Monday, August 30, 2010

Field Hockey Opener

Field Hockey is underway!  The Pioneers kicked off the 2010 season with a tough battle against Rosati-Kain.  It's always tough to open the season against schools with hyphens in their names. . .

Although the Pioneers did not end up with one in the win column, it was great to finally play a real opponent.  You just can't quite simulate the intensity of a game in practice, and it only when you face a good opponent that pushes you that you find out about yourself. . . what you're good at, and more importantly, what you need to improve on.  This team is chocked full of smart, hard-working kids, and they'll take good lessons from this game and be ready for the next one.  

Volleyball Topples Pattonville

The Pioneers opened the 2010 volleyball season against Pattonville, and sent the message early that they were focused and ready to take care of business.  It's well known that Kirkwood has some tremendous talent, but often great teams are the ones that can focus and play at a high level at all times.  If tonight was any indication, this should be a fun year for Pioneer volleyball fans.  There was great defense, tough serving, and no shortage of enthusiasm.  The Pioneers travel to Parkway South tomorrow, and then are back home for a big match against the Lafayette Lancers.  You owe it to yourself to come watch these girls play.  This ain't your momma's volleyball!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kirkwood Defeats Summit, Irvin Gets First Win!

The KHS Football season got off to an interesting start when, on the opening kickoff, a Kirkwood tackler jarred the ball loose from the Summit return man, only to have the ball take a fortuitous bounce into the arms of another unsuspecting Falcon who then rambled 80 yards for a touchdown.  But give the Pioneers and new Head Coach, Matt Irvin, credit.  They kept their composure, stuck with their game plan, and walked out with a 34-14 victory.  The key play of the game could have been the 2nd half kickoff, when #38 Kenny Cummings had what one person described to me as a "video game" return for a touchdown, reversing field several times and leaving bewildered would-be tacklers in his wake. . . 

The excitement leading up to the game was palpable, and Coach Townsend, our AD, looked as nervous and excited as I've seen him since we coached hoops together.  Thanks to the team for such an exciting, classy, and gritty effort.  'Can't wait until next week!

Special congratulations to Coach Irvin on his first of what we hope will be many victories in the months and years to come!

*Interesting note:  In the 3rd from last photo in this post (Coach Irvin talking to the team at a timeout) there is a bright dot in the blue sky.  I found out today that that was actually the space station that is orbiting earth.  Who'da thunk it?!

There are 126 more images available on the website:

Field Hockey Photo Shoot

Blog Challenge of the Day. . . convince me you had a better Friday than I did.  I spent all day long with great kids in my math classes, then I got to hang out with the Girl's Field Hockey Team for our photo shoot, and then I headed over to Rockwood Summit to watch Coach Irvin get his first win as the Coach of the Pioneers!    Beat THAT!!  : ) 

As you can tell, we spent a lot of time laughing during this photo shoot.  Dr. Holley stopped by to spend some time with his favorite student, Grace, then Sara A. stole the show when she treated us all to an America's-Next-Top-Model-Moment.  She unleashed her inner-diva and had us all rolling!  

Coach Woodard has another amazing group of kids this year.  Come out and see them as they open their season at home on Monday! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Girl's Volleyball Poster Shoot

The Blog Challenge of the Day. . . try hanging out with these girls for an afternoon and NOT having a great time!  The girl's volleyball team invaded the "studio", and we didn't stop laughing until they left almost an hour later.  What a talented, smart, and lovely group.  There is a buzz around school about this year's team, lead by a strong senior class.  I can hardly wait until their season kicks off next Monday at home against Pattonville.  BE THERE!!!

Boys Soccer Poster Shoot

It's poster time, and we started the soccer shoot by heading out to the field for the final few minutes of the inner-squad scrimmage.  The varsity guys stuck around and we took some action shots before heading inside for the individual pics.  As witnessed by these pictures, things rapidly deteriorated. . .  : )

Coach Steinmetz has a fun group.  Several new faces will add their skills to a strong group of returners, and if they learn to play together, it could be a fun year for these guys!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Softball Kicks Off

The Pioneer softball team kicked off the 2010 season today at Lindbergh High School, facing a feisty Howell Central team.  It was a beautiful night, and although the Pioneers came out on the losing end, it was great to get the first-game jitters out of the way.  There was some fine pitching, excellent fielding, and a good all-around effort.  It's clear that these girls are prepared to put in the work necessary to improve, and I STILL think this is the breakout sport of the fall.  Hang in there, ladies!  Keep working hard, playing together, and having fun!  

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Football Jamboree

Who needs a calendar when you have football?  Football signals the end of summer and the beginning of the school year.  It's hot dogs, and the band, and cheerleaders, and young men battling on the field while all us "older folks" dream of being 17 again. . .

The Matt Irvin Era got underway at Ladue High School, where the Pioneers met Ladue, McCluer, and McCluer-South Berkley.  The field was wet and soggy after the massive storm last night, so speed was reduced and turnovers increased.  The Pioneers had trouble scoring early, but the defense came through with an interception and several fumble recoveries.  I thought our kids played hard and the coaching staff did a great job of keeping things in perspective.  A jamboree is a learning experience first and foremost and mistakes will happen.  It's the final tuneup before the season begins next week, and the team will use what they learned today to help them improve in the coming week.  

I listened in on the coaches comments to the players following the games, and as a former coach, I was so impressed.  Coach Irvin is a football coach, but I think football is just the vehicle he uses to get to kids.  He told his players, "It's about getting better and raising your standards, whether it's being the best football player you can be, or being the best coach you can be, or being the best father you can be. . ." 

Amen, brother!


Maplewood Football Poster Shoot

My close friend, Kevin Grawer is the new Head Principal at Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School.  He's doing an amazing job and I believe he will help Maplewood become one of the bright and shining examples of a school that pushes for excellence in all areas.  Last year, he was the Dean of Students, and through him I met Coach Frazier (Boy's Basketball), and Coach Gregory (Track and Football).  I did posters for their basketball and track teams, and was thrilled when Coach Gregory invited me out to shoot the football team.  (Coach Gregory is a no-nonsense guy, and does an amazing job coaching these kids.  They don't even have a real field to practice on, yet they are expecting to contend for a state title.  I'm a big fan of his!)  The kids were great and we had a blast.  We were lucky when clouds rolled in, cooling off the heat, and evening out the light.  Maplewood has a great school building, so we wanted to use that in the poster.  

We shot each player individually, then combined them to make the poster.  I stole the "Life is Black and Blue" idea from the University of Tennessee, so thanks for the idea.

When we finished with all the "formal stuff", I took a few shots of the guys just having fun and being silly.  These are always my favorites. . . just kids being kids.  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pep Rally

The inaugural Fall Sports Pep Rally took place tonight, and once again, the gym was Rockin'!!  I love the spirit of our high school, and no one leads a pep assembly like our very own Dr. Holley.  I snuck into the band section and I gotta tell ya, our band RULES!!  My goal is to become an honorary band member somehow so I can just wallow in the splendor. . .

The Pommies and Cheerleaders looked to be in mid-season form and really got the crowd pumped up.  Ladies, you were on fire!

The Boy's Cross Country , Girls Lacrosse, and Girl's Basketball Teams took home the "Art Stout Award" given to the teams with the highest grade point average last year.  All were in the 3.7 range.  OUTSTANDING!

Every pep assembly closes with the Alma Mater, and I still get chills seeing high school kids of every size and color, arm-in-arm, belting out "Hail Kirkwood High School unto Thee we sing. . . "

Don't forget to go see the Football team in action Saturday at Ladue High School at 11:00am.  Go Pioneers!!