Don't get me wrong, the summer is great. . . but the first day of Fall Sports Practices may, in fact, be the most exciting and fun day of the year for me. What beats the fun of seeing familiar faces working hard at their chosen sport, combined with the nervous new faces of incoming freshmen?! Who's put in the time over the summer to get better? Which new kid is going to make an impact? Can the freshmen find the gym?
BOY'S SWIMMING: I started lap swimming about 3 weeks ago, and have a new-found appreciation for these athletes. Not only is it physically demanding, but psychologically as well. I'm constantly fighting panic and the desire to breathe while my head's still underwater! (In case you're wondering, you shouldn't). And these must be the smartest athletes in the school. . . it's 100 degrees and they're in the nice cool water. . .
FOOTBALL: New coach, Matt Irvin, returns to KHS after stints at MICDS and New Trier High School (Chicago), and brings an enthusiasm and energy that is second-to-none. The challenge for this year's players is can they outwork the coach? If they can, there will be much success down the road, you can count on that. . . and apparently, football knowledge is not all Coach Irvin brings to the table as evidenced by that awesome hat. . . Very Nice.
Doc Holley made the rounds today, checking on the teams. Here, he takes in some offensive drills. Hey, did you know? We have the best Principal in the World!!
OUR ATHLETIC DIRECTOR: Jeff Townsend begins his second year as Kirkwood's A.D. I was lucky enough to coach basketball with Jeff, and know not only how knowledgeable he is about all sports, but what a great and caring person he is. Our athletes are extremely fortunate to have Coach Townsend running the athletic program. He loves our kids and will work to make sure their experience is the best it can possibly be.
FIELD HOCKEY: Coach Woodard is fired up about this year's team. It should be a nice mix of returning players and new talent. This is a tough sport, and I'm not sure I'd have the patience to play it. The blade of the stick is so short and the players are allowed to hit the ball with the flat side only. I admire these girls for sticking with it (no pun intended), and working tirelessly on their skills. I hope they practice taking the ball out of the net after scoring (one of the cool traditions in high school sports) so they're ready when they start scoring in bunches this year. . .
BOY'S SOCCER: The World Cup has everyone excited about soccer, and it's no different at KHS. Another mix of returning players and new talent, the boys should be fun to watch this year.
GIRL'S TENNIS: Is there Life After Art? Art Stout has retired, but that won't stop these girls from working hard to keep up the winning tradition of Kirkwood Tennis. Here, Amelia and Ashby work on their strokes in the early morning heat. You're not going to find two better kids than these, so I know Kirkwood Tennis is in good hands.