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The 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 him that in the future he should keep running toward the goal line until he hears the whistle (and not worry about the flag).

Here are some photos and videos from both games.








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




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:



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


A few more pictures:




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








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:


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.


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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