Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pioneers Meet Mehlville

It was a beautiful day for soccer. . . unfortunately, it was the Panthers that got off to the fast start, scoring 3 times in the first half.  I don't know all that much about soccer, but it seems like it's a tougher sport than most to comeback from such a deficit.  Once a team secures a lead, there's just so much space and so many ways to play a "prevent defense".  

The Pioneers had a good season, and I know that the coaches really enjoyed working with this group.  Several freshmen were starters, so there is a strong nucleus for future success.  

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Eric R.

Eric's parents are good friends of mine, so it was a special treat to spend some time with their son.  The apple didn't fall far from the tree on this one.  He's a good, fun-loving young man, and he did a great job holding back the yawns so we could get some pictures taken.  Mom was a big help, holding the transmitter and encouraging Eric with a few "Oh YEA's", and some "Ooooohhhs".  He even humored me when I asked him to climb up in some trees.  Eric is also a lacrosse player, so we'll be doing some more pictures to capture that side of him.  

Eric, you were great today!  Thanks for letting me hang out with you and Mom. . .   

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pioneers Go Down Swinging

Dreams die hard. . . It was an exciting night of volleyball, and the Pioneers gave St. Joes all they could handle, taking them to the wire in a thrilling contest.  There were great plays on both sides of the net, and the crowd certainly got their money's worth.  

I think it might be fair to say you can judge the success of a season by the pain exhibited when it ends.  The six seniors who have lived and breathed Kirkwood Volleyball for the past four years were visibly crushed, and to me that says "It mattered".  Not sure you can give a better compliment to a high school athlete. . .  

Seeing them come back out on the court following the match reminded me of the final game of my high school basketball career. . . My evil nemesis, Frank Cusamano (of Channel 5 sports, and now a good friend) hit a half-court shot at the buzzer of the 2nd overtime to beat us in the district finals, and I remember sitting in the locker room just numb, not being able to process that fact that it was over, and I didn't have practice tomorrow.    I went on to play in college, but it's fair to say I don't miss anything quite as much as the time spent with my teammates on that high school team, and wearing that Pattonville uniform. . . 

I know it will be tough for these girls for the next few days, but they need to know how proud we are of them and what a great job they did representing Kirkwood High School and the entire Kirkwood community.  They've created great memories for themselves and all of us who got to watch them play.  They went down fighting. . .

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pioneers Beat Nerinx; Advance to District Finals

The seeds say it was an upset, but it was pretty clear to me that it was just a case of "the better team won". . . Courtney Haring sent a message early that the net was the Pioneers domain and there would be no easy points for the Markers.  Suzanne Hesse added some strong hitting, and Jordan Berry came up with some stellar defensive plays.  The bench was excited from the beginning and contributed with much-needed enthusiasm.  It's fun to watch the bench when they just can't help themselves, and they come flying off their chairs.  I LOVE that about sports. . . 

The Pioneers try to claim the district title tomorrow night (Wed. Oct 27th) as they take on the top-seeded St. Joseph's Angels.  It was just a couple short years ago that the Pioneer Boy's Basketball team found themselves facing the #1 seeded powerhouse Webster Groves Statesmen, and we all remember how that one turned out!!  : )  A big crowd would certainly help, so head over for the 7:00pm contest and be ready to go NUTS!

Ladies, go get 'em!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

JV Football Meets Washington

Under threatening skies, the Pioneers battled the Blue Jays from Washington High School.  High School Football is a great sport to photograph, especially when the coaches allow you out on the field during warmups.  That's my favorite time, when you can get close up to the action.  There is great intensity in the eyes of the players as the focus and prepare for battle.  This game was especially fun, because several of my students were playing.  Edward, Rasheed and Andre are smart, hardworking, and considerate kids and you can't help but pull for them.  

The halftime show featured the JV Pommies who did an outstanding job.  Mykel, Maggie, and Rachel are also students of mine, and amazing kids.  They do an fantastic job everyday in the classroom so it was good to finally see them do their thing!  Bravo!!

Brad, who is the Youth Director at Greentree Church was there with his son.  As you can see in the final picture, I think it's safe to say the "Cutest Future Pioneer" contest is over. . . 


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Field Hockey Tops Clayton

3 Truths about Kirkwood Field Hockey. . . 

1)  Colby hits the ball HARD!
2)  Leeker is FAST!  
3)  You WILL find snacks on the bench!

The Pioneer faithful enjoyed a balmy October afternoon as the Pioneers beat the Greyhounds.  Colby scored early on an absolute ROCKET and the Pioneers never looked back.  

Keep up the good work, ladies. . .

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pioneers Roll Over Washington

It's going to be tough to top the weather we've had in St. Louis for the entire fall sports season.  Tonight was another unbelievable October evening, with temperatures in the 70's at game time.  The players were loose but ready, the crowd was pumped, and the cheerleaders were flying!    

I spent a little time shooting the cheerleader's warmup, and was really impressed with their athleticism.  I don't care how small my friends are, I'm pretty sure I couldn't throw any of them up in the air, much less catch them when they came down!  That's just CRAZY!!  I'm lucky enough to have a few of them in class, and they are a wonderful bunch that represents our school so well. 

There was a creative invite to friendship (Nice going, Rachel!!).  What a fun time for the kid's at KHS and at Webster.  We've really got a great tradition that not many other schools have.

It's certainly a great time to be a Pioneer!!!    

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Volleyball Says Goodbye to 6 Special Seniors

When you coach, every team you coach is special in it's own way. . . but some teams, by virtue of the work they've put in, the struggles they've faced and overcome, or the new heights to which they've elevated the program make them a little "extra special".  You get the sense that this is true of this particular group of seniors.  They notched their 25th victory tonight as they head into District play next week.  They've had their sights set on a District Championship since the season ended last year, and although they find themselves in one of the toughest districts in the area, they are ready to go after their dream.  

You'd better have a good excuse for not being in the gym at Kirkwood High School beginning next Monday!  Don't miss it!  Come and cheer on this group that has made us all so proud. . .

Cross Country at Kirkwood Park

It never fails, I always leave cross country meets inspired, and today was no exception.  It was another beautiful fall day in Kirkwood with the temperature in the 70's.  The leaves are changing and falling to the ground, and you can sense that these amazing days are numbered, so we'd better enjoy them while we've got 'em. . . before you know it, we'll be trudging through the snow and ice. . .

I love the mix of agony and joy that cross country supplies.  I'm so impressed with these athletes.  Thanks for another incredible day!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Volleyball Claims Conference Title

Kirkwood Volleyball defeated Rockwood Summit and laid claim to the Suburban South Championship in their inaugural year in the newly reformed conference.  Dr. Holley surprised the team with "Conference Champions" t-shirts that awaited them when they returned to the bus.  Really?  How cool is that!?  Way to go, Doc!!

The Pioneers were tough at the net, both offensively and defensively.  Shooting from the Summit end, it was tough to see any open space where they could have hit the ball.  It was all hands and arms!  And when Courtney Haring gets on a roll, it's an intimidating and powerful show.  But tonight was a total team effort, and one we're all proud of.  Great kids, great coaching, great effort. . . 

Congratulations, 2010 Suburban South Conference Champions!!