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Sports | jonmower.com

Sports

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Peewee Football Photos

I wrote a little about the first few games of the boys’ football seasons (here and here) but not the second half of the season.  I’ll get around to that sometime soon, but here is Elliot’s photo:

Elliot-footballphoto-2010

I found the photos from when I played (3rd and 5th grade).  There’s a photo from 4th grade too, but I quit before the season started (because I wanted to play with my buddy after school instead of going to football practice and because the coaches were stressing me out by threatening to make us run extra laps around the field if we ran the first one too slowly).  The first year I was 3rd string offensive line.  I remember one game they put me in on defensive line, and I was shooting the gap into the backfield and tackling the quarterback almost every play…but unfortunately it was a fraction of a second after he would hand the ball off.  By the second year I played, I was one of the bigger players on the team.  Because I had an August birthday (shortly after the cut-off), most of the kids on the team were at least a grade below me.  That year the coaches wanted to play me at tight end (hence my # 40 jersey), but after the first few practices moved me to offensive tackle to replace someone who wasn’t getting the job done.  I also played defensive end and had a couple tackles for safeties that were the highlight of my year.  I didn’t play organized football again after that, sticking with basketball instead.  Here are my photos:

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Steelers 27 Panthers 3

A couple days before Christmas we made the third annual Moore family pilgrimage to Heinz Field for a Steelers game (links to the 1st and 2nd trips).  The Steelers stomped the Panthers...which was enjoyable enough but not nearly as exciting as last year's win against the Vikings.  It was a night game and cold (in the 20s?) and we arrived several hours early...so we were getting pretty cold towards the end.  We left a little early in the 4th quarter to get warm and vowing plan trips earlier in the fall next time.  The next day we hit the road for Christmas in N.C.  Here are some photos from the game:

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How Lucky You Can Be - The Story of Coach Don Meyer

Last summer we heard that Coach Don Meyer was coming to Midland to speak at a fundraiser.  Not only was he the basketball coach when we were at Lipscomb, but he's also "...the winningest men's basketball coach whose career has included at least one stint with an NCAA member school."  We made plans to attend.

Here's video of Meyer winning an Espy:

As the day of the event approached, we realized that we didn't have our tickets.  We contacted the community center who told us that they had mailed them.  I remembered receiving a receipt in the mail but didn't see the tickets in the large envelope.  A few days later I received an email.  Someone in another state had found the tickets on the floor, Googled the event, and realized that they must have fallen out of the envelope I had sent her.  I had reused the envelope to mail a book, and the tickets went along for a ride.  She kindly mailed the tickets back just in time.

mbatixIn the course of trying to figure out what happened to the tickets, Lisa talked to Ryan and Bob at the community center quite a bit.  She told him about the special memories we have of John Pierce setting the all-time scoring record.  Lisa had an astronomy lab that night, and the instructor wasn't keen on letting the students out early to go to the game.  When she got out of class, she ran across campus to get to the game...arriving just in time to see Pierce set the record.  I remember  them stopping the game after the record-setting basket, and Pierce threw the ball to his dad up in the stands as a tribute to him.

Meyer's talk at the fundraiser was quite enjoyable.  He talked about faith and family...integrity and hard work.  He told a bunch of jokes too (more about that in a separate post).  He had some advice for parents: don't critique your kids after the game...leave that to the coach...your kids don't want to hear that from you.

When we talked to Meyer afterward, we could tell that Bob or Ryan had mentioned us to him as he reminisced with us about Pierce.  Here's a photo we took together...

meyer

howlucky Over Christmas I read "How Lucky You Can Be: The Story of Coach Don Meyer" by Buster Olney.

Early on in the book Olney glosses over the Meyer/Lipscomb split: "a disagreement on principle with the administration."  I was worried that would be all it said on the subject, but later in the book it was addressed with some detail:

...in the late nineties, the administration began considering a move to Division I-A - a switch that Meyer vehemently opposed.

He believed that the university would have extraordinary difficulty raising the funds needed year after year to meet the costs of travel, as well as expense of adding the sports programs required to join a new conference.  He felt, too, that Lipscomb - a church-affiliated school squeezed among the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and other Division I programs in the state of Tennessee - would have difficulty luring the level of student-athletes needed to have a strong program.  Lipscomb contended annually for NAIA championships, but at Division I, Meyer believed, the team might have trouble continuing that tradition.  He felt that Lipscomb should have more appreciation for the strong programs it already had.

In the end he resigned, feeling betrayed that the university made the decision without what he considered to be adequate deliberation.  It was nice to hear how some healing of the relationship between Lipscomb and Meyer was triggered by Philip Hutcheson taking the AD job at Lipscomb.  I also didn't know that, after resigning from Lipscomb, Meyer tried and failed to get the coaching job at Pepperdine.  It's a shame that didn't work out.

It was interesting to see how Lipscomb's unique environment was described in the book.  For example:

David Lipscomb College was affiliated with the Meyers' church, the Church of Christ, and Lipscomb operated under a strict code of conduct, as if there were additional commandments beyond the first ten.

and about how Don's wife felt upon leaving Lipscomb:

[Carmen] felt liberated, in part, by the move.  When they were at Lipscomb, they could not have gone out to a restaurant and had a glass of wine, because the school's religious doctrine was so strict.

The book was quite frank about many of the Meyer family struggles...that the relationship between Don and his wife was quite strained before the accident, that both of his daughters got pregnant out of wedlock during the freshman years in college, etc.  The one subject that I noticed as conspicuously left (mostly) unexamined was Jerry Meyers' (Don's son) dismissal from the team:

Before Jerry Meyer's senior season, he had violated team rules and Don Meyer kicked him off the team...

I was at Lipscomb at the time and heard rumors about what precipitated Jerry's dismissal.  Given that the book was so transparent in discussion of so many other aspects of the Meyer family, Olney's reticence on this subject seemed odd.

Olney does a good job detailing many of the eccentricities that made Meyer the unique character that he is: his fondness for Captain D's, his humor, that he loved listening to Rush Limbaugh on long drives during recruiting trips, etc.  It's clear that growing up on a farm with a hardnosed father had a profound influence on his work ethic and parenting style.  (As a related aside, I found this anecdote to be quite remarkable and sad: once, when the pigs escaped from their pen, his dad kicked him "over and over" when he didn't figure out a way to contain them.)

Meyer is an interesting guy, and his story is quite inspiring.  I especially enjoyed the book given my connection to Lipscomb and time there during part of Meyers tenure.

Here are some of the handouts I picked up when we went to hear Meyer speak.  I'll reproduce some of the jokes he told in a separate post.

Stop and Think

  1. Is this a risk I can afford to take?
  2. How will this affect my future?
  3. How will this affect my family?
  4. How will this affect my teammates and coaches?

Coaches and Players with Great Team Attitudes

  1. Listen to each other.
  2. Are courteous to each other.
  3. Show concern for each other.
  4. Help each other out - share the load.
  5. Say what they feel, but watch how they say it.
  6. Don’t put each other down.
  7. Praise each other.
  8. Don’t talk behind each other’s back.
  9. Celebrate success.
  10. Treat everyone’s opinion as important.
  11. Treat mistakes as learning experiences.

THE SIMPLE FAITH

  • The Fruit of Silence is PRAYER
  • The Fruit of Prayer is FAITH
  • The Fruit of Faith is LOVE
  • The Fruit of Love is SERVICE

The 2nd Ten Commandments

  1. Thou shall not worry; for worry is the most unproductive of all human activities.
  2. Thou shall not be fearful; for most things we fear never come to pass.
  3. Thou shall not cross bridges before you come to them; for no one yet has succeeded in accomplishing this.
  4. Thou shall face each problem as it comes; you can only handle one at a time anyway.
  5. Thou shall not take problems to bed with you; for they make very poor bedfellows.
  6. Thou shall not borrow other people’s problems; they can better care for them then you can.
  7. Thou shall not try to relive yesterday for good or ill, it is forever gone; concentrate on what is happening in your life and be happy now.
  8. Thou shall be a good listener; for only when you listen do you hear different ideas from your own.
  9. Thou shall not become “bogged down” by frustration; for 90% of it is rotted in self-pity and will only interfere with positive actions.
  10. Thou shall count thy blessings; never overlooking the small ones, for a lot of small blessings add up to a big one.

Try Again Next Year

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Youth Football 2010 Weeks 2 and 3

I missed the games last Saturday because Lisa and I were in NC for my 20th high school reunion.  It seems like it was a bad day to miss. 

Unlike weeks 1 and 3 when Finn only carried the ball once each, he apparently had 4 or 5 nice carries.  They tied a tough team 3 scores a piece.  This week they won one TD to zero.  Finn played center and defensive line.

In weeks 1 and 3 Elliot carried the ball a hand full of times each, picking up positive yardage but not breaking anything big.  In week 2 I missed seeing him make a very long run that almost went for a TD.  They lost 13 to 6.  Like they did the first week, they shot themselves in the foot with several fumbles.  This week they got killed 35 (or 42?) to 0.  Fumbles were a big problem again.  We had to focus on small victories today...like the 3 first downs that they managed to pick up...more than the total number that their opponents had given up during the first two games.

Rumor has it that Elliot is going to play QB during the second half of the season...

The Rivals

rivals

After coming home from the boys' football games today, while doing some work I watched the documentary The Rivals (2010):

The story of “The Rivals” centers on two very different communities in Maine. The Mountain Valley Falcons are a long time football powerhouse led by coaching legend Jim Aylward. Their community is located in the western mountains of Maine, supported only by a paper mill that is continuously cutting jobs. The fiery Aaron Filieo, who is five years into his first head-coaching job of a program that is only 6 years old, commands the Cape Elizabeth Capers. Their community is along the scenic coast is one of the wealthiest in the state, home to doctors, lawyers, and type A personalities.

I enjoyed it (perhaps because I'm such a big football fan).  The head coaches are real characters and tend to steal the show.  I give it 4 out of 5.

Youth Football 2010 Week 1

The football seasons for both boys started on Saturday: the second year of tackle football for Elliot and the first year of flag football for Finn.

Elliot had an 8:30 game.  He’s playing running back this year and is #22.  His team (The Hurricanes) played well.  There was only one play that the defense consistently had trouble stopping (an end-around by a big, fast kid), and that’s how they gave up their only score.  The offense moved the ball well but had a bad case of fumble-itis.  That led to 3 turnovers and a bunch of wasted plays.  Elliot’s first run was stuffed in the backfield.  His second run was a poor pitch that he fumbled.  After that he had 4 or 5 decent runs for positive yardage.  Towards the end of the game someone’s helmet hit his thumb after he was tackled and sprained it.  He sat out the rest of the game and was sore for several days afterward.  The final was a 6 to 0 loss.

Finn’s game was at noon.  He had several nice tackles on defense.  He was quarterback and running back for one play each.  He made a nice cut on his run and nearly broke it for a TD.  It ended up being just a nice gain because he stopped and let the other defenders catch up when it felt like someone had pulled his flag (but it actually didn’t get pulled until he stopped).  I told that in the future he should keep running toward the goal line until he hears the whistle (and worry about the flag).

Here are some photos and videos from both games.

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Video of Elliot's 1st half
Video of Elliot's 2nd half

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Video of Finn's game

Basketball Hall of Fame

On the drive home from CT we stopped off at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.  I’d been before during a previous trip to CT (~25 years ago?), but it seemed to have changed a lot from what I vaguely remembered.

As we were about to leave, there was an announcement that the basketball courts were being closed to set up for a “Legends of the Game” presentation by Felipe López.  I’d never heard of him, so we decided not to wait for the presentation.  However, as we were leaving, Lopez and his kid were just being dropped off by their driver, and we said “hi” as he walked into the building.  Our curiosity was piqued…so we ended up deciding to go back inside for the presentation.

Felipe was interviewed by one the Hall’s staff for ~ 20 minutes and then was slated to do some instruction for the kids.  The staff suggested some dribbling tips, but Felipe quickly turned it into a game of Knockout.  Finn was struggling to get the ball up to the rim on his turn, so Felipe picked him up to dunk (see the 0:25 mark in the video below).  Elliot had a decent shot of actually winning Knockout, but we convinced him to drop out and get in the autograph line when it started to form.  As the boys were posing with Felipe for a photo after the autographs, Felipe joked: “Do you know the difference between these two [pointing to Finn and Elliot]? This one can dunk [pointing to Finn]!”  We all got a chuckle out of that one.  Elliot had caught the attention of the Hall staff member too who complimented him on his shooting skills and asked if he played much.  Lisa thanked Felipe for giving a shout-out to his school teachers during the presentation.

Felipe (originally from the Dominican Republic) was a big high school and college star (see a summary of honors and accomplishments on the autograph paper below) but not so much in the NBA.  He played in NYC and the Big East (instead of one of the college conferences that get more of my attention: ACC and SEC), so maybe that explains why I’d never heard of him (or maybe those mid- to late-90’s years were ones where I paid less attention to basketball).  Anywho, he ended up being a charming guy and quite interesting to hear speak…so we were very glad to have stayed around to see/hear him.  Here are photos of the boys with Felipe and of the autograph, some video of Knockout, and a few more photos:

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Video of Finn and Elliot playing “Knockout” at the Basketball Hall of Fame

A few more pictures:

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The boys know who Larry Bird and Magic Johnson because we’ve watched part of a documentary about them on HBO.

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Cranbrook LAX Jam 2010

Back in early June, Elliot and I drove down to Troy, spent the night at Lisa’s parents’ house, and then got up early the next morning to go to the Cranbrook LAX Jam tournament.  It was a fun day.  It was obvious that the coaches’ expectations weren’t too high because they had been crushed over and over again at the same tournament the previous year.  However, it was a different story this time.  I think the fact that we (the parents, at least) weren’t expecting much made it even sweeter when the boys played so well and went undefeated for the tournament. 

I was especially proud of Elliot.  His skills seemed to have improved quite a bit over his first season of LAX.  He was playing “middie,” and he would catch a pass from a teammate (at this level, just being able to catch a pass in the air is a big advantage…as opposed missing it and having to pick it up off the ground before making your next move) and then take off sprinting down the field toward the goal.  He had his first two assists of the year, and they were important in their close wins.  He was also hustling.  In the fourth game, after a long day, it was clear that he was still giving it all that he had.  On a couple of occasions he chased down a player who had the ball from behind by not giving up when he first got passed him.  His coach noticed his hustle too and praised him afterwards.  It was a great feeling…the first time that I’ve been, I guess I’d say, inspired by my kid and his teammates for their performance on the field of play.

The following “Peak Performers” article appeared in the June 20, 2010, Midland Daily News:

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The Midland Lacrosse Club's third-fourth-grade team completed its season recently by winning all four games at the Cranbrook LAX Jam tournament, the largest such tournament in the state with teams from across Michigan.

Midland began the tourney with a 5-4 win over perennial power Birmingham, then beat Gross Pointe 7-3, Forest Hills Central out of Grand Rapids, 5-4, and Rockford 9-3 to finish the season at 8-1-2.

Only five members of the Midland team had played lacrosse prior to this season, which is only the second year in which the MLC has fielded a third-fourth-grade squad.

Eleven different Midland players scored in the Cranbrook tourney, and the team used seven different players as goalies throughout the season.

Members of the team are (front, from left) Garrett Brillhart, Ryan Flint, Noah Treangen, Davis Purtell, Elliot Moore, Pierce Morley, Adam Nunn, Adam Wolok; (second row, from left) Carter Bean, Jack Treangen, Michael Hogan, Jared Zahn, Andrew Carras, Creighton Annelin, Brandon Kovacevich (third row, from left) Jacob Pokreifka, Joey Kilbride Parker Laffey, Jeremy Brookens, Chris Bellefeuille, Carson Winter, Nick Rappuhn; and (back, from left) head coach Kurt Brillhart, assistant coach Tom Grey, and assistant coach Jamie Zahn.

Not pictured are Graham Bailey, Jonathon Baillargeon, and Willem Short.

Lacrosse

Elliot's first lacrosse tournament was the Sunday before last.  He enjoyed it, and it was fun to watch too.  Here are some photos and a video (he's # 22):

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Link to Vimeo (also on YouTube)

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