Friday, August 22, 2008


The Burroughs High School Freshman Volleyball Team made their final cuts last night. They started freshman tryouts last week. Since then they made three cuts. One of the six players who played in Middle School for me last year did not make the second cut. This really surprised me. I was sure this player would do really well in High School. Once she got cut, I got really worried. I suddenly realized that if the new coaches at the high school were willing to cut a girl who was probably the best defensive specialist the had in the tryouts, then they would be willing to cut anyone.

Actually there was one girl who is a better defensive specialist than the one they cut. But she is also the best setter at the tryouts. So they probably won't be playing her as a defensive specialist.

When the tryouts started I was sure that all six of my players would make the team. They were, to me, the best six volleyball players at the tryouts. So when one of them got cut, suddenly, I got nervous. This nervousness manifested itself in me not sleeping well, or not at all, for the last week.

So last night I finished with my middle school practice at 7 PM. One of my players was waiting outside for her ride home when I left. Her older sister was one of my players trying out for the freshman team. Since her mother was picking up her sister, then coming for her, I told my assistant coach that she could go and I would wait with my player. I figured this was the quickest way for me to find out how the final cuts went.

So my youngest daughter and I tortured my player while waiting for her ride. Waiting for a ride while I wait with them is usually torture for my players, because I force them to talk to me. I'm not talking about what passes for conversation between many middle school girls and adults. They cannot just respond to my questions with monosyllable grunts. They have to talk to me.

After a few minutes which I am sure to my player felt like several hours her ride pulled into the parking lot. I could see her sister in the back seat but could not see her face clearly. I got up and started to walk towards the car and felt like I was walking with cement blocks on my feet. My thoughts were a massive jumble of what-ifs. What do I say if any of them got cut? What do I say or do depending on which one got cut? What if this? What if that? I was almost physically sick. I had been waiting for two weeks for this news and suddenly I didn't think I really wanted to know what happened. I was trying to decide whether to keep walking towards that car or just turn around and run away.

Then suddenly the back door of the car opened, and the brightest ray of sunshine I have ever seen leapt out with a huge smile on her face and both hands raised in the air and yelled "We all made it."

Suddenly, for the first time in 9 days I felt like I could breathe again. Just that easily all my what-ifs just vanished. I tried to talk to her parents for a few minutes but I am afraid that I may have been babbling. I did manage to gather myself together long enough to make it clear to my ex-player (which is not fully true, she is planning on playing on my club team again this winter. But for the next 10 weeks she has a different coach) that I never for the briefest moment doubted her, nor any of her teammates, ability to to make that freshman team. The only doubts I had were about the new coach's abilities to recognize talented players when they saw them.

So the point to this posting is to brag a little bit on my five girls who will be all wearing BHS green during this upcoming volleyball season.

The title, 25% is a little bragging on the five newest Burros freshmen and my volleyball players who have come before these five. Burroughs High School is the only public high school in this town. Each year the student body averages somewhere around 1700 students. Of those 1700 students, graduates from Saint Ann Middle School make up about 1.8% of the student body.

The three volleyball teams at Burroughs High School are made up of 36 girls. Twelve freshmen, twelve Junior Varsity and twelve varsity. Out of those 36 high school volleyball players 9 of them graduated from Saint Ann School. That is where the 25% title comes from. Our students make up 1.8% of the student body, but 25% of the volleyball team. We have five freshmen, 3 JV players and one Varsity player (my oldest daughter) playing volleyball in high school. The best part of this is hopefully we can up that percentage next year. The oldest of the Saint Ann Players is only a Junior. I only have three 8th grade players this year and I'm sure that one of them will make the freshman team next year. The other two are going to need a lot of work. But we have a year to get them ready. We will have to wait and see.

The hardest thing about all this is trying to get to all the high school games. I have my middle school teams who need to be my first priority. But I now have nine other reasons, who are all very precious to me, to be in the stands cheering on the high school volleyball teams.

It is going to be a very busy volleyball season.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gender Determination?

Mike of the Mike On Ads blog has created a little tool that will scan your browsers history and try and determine if you are a male or female based on your browsing habits.

So I decided to give it a try. My results were:

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 5%
Likelihood of you being MALE is 95%

This is a great relief to me. I was getting worried. I spend a lot of my free time around tween and teen aged volleyball players. I worry that in some ways these young ladies are starting to effect my brain. I find myself wondering about what they are thinking, what they are feeling and stuff like that. That kind of thinking worries me at times. I'm a guy, and I'm not supposed to be worrying about stuff like that.

So this week I started preparing for the new middle school volleyball season to start next week. I was making some notes to myself about a few things to concentrate on this season.

Note No. 1 - It doesn't matter what they are feeling and thinking as long as they are running laps and suicides while they are thinking and feeling it.

Note No. 2 - If she starts crying, she obviously has too much time on her hands and needs to be doing more push-ups.

Note No. 3 - Nothing fixes a sad or depressed mood like spiking till you puke.

But now that I know that at least my browsing habits verify that I'm still a guy maybe it will be OK if I go ahead and worry about what my players are thinking and feeling during this season. Maybe it will be OK for me to concentrate on making sure my players are having fun and playing like a team instead of just running them into the ground.

Or, maybe I should start just leaving myself notes like:


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

USS New York

The Amphibious Transport Dock: USS New York(LPD-21), was partially constructed from 24 tons of steel salvaged from the World Trade Centers.

"An amphibious transport dock (also called a landing platform dock or LPD) is a warship that embarks, transports, and lands elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions."

The USS New York will be commissioned into military service with the US Navy in New York City on September 12th 2009. Exactly 8 years and a day after Al-Qaeda terrorists destroyed the World Trade Centers the very buildings themselves will be joining the fight against them.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Vocabulary Score

Not bad for a guy who got Cs and Bs in English in high school. Maybe all the reading I have done in my life has been good for something after all. Even if I do waste my time reading all that Sci-fi and fantasy crap.

Your Vocabulary Score: A+

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!

You must be quite an erudite person.