that even when Will plays a lot, there may not be much to report. Last Saturday I didn’t have to be the scorekeeper of the varsity game, and I was able to take notes on the game so the recap could be more than stats. My parents came to that game and told some of the parents I wrote recaps…now they want the recaps sent to them!

Good that golf it starting up…we watched Pebble Beach last night on the Golf Channel. Will’s Flight basketball program also has a golf team that’s just starting.

Looks like it may work out that I can take off that 19th week. That sure works better than the week before!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Logo Man



Both Will and Matthew were both excited about the latest addition to their bedroom shelf...this Pittsburgh Pirates Logo Man bobblehead, dressed in the 70's era uni.

Now he stands near Spahan, Matthews, Aaron, Francoeur, Josh Smith, and the retro Braves and Tech bobbleheads.

Flight Jayvee Regular Season Finale

Facing a tough opponent in their final regular-season game while knowing they already had secured a place in the tourney, the Flight JV boys emptied the bench in their Wednesday night 62 – 47 loss to GAAA.

Flight started the game on a hot streak, with DJ draining all three of his long first-quarter three-point attempts. Kevin added a basket, and DJ added two other baskets as the first-quarter ended with Flight up 36 – 12.

DJ scored ten more second-quarter points, including going 2 – 2 from three-point land. Substitutes Joel, Max, Jordan, and Will came into the game at various times in the quarter, but even regulars Conner, Josh, Isaac, and Kevin were repeatedly getting inside shots blocked. Offensively GAAA found their game, using fast breaks and quick, sharp passing to score 24 points in the quarter, with the help of only one three-point shot. At halftime GAAA led 36 – 30.

In the third quarter Flight went into a shooting slump. DJ not only missed both of his three-point attempts, but his one-handed shots on drives to the basket weren’t falling either. Scoring only one foul shot, he wisely started passing off, but crisp passes to both Will and Josh bounced off their hands, and Kevin cut to the basket just as DJ threw a pass to him in the corner. GAAA outscored Flight 16 – 5 in the quarter.

DJ sat out the fourth quarter, saving himself for the upcoming Varsity game. In three quarters he scored 24 points, with 5 rebounds, 3 steals, and an assist. GAAA emptied their bench, rotating three or four reserves with one or two starters. Conner led Flight as they fought to stay in the game, at one point narrowing the lead to single digits. Conner battled mightily inside, finishing with 5 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. He had a three-pointer taken away on a three-second violation.

…Holt was the one Flight player able to hold his own inside. He had no shots blocked, and scored 9 points with one rebound.

…Josh continued to play well, with 5 points and rebounds, a steal, and 2 blocked shots.

…Kevin had 5 boards to go with his one basket.

…Jonathan and Isaac played a good portion of the game, and both logged one steal.

…Jordan and Max each had a rebound. Max played quite aggressively inside, and was called for a foul.

…Joel played well and got off two shots.

…Will had 3 rebounds and made a nice pass inside. On one missed shot the rebound came off the rim, and several players deflected it over toward Will. He jumped up and caught the ball, laying it into the basket in the same motion.

Flight Varsity Wins a Thriller

Ben had a frustrated Flight Varsity game Wednesday night against talented Greater Atlanta Adventist (GAAA), turning the ball over several times and diving fruitlessly for other loose balls. But with nine seconds remaining in the tied game, he redeemed himself in a mighty way, driving the lane and laying in the winning basket with just three seconds left, giving Flight a 60 – 58 upset victory.

Somehow the game remained close the entire way. GAAA passed quickly and with precision, in contrast to the more physical brand of basketball played by Flight. Whenever GAAA would score a couple of baskets to move ahead, Ryan or Josiah would hit a clutch three to keep Flight in the game. All ten of Ryan’s points came in the first quarter. He also had 4 rebounds and one assist and steal.

At the end both of the first and second quarter the score remained tied, first at 23, then 33 – all at the half. More fouls were called against GAAA, leading to second-half frustration on their bench that was perhaps somewhat justified. Many more fouls could’ve been called against both teams. David came in off the bench to provide a spark, and he drove the lane repeatedly, drawing fouls. He hit three of four foul shots, grabbed 3 rebounds, and dished two assists. With Walker out, Josh was the only other Flight player to come in the game.

DJ helped Josiah run the offense, but most of the running one-handers on his repeated drives to the basket missed. He only scored two baskets and one free throw, and added 3 boards and 2 assists and steals. As usual, Josiah was all over the court, scoring 16 with 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Once he fell to the floor on top of a lose ball, but without grabbing it he instead got to his feet with the ball under him, and then picked it up. Ben added 6 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal.

Throughout the game GAAA was able to block many Flight shots. The third quarter ended with Flight up by just one, 50 – 49. GAAA’s best inside player drew his fourth foul and came out of the game. Amazingly, in the fourth quarter Flight was able to pass the ball inside to Willis for easy baskets, and several times he was able to draw a foul on the play. The big guy scored eight points in the fourth quarter and a game-high 20, including a perfect 6 – 6 from the foul line. Four of Willis’s 5 rebounds came in the fourth quarter.

It took Willis’ last three-point play to tie the game at 58 with 1:02 left. After a GAAA timeout, the visitors ran off 62 seconds before the coach called their final timeout. On the ensuing inbounds play in front of the scorer’s table, the short pass came into a GAAA player standing just on the frontcourt side of the halfcourt line. But not realizing exactly where he was standing, he ill-fatedly passed the ball to his teammate still in the backcourt…a disastrous turnover with nine seconds on the clock.

After their last timeout, Flight ran a play to inbound the ball to Josiah, who was double-teamed. Instead the ball was passed in to the open Ben, seemingly the last Flight option. He quickly dribbled to the middle of the court, looking to pass as Josiah, DJ, Ryan, and Willis spread out, fruitlessly trying to get open. Instead Ben found the lane wide open. Without options and the clock ticking down, Ben drove in and laid the ball in the basket. With just three seconds left, GAAA wasn’t able to inbound the ball. The team and crowd went wild…Flight had won!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Attention

Seems like Matthew thinks he doesn’t get enough attention, and resents traveling to Will’s games and Anna’s ballet. To a certain extent that’s true, though he gets lots of attention at home…when he’s not eating, doing schoolwork, completing chores, taking baths, and going to bed. So perhaps I need to make to Matthew’s Poetry Recital next Wednesday at lunch. He should do ok. Anna is the one that gets the least attention…she’s been doing a ton of schoolwork all by herself.

I mentioned my parents attending Will’s game but forgot the point…they told other parents how I write game recaps, so now they want me to copy them. During the varsity game second half I took notes, so I could recount the game chronologically, in detail. I may share my blog with Holt & Marykathryn’s parents…they’re much more into travel sports than me. Today is probably the last basketball game of the season for Will, though he could still practice a few more times with the varsity.

At Saturday’s game I sat at the scorer’s table keeping the books. Two guys from the opponents varsity kept the other official book and the clock, and did a good job…even called me sir. Another varsity player sat on the bench as the assistant coach…after his game I told him he played better than he coached (he dominated the game). I almost told the scorekeeper he’d make a good accountant (though it appeared he’d rather be a rap star).

Ceil read parts of Dungy’s book, that her mom had bought. We may still have it at the house…I need to read it. I’m almost halfway through Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book on Lincoln’s cabinet…exhaustive American history, but interesting. You forget about the Missouri Compromise, the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision, etc. Wish there was more about Lincoln and less about his Cabinet.

I saw all the Super Bowl scoring, seeing the two first quarter scoring drives, then watching most of the last quarter. Like you said, pretty good. Didn’t have strong feelings either way, but I do like Eli and Brady (and Peyton). Tried to remember to not change the channel during commercials. Matthew got to see the Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl (IV or V, I forget which).

Interesting site from the Dec 17th SI… http://www.profootballtalk.com/ Deals with substantiated rumors and contract talk. Would be nice to have a similar baseball site…guess that’s Rowland’s Office, etc for the Braves. Also an interesting article on Rick Majerus. If you ever see an interesting SI article let me know, so I don’t miss it!

We discussed Andrew Dice Clay here at the office yesterday.

I’m getting more and more addicted to Wii golf.

We might not be a good IKEA family. One of our nice bookcases is out of square, and the drawers of a chest keep coming apart…guess we need better assemblers and wood glue.

Interesting that Staubach and Craig Morton share the same birthday (today)…considering at one point they were alternating on every play.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Flight Varsity Road loss

The Flight Boy’s Varsity knew they were in for a tough game against the athletic Sound Doctrine squad, but they scrapped the entire way. The entire team played well, keeping the score close in the first half and reducing a twenty point third-quarter deficit down to a close eight points late in the game.

Sound Doctrine game out and controlled the boards, blocking one of 6’8” Willis’ shots. Late in the first quarter Sound Doctrine’s best player leaped high for a majestic dunk, and hung on the rim to avoid falling on two defenders underneath him. Flight trailed 20 – 13 after the first quarter.

The referees were calling a close game, and both teams were in the double bonus for much of the second quarter. Flight was unable to cut into the lead, and at one point missed six straight foul shots. David had a strong drive to the basket for a lay-up. DJ had eleven points at the half, Josiah nine, Willis four, and Ben two…but Sound Doctrine led by nine, 38 – 29.

Walker played well in the third quarter, hitting a three to cut the lead to eight. He later drew a foul, but missed his two foul shots. Josiah battled for a tough rebound, drew a foul, and made his two shots. Ryan scored two baskets and grabbed a rebound. Gerald played perhaps his best game, grabbing two boards in the quarter, with one resulting in a putback basket. Later he drew an offensive foul.

The play got more furious late in the third quarter. After draining two three-pointers, a foul shot, and a basket, DJ capped a nice drive with a lay-up, cutting the lead to 63 – 47 with 1:47 left. Walker made a lay-up with 52 seconds left, then Josiah nailed a three-pointer with six seconds left seemed to create some Flight momentum. But not far across the half-court line, far away from the three-point line Walker committed an un-necessary foul on the lefty’s last-second desperation shot. Incredibly, the long shot banked in, and the lefty sank the foul shot for a four-point play, extending the lead to twenty.

Things didn’t look good as Flight broke the huddle for the fourth quarter. Ben had committed three fouls in the third quarter, and was called for his fifth just 58 seconds into the fourth. Walker passed inside to Willis for an assist and later drained two foul shots and grabbed a steal, but he too fouled out 55 seconds later. Walker finished with 7 points.

Despite the toll the fouls were creating, Flight cut into the lead, though Sound Doctrine had emptied their bench. DJ sank both foul shots with 5:30 left, then banked in a lay-up. Willis went up high for a rebound and put it quickly back into the basket. David caught a pass at the top of the key and turned to find an open path to the basket, so he drove in for another lay-up. Josiah missed a lay-up, but sank two foul shots and grabbed a steal.

DJ hit a long three with 2:40 left, but the deficit was still 14 points. He then drove in for a lay-up, but was called for a charge. Josiah drove the length of the court and drew a foul, hitting both free throws with 1:20 left…but he fouled out six seconds later. Josiah had 19 points.

Still, Flight hadn’t lost hope. Willis grabbed his third rebound of the quarter. Gerald collected three boards in a 26 second stretch, twice putting back quick lay-ups. In the fourth quarter Gerald had six rebounds. Then David hit a three-pointer with 15 seconds left. Flight had cut the twenty point deficit to seven points!

On the ensuing possession DJ committed his fifth foul. He had a game-high 30 points. Sound Doctrine broke away for a game-ending dunk, making the final score 91-80.

Rounding out the scoring, Willis had eight points, his brother David seven. Gerald had six and Ryan four points, all in the second half.