We put M on a bus to Washington, DC at 6:15 this morning. So seems like the perfect moment for a kid sports update time!
C’s team, which I am helping to coach, is 0–2 with one game rained out so far, another removed from the schedule because the team we were supposed to play could not play on the date originally planned and were jerks about finding a makeup date, and tonight we play a team that is just crushing everybody, including one of the teams we lost to. Sooooo not a great start.
Worse, both losses have come by the run rule. There’s really not much to get into about either game. We played poorly, the other teams played well. The first game the opposing head coach was a loud woman who literally drowned out both myself and our head coach with her yelling. She would scream at her kickers from the first base coaching box, “I NEED YOU RIGHT HERE! PUT IT DOWN THE LINE AND GET HERE!” non-stop for the 45 or so minutes it took them to kick our asses. More fun was when she yelled “SAFE!” on every close play at first when her team was kicking. I think that’s kind of bullshit but she out-weighed me and would have likely kicked my ass had I said anything. She was very nice after the game. C and I were parked near her and she came over to compliment C on her play. But, man, during the game she wore us out more than her team did.
The second game just got away from us slowly as our girls struggled in the field. Which is a recurring theme this year. I know how this is going to sound, but trust me when I say I’m being honest: if C doesn’t make the play on defense we have about a 5% chance of getting an out. Our other players jump out of the way when the ball is kicked to them, bobble it, throw to the wrong base, chase the wrong runner, or just forget what to do and freeze. Meanwhile C is running all over the place getting outs by chasing people down. We’ve had her pitch more this year, which is problematic because each play doesn’t end until the pitcher controls the ball in the pitching circle. She’s used to running around and chasing people, making sure they’re on a base, and then throwing to the pitcher. This year she chases them, get everyone to freeze, then calls a teammate over, hands them the ball to so they can hold the runner, and scampers back to the circle. It’s exhausting to watch. I’ll straight up say this: there’s only one other girl at St. P’s who plays defense as well as C, and that girl is a classmate of M’s who is likely the best overall athlete in the school. I’m proud of C but, damn, I wish some of her prowess rubbed off on her teammates.
L’s team is 3–1. The only loss came last Tuesday, 20–17 after they started the game down 12–0. I was at C’s game that night so missed it but all the coaches were angry after because they knew the one inning killed them. Luckily we play that team again this Friday so can hopefully get a W to force a playoff. Unluckily L hurt her leg in that game. She came home in pain and could hardly walk the next three days. A coach told me that a ball got through the infield and L tried to run it down and she looked like she was “running angry.” Maybe in that running angry she pulled something. It also could have been because she overused it last Monday when we went on a bike ride, played baseball, practiced soccer, and threw the football for a few hours in total. Regardless she missed Friday’s game and would have missed her soccer game Thursday had it not been rained out.
Her team is really good and we all hope they can get a win Friday because we know this is the last time we might have all the best players in this class together. L will likely go to soccer, another player will go to softball, and another player will go to lacrosse and cross country. Maybe not all next fall but soon those three will all be playing sports that don’t allow time for kickball.
L is also playing CYO soccer, on a team with 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. Which is funny to watch. There are some rather big boys on her team and she plays up front with a couple of them. The contrast in size is amusing. The season started off well. They won their first game and tied their second, and L scored a goal in each, tying her for the team lead. In the third game, which they won 2–1, she scored again. Unfortunately it was an own goal when a ball deflected off of her and into the St. P’s goal. I immediately joked that “That’s what they get for trying to play her on defense.” She just does not like defense and isn’t the same player when she’s forced to play there. I keep telling her she needs to get over that and play with the same kind of aggressiveness but she remains passive. This, though, was a total accident, a bad ball that she couldn’t do much about.
She seemed fine after the play. However, when she subbed out a few minutes later she came running over to me. She had a big smile on her face but when she got to me she burst into tears. At first I thought she was hurt, “What’s wrong?” I asked. “I messed up!” she said as she buried her face in my shirt. I tried to calm her down and told her it wasn’t her fault, it’s happened to other players, and it was wasn’t that big of a deal, but it took her several minutes to get control. Once she did she subbed back in and played fine. After the game she said she was the MVP for the other team since she had scored their only goal. I guess she came to grips with it.
Sunday she was back on the pitch for the first time after her injury and seemed to be moving ok. However, her team was missing a couple of their best players and they were playing an awesome team. We were down 4–0 at halftime and lost 10–0. You read that right, ten-zip. We hit the post once, had maybe two other scoring chances the whole game, and then got blitzed on the other end. Bummer.
I’m hopeful this year is helping her to get better by playing against older boys. I guess we’ll see in the fall when she goes back to playing against age-group girls. This season has highlighted some areas she needs to get stronger in, most notably her dribbling and possession skills. And not scoring for the other team!
C’s first track meet on Masters Sunday was cancelled because of rain. So four schools got together last Wednesday and had a mock meet to get the kids some experience. C was scheduled to run the 400, 800, and the medley relay. She finished third in her 400 heat, but in a time that would have won the boys race. However after she crossed the finished she caught a spike and turned her ankle. She was in some pain and decided to sit out the 800 so she’d be ready for the relay. She ran the 200 leg of the relay and did great, afterward saying she wished she had run her 800. Oh well…
Sunday was her first real meet. She was placed in the easier of the two 400 heats and won it in 1:14. That time was good for third overall. They put the girls from all age groups into one 800 race and she finished 10th, good for third in her age group again.
I had to take L to soccer so missed C’s relay. She ran the anchor leg this time, which is a full 400 meters. As the story was told to me, St. P’s was in fourth – last – place going into the her leg. C chased everyone down, including the leader in the last 20 meters to pull out the win. I was bummed I missed it because that’s like the coolest thing in track: coming from behind to win a relay race.
Anyway, she’s really enjoying it. She has some Michael Johnson in her running style, very upright with kind of short, choppy, powerful steps. But she moves.
As a parent standing outside for four-plus hours when the windchill is in the 30s and 40s the day wasn’t great. We’re totally expecting it to be brutally hot next weekend when she runs again.