Thursday, December 23, 2010


It's been a super-busy time of the year as the first semester of school ends and the kids take their final exams.  I was lucky this year, as I had no finals on the last day, so I was able to shoot All-State Band and Orchestra members and do some other fun stuff.  

The music program at Kirkwood is hard to believe.  Every year numerous kids qualify for All-State.  This year, in the All-State Band alone, Kirkwood has 17 individuals!!  Here Beth and Hannah ham it up.  These are two outstanding young ladies.  They both excel in the classroom, are amazing runners, and obviously outstanding musicians, but most importantly are just wonderful people.

In addition to the All-State stuff, I've really enjoyed shooting some Holiday sessions with kids from school.  They plan on giving the photos as gifts to their parents.  

The Dyroff girls were dynamite, and we got lucky to have scheduled our shoot on the day it snowed a couple of weeks ago.  We did some stuff inside, then ventured down to the train station in downtown Kirkwood.  It was FREEZING and windy and the snow was blowing so we had to work fast, but I think we got some cool images from it, and we had some good laughs as well.

Allie and her brother Jake lit up the room.  You can tell they're appreciative of each other as siblings and seem to get along really well.

Olivia has a birthday this week and decided she wanted to have a photo shoot with some of her close friends.  I got to meet Olivia, Sophie, Grace, and Shannon.  They were a lot of fun, and came out of their shells early on to really "work the runway".  You girls are fortunate to have each other as friends!

The Moran sisters were Marvelous.  They are beautiful and fun to be around.  Lots of smiles and laughter.  Thanks for hanging out. . .

Delaney is a student of mine and needed to get some promo shots done for her body-building competition.  I had no idea she was as graceful as she was.  It made me wonder what hidden talents all my other students have.  You just never know what's inside of people, and if you let them, they can pleasantly surprise you.  

Thanks for reading.  Have a wonderful Holiday!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. . .

Borrowing from the famous Christmas Carol, the Lieschen Fink Dance Recital certainly puts you in the Holiday spirit.  It really is the most wonderful time of the year!  Nothing beats watching kids you know dance and laugh and smile.  It's always a great night, and this year was no exception.  Adding to the fun were the large number of boys who decided to take the class this year.  They did an outstanding job.  Tony F. is a natural, but Twigo just might have stolen the show.  

This was Dr. Fink's farewell performance, as she has announced her retirement.  Well, you went out hitting a "walk off". . .  Way to go!  

And thanks to all the dancers. . . what a fun night!!  You were great!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pioneers Win Northwest Tournament!

The Pioneers have started strong, and defeated a very good Westminster team to claim the Championship of the Northwest Tournament on Saturday.  The tempo was controlled by the Wildcats in the first half, as their zone slowed down the Pioneers and kept them from running successfully.  But all that changed after halftime, as the Pioneers turned up the pressure and forced numerous turnovers that led to some transition baskets.  Natalie Fryrear continued to shoot the ball well from behind the arc, and when Westminster took her away, Kayla Martin stepped up and hit a huge 3 late.  Once the Pioneers got the lead, they just put the ball in the hands on Lianna Doty, and she ran the delay to perfection, icing the victory.  Kudos to Brianna McWoods!  Role players are so important to the success of a team and she did a great job in her role today.  Hustle plays, defense, and a couple of made free throws did BIG things to help the team win.

Former Indiana Pacer, Mizzou Tiger, and DeSmet Spartan star, Steve Stipanovich is the coach of the Westminster Wildcats, and I couldn't help wondering, during the introduction of the starters if our players really understood who they were shaking hands with.  Although only a year older than me, Steve was one of my idols.  I remember reading about him and cutting out the article and pinning it on my wall.  The article talked about what a great work ethic he had, and I wanted to be just like him.  My junior year at Pattonville, I had the dubious honor of trying to guard him. . . I successfully held him to 32, and I still have bumps and bruises from that night.  

He had one of the great college performances of all time, when he led the Tigers to an upset win over 7'4" Ralph Sampson and the Virginia Cavaliers.  After college he played in the NBA, and his career was unfairly cut short by a knee injury.  Ladies, you shook hands with a guy who was once one of the top basketball players in the world.  

Congratulations on your Championship.  Keep working hard, keep pressuring, and keep having FUN!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Basketball Posters

It's always an exciting time for me when we work on the basketball posters, because it means the season is right around the corner.  I used the "8 is Enough"  line on the Girl's poster as a tribute to the TV show from back in the day.  Gotta give a nod to the Van Pattens!

The Boy's Poster is a take off from the poster for the movie "RED" which opened recently.

The Girls kick off the season tomorrow night at the Northwest Tournament, and the Boys follow with a game on Saturday in Jeff City.  The girls look to defend their conference championship and will take the court with a solid nucleus of returning starters.  If you like up-tempo, high pressure basketball, you're going to love watching this team play.  Lianna Doty is one of the best point guards in the state and is fun to watch.

The boys are ready for a breakout year.  Juniors could lead the way, and don't be surprised if a freshman makes some big noise this year.  

Coming soon. . . WRESTLING!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Alumni Football

It was a beautiful November afternoon as the Kirkwood & Webster Alumni met for their annual Day-After-Turkey-
Day Football Game.  It was clear from the outset that "youth" and "numbers" would be critical, and the Pioneers held the edge in both catagories.  Matt Krapfl started things off with a 60 yard bomb to DeMarco Austin on the first play from scrimmage to put the Pioneers ahead, and they never looked back.  

Although there was a lot of laughter, several things were quickly apparent. . . 

1)  Young guys are faster than old guys
2)  Krapfl can still put the ball exactly where he wants to. 
3)  If it's Webster vs Kirkwood, it's still serious

Nice going guys.  Ice up and enjoy the weekend!

Frozen Turkey!

It was a great day for football. . . the kind where you sit in the living room by the fireplace in front of the TV with some good food. . . 

It wasn't quite as nice if you were forced to be outside in the rain and cold, but a surprising number of loyal fans showed up at Moss Field for the annual Turkey Day game.  Kirkwood fumbled the opening kickoff, and it was clear that hanging on to the ball would be a problem all day, as would footing, throwing, catching, kicking, and anything else associated with football.  (Instead of trainers, both teams might have been better off employing life-guards, as several tackles took players into some serious water hazzards.)  Webster took advantage of the turnover, scoring on a long run, and after several more possessions, it looked as though that might be all the scoring for the day.  

The Pioneers rallied, however, scoring both on the ground and in the air, but extra points made the difference as Webster escaped with a 14-12 victory, and reclaimed the Frisco Bell.  

Early in the 2nd half, the rain changed to snow, and made for a memorable afternoon.  If you were one of the hearty souls who stuck it out, KUDOS to you!  You're a true fan!

And here's a nod to both JV teams for gutting this one out.  It's tough to play when you can't feel your hands or your feet, and you're soaked to the skin, but you guys did it and provided us with an entertaining afternoon. . . 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Turkey Day is Underway!!

Dr. Holley and Coach Wade shared MC duties as another Turkey Day got underway at KHS.  You can't find better leadership or more enthusiasm for a school or it's students than you find in these two.  The Pioneer Spirit filled the gym as the band cranked out some tunes.  The cheerleaders went "Circ De Soleil" on us, defying gravity and flying all over the place.  It was a jaw-dropping performance, of tosses, catches, and tumbling.  WOW!

Then it was time for the senior's "American Bandstand" skit, in which they lovingly poke fun at the KHS Faculty and Staff.  The loudest ovation was reserved for the two students who play our beloved custodians, Bob and Andy.  I'm not lying when I tell you, these two are like Rock Stars when they walk the halls of KHS.  Kids love them because they love kids, love their jobs, and have the greatest positive attitudes.  

After the skit, Coach Irvin addressed the crowd, and noted the football team had some "unfinished business" to attend to on Thursday.  It should be a great day for football as the Pioneers battle to keep the Bell.  Coach Irvin did an outstanding job this year.  He's really so much more than a football coach, and I believe our school will reap great benefits in the years to come for having him as part of our school.  Nice going, buddy!

Next, it was the Pommies turn.  I've been anxiously awaiting this performance.  I have several pommies in my classes and several of them sat through class with ice bags on their necks and legs.  They were practicing before school, after school, and even at night!  I tried to pry some info out of them this week, but they were mum.  They finally said, "just be sure to watch the beginning, middle, and end."  They were right on.  They set the bar pretty high last year but topped it with a surprise entrance.  Everyone was looking at the door, when they suddenly started getting up from being scattered throughout the crowd.  Awesome!!!!

The cheerleaders finished things off with their amazing and technical "stomp" routine.  The kids all lined up and sang the Alma Mater and the afternoon came to a close. 

Be sure to return to KHS tomorrow evening for the "Chilli Cookoff", 2nd half of the senior skit and assembly, and finally the bonfire.  

Football will commence at high noon on Moss Field in Webster Groves.  What a great time to be a Pioneer!!!

Just Another Typical School Day. . .

I don't know what a typical day is at your high school, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. . . but here's what one is like at mine. . .

In the time-honored tradition of Turkey Day, students decorate the halls with themes and compete for recognition as "Best Hall".  This year was one of the better years in recent memory.  Every hall was outstanding, from the Freshmen's "Academy Awards", the Juniors "Wizard of Oz" (complete with real live Toto!), to the Band's wonderful "Alice in Wonderland", but the Seniors really showed how it's to be done with their timely tribute to "Grease", complete with a diner, classroom, drive in movie theatre (outside), carnival games, popcorn, and root beer floats!  Kids dress the part, and you can't help but smile, which makes for an unbelievably fun day.  

I thought it would be tough to get excited about Turkey Day after the tough loss to Webster in the State Semi-Finals this past Friday, but all it took was the effort of our amazing students, and the flame was rekindled. 

I really got a kick out of the cutout in the Freshmen hall, where students could put their heads and become two of the cast members from MTV "Jersey Shore". . .  Nice touch!!


Friday, November 19, 2010

All Good Things Must End. . .

It was a disappointing finish to an incredible year as the Pioneers fell to the Statesmen 28-0.  The Pioneers scored a big touchdown on a pass to Kendall Day near the end of the first half that would have made the score 14-7, but it was called back on a holding penalty, and the next play resulted in an interception, and the Pioneers never really recovered.

Still, it was an amazing accomplishment to just make this game a reality.  Who can forget the 4th and goal from the one yard line that the stingy Pioneer defense stopped to secure a thrilling win over Holt in the first game of the playoffs. . . and of course, the big interception to seal last week's win over Camdenton!  

Coach Irvin has done an amazing job in a short time, and the program will continue to grow under his leadership.  I'd like to say thanks to Coach Irvin, his outstanding staff, and this team for providing us with so many fond memories of a thrilling season.  Go Pioneers!!

Don't forget to head over to Moss Field in Webster for the Annual Turkey Day game this coming Thursday.  We will maintain possession of the bell, right JV? . . .