The Time Is Near!

Very soon the boy will take the field for the first time since the injury. It is a time of apprehension and anticipation. He is very ready. We are too, just nervous as hell. He has put in a lot of time and effort to make it back for The Tampa Sunbowl, and I would hate for him to have any kind of setback.

We will also be partaking in a football game. The Citrus Bowl (Capital One Bowl) in Orlando Jan.1 will be a very good game. Michigan vs Florida, should be a dandy. A good reward for another trouble free year from the boys. Good grades, work hard, stay out of trouble, that's all you can ask.


The Lengths

The lengths some schools will go to to get the championship. I believe this is a problem that is much larger than anyone wants to admit. The recruiting of high school players will only become worse as high school sports veers ever so close to the mess that is college athletics. This is not a new practice just more wide spread. Read the complete article here.


Its all the same!

Took the family north (back home) over Thanksgiving. Had the opportunity to watch my nephew play some basketball.

Its all the same everywhere. It doesn't matter which sport, doesn't matter which state, its all the same. Parents fretting about rankings, players fretting about rankings. Parents worrying about scouts, players worrying about scouts. The same petty nonsense here and there. Its all the same!


UM-OSU Again!

Argh! It is not a happy day. Our beloved Michigan Wolverines fell again to the nuts. Around this house, nothing is worse. It has been a trying year. Unfortunate for the Seniors (they never beat the nuts), as Hart and Henne were bitten by the injury bug. I don't think they were anywhere near 100% for the game. They both have been outstanding Michigan men and will be missed. Jake Long, it has been a pleasure watching you play, truly dominate! The rest of the seniors-Good Luck and thanks.

To Mr. Carr,

Thank You for many years of great football, excitement, and a truly classy tenure at the finest institution in the country. We wish you the best!


Dreaded This Night!

Last night was the night we all dreaded, High School Soccer Banquet Night. It was a very hard year. We tried to stay supportive of the program but to sit and listen to everything about the season, awards, all conference, all region, etc. just sucks.

All those awards were supposed to be my sons', not someone else. He trained his ass off getting ready for this season only to have it all taken away. He loves his HS team and wanted to lead them to great things.

Jordan did a great job of helping the team despite his injury. He coached the younger guys, giving them tips, and getting on them when they were lazy. For this he was recognized by his coaches and teammates, he received the coaches award. I am very proud of him. Many athletes pack it in when faced with adversity, he rose to the occasion. It has made him a stronger man.

On the rehab front it looks like he has gained back most of the muscle mass he lost due to the injury. Everything is looking good for at least a brief appearance in the Tampa Sun Bowl.


Doc Visit

Today we took a trip to Duke Sports Medicine for the monthly visit. We left with pretty good news. Jordan has been cleared to amp up the workouts. He can now run and do some agility drills outside, amp it up as much as he can handle. We are very pleased with Duke Sports Medicine and in particular Dr. Garrett and his staff. A million thank you's to them!


The Argument

My sons have this ongoing argument that gets revisited every so often. It's not a bad thing, I actually feel very lucky that they can have this argument. It usually starts when a friend asks the hypothetical question.

Who is better? Who could beat who? The exact question the other night was: "If Jordan was healthy, who would win in a game of posts, Devan or Jordan?" Well guess who got drug into this no win situation? Yeah, me.

They both plead their case. Devan and his 7 National Championships (bad coaches decisions cost them a world championship), Jordan and his National Championship and 2 World Championships. Now pressed for an answer I always side with Devan, he is the king of posts (usually when they are actually supposed to go in the net). This usually turns the argument into a "if 14 yr old Jordan played 14 yr old Devan, who would win?'.

My answer- I don't know, but it would be a heck of a game!



We have been practicing hard. Hitting in the cage, fielding at the ballpark in SP. Devan is looking more comfortable every day. He is showing the passion that he used to display in Hockey. I haven't seen it in a couple of years. He really seems to be having a blast. Tryouts in February, I think he will be more than ready.


Another day......

Another day, more college interest. It is good to be back at it. We were quite worried after the ACL tear, didn't know if the coaches would still have interest. All is well.

One thing I can tell you is I would really hate to be the teams that face the boy when he is cleared to play. He's like a bull in the china shop right know. It looks like the Tampa Sunbowl over christmas will be the target date. We are excited.

It is time to continue with our original purpose with this blog. Hope everybody is ready.



It looks like everything will turn out fine. Jordan is about a month away from returning to action. The college coaches seem to have a short memory regarding the ACL injury. They are lining up to take a shot at the wonder kid. It should be an interesting winter around here.


Looking Good!

The knee is looking good. Jordan is way ahead of his rehab schedule. The pt people are absolutely amazed at his progress. He visits with Dr.Garret tomorrow. I am sure he will be pleased.

It is looking like the big showcase tourney during christmas break is certainly a distinct possibility. The High School season is going about how I figured it would. They are struggling which is to be expected. You can't lose maybe the top player in the state and not be adversely affected.

I believe Jordan would have done some amazing things. The work he put in during the off-season was absolutely incredible. Not many can keep up with him and his brother.


The First Game

We had the first varsity soccer game since J's injury. Let me tell you, that was a lot harder than I though it would be. It was supposed to be his year. This would have been his 4th year on varsity. It was his year.

It has been quite some time since J's name was not announced in the starting lineup. I believe that is when it hit home for both Heather and myself. I never expected it to be quite so hard.

He's now on the long road to recovery. We'll hear his name announced again, I'm positive.

On a happier note. The batting cage will be here on Wednesday. Devan is chomping at the bit to get a crack at that badboy.



The man-child started his rehab this week. He believes he will be back by christmas. If anyone can do it, he can. He is a workout beast and is more determined than ever to play college ball.

Devan has his sites set on the Pinecrest High School Varsity Baseball Team. The batting cage will be here Monday. Let the work begin.



Well its been a couple of days since Jordan had his ACL repaired. I would like to give a shout out to the wonderful group of people at Duke Sports Medicine. Unbelievable is all I can say. Dr. Garrett is phenomenal, the whole staff is phenomenal.

Jordan has greatly improved. His spirits are back up. He is now more determined than ever to play college ball. I have no doubt that he'll be back better than ever. Duke Sports Medicine is as good as it gets. Dr. Garrett is as good as it gets. We are very pleased to have access to such a fine institution. As a Michigan man I tip my hat to the Blue Devils-J and the rest of us thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

It seems we are looking at 5 months of recovery. Some make it back sooner. If anyone comes back sooner it will be Jordan, the kid's a freak of nature. Dr. Garrett agrees. According to the doc he has the strongest hamstring tendons he has ever seen. So his new ACL will be beastly.

PT starts Monday. It will be tough, but the boy is very ready to tackle this challenge. He wants to play in the CASL Shootout in early December. He just may do it!

On another note, started a new website 123moneyforfree. Check it out, make some $$$, get some free stuff. It's quite easy.


A precursor: Jordan attended the Ralph Lundy camp 2 weeks ago. It went great. Many colleges left impressed by my boy.

Next up was the University of Michigan camp. This is his first choice, the reason he has been training since he was five years old. The head of recruiting even sought him out before camp to discuss his future. The dream was coming true.

Camp started with a fitness test which of course he dominated. Next was the first scrimmage of the camp. Five minutes in it all came crashing down. Jordans' left knee blew apart. ACL-tore, meniscus and mcl-will know more after surgery.

Senior year leading Pinecrest to the state playoffs-gone, Region III with TFC-gone. An unbelievable turn of events for a kid that didn't deserve it. Hopes are now on salvaging a portion of club season. College soccer is a huge question mark now. What was a sure thing is anything but at this point.

How do you comfort a child that just had everything he has worked for taken away? I do not know the answer. We are staying positive, but it is very hard. The whole town is in a daze.

As his not so little brother Devan said, "How did this happen, that is Jordan, he's invincible". Jordan can't get hurt, he's "J HOW" for crying out loud.

He will be seen wednesday by Dr. Gates-Team Dr. for the Men's and Women's National Soccer Teams and Team Dr. for Duke University. I believe this really shows what kind of reputation my son has. People pulling strings to get him the best care and rehab.

He will be back, with a lot of prayers and hard work, we believe the Duke sports medicine machine will make him like new. He will play college ball.



Baseball! Devan has the bug. He thinks he may want to play baseball again. I am very excited about this development. We have been taking bp up at the local ballfield. He is hitting the cover of the ball. Should be good times.

Jordan is gearing up for the fall soccer season. He has received quite a bit of interest for college ball. Schools: Belmont Abbey, Lipschombe, Lander, West Virginia, Elon, Dayton, Wingate, Michigan, Virginia Tech, to name a few. He will have to start narrowing down after camp season. He will be playing in Raleigh again-Triangle Futbol Club. He will have fun.



been awhile

hey all, its been awhile. We have been very busy with the boys. Hockey, soccer, school. It has been non-stop. We have had tryouts, tournaments, games, etc. since I last posted. A quick update:

Jordan and his soccer team have made it to the state cup final four. They play next weekend and have a very good shot at winning the whole thing. He is playing at a unbelievable level right now, I believe he may just carry this team all the way to the championship. Hopefully he can continue at this level thru his soccer camps-Wingate and University of Michigan to name a couple.

Devan had a tryout for the east coast eagles Junior C team. He was one of the youngest players at the tryouts. The age cut-off is 20 yrs old. He played his heart out, but it was not meant to be yet. He had a good showing and we felt he had a legitimate chance to make the team, alas, he was cut. He was not that bummed, he knows he was pretty young for that level. He has AAA tryouts this weekend. The competition will be fierce, he will need to bring his best to make the team. I believe he will. We will keep everyone posted.

How about the Detroit teams-Pistons, Red Wings, Tigers, all playing very well. We may see a NBA championship, a Stanley Cup, and a World Series this year. How incredible would that be?


I know, I know

I know I promised to get back to the boys story. I will soon enough. It has been entirely to busy lately. The mighty Comets played in another inline tourney, taking the championship. Add another gold medal to Jordans' wall. The Sandhillls Thunder are enjoying a fine season. Undefeated and in 1st place with one game remaining. They should have a nice run at the State Cup.

Devan is gearing up for a slew of tryouts with a bit off fun mixed in. He will be playing in an iron man ice tourney. His team is the defending champs. It is a blast, a low stress weekend right before select tryouts. It will be fun.

I will get back to the story sometime this week. Stay tuned!


Back to our story-not so fast

We shall get back to our story very soon. Just got back from districts. We did manage to get a couple of days of some much needed r&r. The boys were able to watch their beloved Tigers play the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Jordan hobnobbed with Sheffield and got his autograph on a ball he got during batting practice. Devan did the same with the walrus Todd Jones. Jones tossed him a ball and then signed it. It was very cool. Now its back to the grind.


it's over

It is bittersweet. The hockey season has officially ended. We beat TPH 3-1 to set up a showdown with Team Maryland for a spot in the finals. Everything started well. We were dominating, just couldn't score. As as happened all season, the wheels came off. A couple of soft goals, a few dumb mistakes, stupid penalties, and it was 7-3. Game over. This was a hard team to figure out. One game they were awesome, next terrible. On to next year.

Jordan and his club soccer team improved to 3-0 beating a strong team from the coast. His team is very good. We are looking for a very good season from them. Now we shall enjoy the next couple of days at Siesta Key. A much deserved vacation.


Sunny Florida

Well at least the weather is nice. First game of districts did not go so good. We had two breakaways in the first 2 minutes and couldn't score on either. The everblades scored on their first shot. It never got any better. Final 4-1. We now must win the remainder of our games and get a little help to get to the finals. We shall see. Devan had a strong game. He was hitting anything that moved, he was a beast. I never have to worry about him, he always brings his A-game. Time to get a tan.



It has been awhile since I have posted anything. Have been very busy with the boys. We are heading to Districts in Florida Wednesday and just finished a full weekend of hockey/soccer. I will get back to the boys story just as soon as we get back from districts. I will try to update on the goings on in Florida. So until then, later.


Back To The Boys!

Ok, we had our first taste of travel sports and it tasted good. We had a pretty successful tourney in Raleigh and were ready for more. I knew the boys were good but they had to get better competition than what we had in the Sandhills Youth Inline Hockey League if we ever wanted to compete with the best.

Around the same time Jordan was asked to tryout for the Sandhills Youth Soccer Leagues' new U10 Classic team, The Sandhills Lightning. This team would be comprised of the best players in the SYSL recreation program. They would play teams from different cities and play some tournaments. Jordan needed this, there was very little competition for him in the rec league.

Tryouts went just as expected, Jordan and Coby Kavanaugh were clearly the top two, although a few others had good talent also. This was going to be a good team. My only concern at the time was the coaching, would the coaching be on par with the talent?

The team was chosen and practice began. Almost immediately the coach stepped down and a new one was named. I didn't have a clue about either guys so we just went with the flow. How good could this team be?


Busy Busy!

I have not had the opportunity to blog much the last week or so. The boys have been keeping us very busy. Devan just returned from a hockey trip to Maine and New Hampshire. They did pretty well only losing one game. Jordan and Murilo (our Brazilian, more on that later) have been busy with club soccer. Heather and myself have been busy with work and taxes. We will be leaving for New York in a few days for another hockey trip, then it's off to Florida for the district championships. Like I said busy busy.

I have also been working on another blog Forex For Profit. It is a description of my currency trading. I have designed a system (The Grail) that is proving to be quite profitable. Each day I put my trades on the blog for all to see, no cheating. Check it out. An

That's it for tonight, we are watching the MSU-UofM basketball game. It doesn't get any better than that. I will continue with the boys' saga tomorrow. Stay tuned. GO BLUE!


What it's all about

I am taking a break from our story. I would like to talk about this weekend and what I witnessed. Devan was down in Charleston, SC for his weekend Team Carolina practice. Jordan and the Carolina Comets decided to play a roller tournament in Raleigh, NC. It would be the first time that they have played in months. It is getting harder and harder for the guys to get together. Even though they are all dear friends, High School and other sports take up most of their time. As much as they are dedicated to their other sports, roller hockey is their first love. The Carolina Comets is their true love.

Anyway, it's Saturday and we have a break between games. I wondered over to the indoor soccer fields to pass some time. Out on the field is two teams. The kids couldn't have been over 6 years old. I stood their mesmerized. These kids were running back and forth, jumping up and down. They were having the time of their lives. What was so amazing you ask? From the coaches to the parents, everybody was just letting these kids play. Coaches were amazing, parents were excellent. I must have watched for at least 45 minutes. All the while memories of my boys flooding into my head. At one point I actually had to wipe away a tear. Not a tear of sadness, but a tear of joy, for I too remember when it was all for fun, all for the love of the game.

It doesn't matter what you are told or what you read, at some point an elite athlete and sports gets serious. Don't get me wrong, they still play because they love to, because they want to, it's just different. The kids lose some of that innocence. It is not a bad thing, its just different. As they get better, as they move up the athletic chain, the pressure gets greater, the expectations grow, the innocence slips away. As parents and players we try to hold onto that as long as possible, grip it tight because it goes. My advice to everyone is enjoy every moment, soak it all in. This is a great time, the best times of our lives.

It did not take long for reality to set back in, the Comets next game actually. More on that later. Remember, love the game, love the players, love the moment.


Raleigh here we come!

We were ready for the big time. We were ready to take the show on the road. The Carolina Hurricanes were having an Inline Hockey Tournament. Our team was decent, the boys were growing tired of playing Fayetteville, it was perfect. There would be teams from North and South Carolina, we thought it would be great to see how our boys measured up.

Off to Raleigh we went, kids and parents alike all chomping at the bit. We actually fared pretty well. We beat a few and lost a few. Jordan really stood out, scoring at will against everybody. One game he scored a few in regulation then won the game on the last shot of the shootout, incredibly exciting. Devan played very strong defense against boys 2-3 years older than him. The most memorable moment of his tourney came against a team called the biscuit bangers based out of the Gretzky Center in Raleigh. They were a very good team (eventual champs) and they were physically dominating us. Taking extra runs at both Jordan and Devan. One player in particular was really giving the boys a hard time. He was a year older than Jordan and quite a bit bigger. Donovan was his name. Anyway, late in the game he put a good lick on Devan, Dev got up and chased him all the way to the other end of the rink. They were going at it pretty good in the corner and suddenly Devan grabs Donovan by the Jersey and swings him around. They are now face to face and Devan is challenging him to a fight. Remember this kid is 3 years older and way way bigger. Devan could care less, he had (had) enough, he was going to settle it one way or the other. It would not have been pretty, thank god for big brothers as Jordan stepped in to quell the uprising. To this day Devan has backed down from no one. I think that day he decided he owned the rink, period! It helped that Jordan always kept an eye on his little brother, although he would never admit to it.

The boys hated the biscuit bangers, particularly Donovan. He was their arch-nemesis. Ironically, later on, Jordan and Pat Donovan would become good friends and teammates. Small world. All in all it was a very successful trip to Raleigh and it set the stage for bigger and better things to come. Look out world, here come the Howlett boys.



Lo and behold the hockey league was a success. I do not remember exact numbers but after the initial short season, it blew up. I believe we had almost 200 players at one point. It was fantastic, and of course the Howlett boys owned it. It was only fitting that Devan scored the very first goal in the Sandhills Youth Inline Hockey League. The SYIHL was just what the doctor ordered. The boys were happy to be playing, I was happy to be coaching. We were having a blast. Jeff and I decided to form a travel team. It was comprised of the top players in the league. We were u10 team, which Devan made as a 7 year old. This meant both boys playing on the same team, life ws good. Early on we would scrimmage a team from Fayetteville, NC. They were close and they were good. I don't think we ever beat them but the boys had a blast. Things would get quite interesting in short order in the SYIHL, more on that later.

Pinehurst was treating us well on all fronts. Heather loved her job, I had found a decent job, and the boys had their sports. They were both excelling on the hockey rink (we had built a makeshift rink at the old tennis courts), kicking butt on the soccer fields, and hanging tough in the local little league. We were cruising, and it would only get better.


The big move

1998! The year of the big move. Pinehurst, North Carolina here we come!

Everything was going good in Michigan. Family, friends, sports, we couldn't complain. We were content, but we always had the itch. We always wondered what it would be like somewhere else. Heather graduated from college and started getting job interviews. One such interview was in Pinehurst. We thought what the heck, at least we'll get a free vacation out of it.

We both knew the minute we got there that Pinehurst was where we wanted our children to grow up. There was no doubt in either of our minds. It was so beautiful, so serene. This was our place. Within a month of the interview we were on our way.

It meant no ice hockey for Devan, but ample opportunities in soccer and baseball for both boys. We figured that Devan would use his hockey blood and excel at football. I had always pictured him as a heck of a middle linebacker. It would be fine.

Jordan immediately started making a name for himself on the soccer field and the baseball diamond. All the way to North Carolina and he was still the strongest and fastest, although the competition was quite a bit better. Devans physical style won him many fans on the soccer field, and his sweet swing drew many oohs and ahs. Everything was going great.

To our surprise there were a decent amount of kids who liked to play street hockey. They would play at birthday parties, weekend get-togethers, etc. Soon they were getting together during the week to play. The same 7-8 kids played whenever they could. It was great!

Jordan had a friend by the name of Scott. His dad, a local born and raised, was a huge fan of the Carolina Hurricanes. We would talk hockey for hours while the kids played. One night he had a crazy idea, he wanted to start a local inline league. Remember, North Carolina circa 1998 was not exactly the hot bed for hockey. We had our little group that played, and not much else. I figured what the heck, it will give the kids a place to play, I was all for it, although quite skeptical that we could actually get enough kids for a legitimate league. We recruited a few other families to help, and the league was a go. Our life has never been the same, thank you Jeff and Marybeth.


Recreation argh!

I speak from past experiences when I say that recreational leagues are very tough on the good athletes. As a dad/coach of such children I witnessed first hand the jealousy and back biting that goes on in these leagues. Not from the children, from the parents. surprise, surprise. It is absolutely ridiculous how some parents act. Everybody wants their children to do well, to be the best. I am no different.

I believe it has actually gotten worse. The things I see on the news, read in the newspaper, are unbelievable. Parents attacking coaches, beating up referees, I think it has gotten much worse. We have always had the screaming parents, the out of control kids, who of course were the spawn of the screaming parents, but we didn't have the physical confrontations. The parent yelled and carried on, the kid threw his equipment and stormed off in a tantrum, but that was it. Now we have physical confrontation. It is unacceptable.

No more downers, tomorrow we check back in with Jordan and Devan and the big move! It will change everything.


What Next

Now we are aware of my boys and their athletic prowess at an early age. What do we do? It is important to remember what age we are talking about. Jordan and his soccer, Devan and his hockey. Jordan is 2yrs older than Devan so early on he was able to train a little harder.

Jordan started practicing really hard when he was about 8yrs old. I did not and still do not have to remind him. He is and was very focused from early on. He wanted to be the best. Jordy, as we like to call him, would wake up by 7:00am on game day and put his uniform on. He would sit there all day dressed and ready for the game. He did the same thing for practice, dressed and ready to play hours before. He would play a game, come home and play for hours more. Didn't matter what sport, he practiced them all. He was very intense and focused for a kid that was only 7-8. His little league coach, a very respected coach in our area, told him after the season that he could go as far as he wanted in baseball. He was that talented. He was already getting noticed.

Devan on the other hand wanted to play hockey and hit baseballs. He would go to his soccer practices and practice hard, but when he got home, he would hit baseballs and shoot hockey pucks,rarely playing catch, he never much cared for the fielding part of the game. I've always said he has the most beautiful swing I've ever seen. Flawless, he could hit the snot out of a baseball. We already know the story about shooting hockey pucks, unbelievable. Unfortunately we did not have the money for him to play ice hockey when he was little (4-6 yrs) so he played t-ball and soccer. He was very good at both, but we always knew he was a hockey player. Think about a kid with hockey blood running through his veins playing soccer and baseball. Yeah, it was as bad as you think. To put it mildly, he was rough. Numerous kids can attest to Devans' aggressive play. He played stopper in soccer, and boy did he stop them. Many a kid left the field bruised and crying after tangling with the D-man. Same story in baseball. Sometimes I believe he intentionally slowed down so he could plow through the second or third basemen. And he was only 5.

The two boys couldn't have been any different in their approach to sports. One relied on force, the other on blazing speed, both very effective. It did, however, make for some very interesting day around the house. Lots of arguments and wrestling matches, it was great!


Kids, Sports, Parents

We have touched on the budding of the superstars, we have touched base on some initial training, now the good stuff. PARENTS! We all have them, we all love them, but boy can they be embarrassing.

Competitive athletics and parents go together about as good as oil and water, they don't. All of us have had our moments. We yell at the coach, we scream at the ref, we chew out our child. I am not going to lie, I've had them too. As I have aged (gracefully I might add) I have learned many valuable lessons as parent/coach, none more important than let the kids play. Notice I said play. Don't get me wrong, I want my kids to win, win, win, win, but more importantly I want them to have fun. They put enough pressure on themselves, they do not need me harping all the time. I let them know what is expected-100% effort, be a team player, good sportsmanship, and have fun. Here is an excellent article from USA Hockey about parents and sports. It is a must read.

I will divulge my bad behavior (as well as my good) as we move along in the timeline. No question I was an idiot at times, took the fun out of sports at times, was a complete jerk at times. I have seen the errors of my ways, I hope you can too. Remember its never to late to change. LET THE KIDS HAVE FUN! That's what it's about, that's what you want them to remember 20 years from now. LET THE KIDS PLAY, it is only a game for crying out loud.


Kids And Training

How young do you start sports training your kids? That is the age old question. Everybody has an opinion. Don't start training until they are such and such an age. They are growing, it will stunt their growth. I've heard them all.

I have a simple answer to this age old question. Give them as much as they can handle. It sounds simplistic, yet if you think about it, it's just common sense. Now I would never advocate weight training for 5 year olds, I would however advocate some kind of physical fitness.

What do most kids love to do more than anything? Play! I have never met a child that didn't want to play. Whether it be tag, dodgeball (I know it's the worst), kickball, whatever. Kids want to play. Our jobs as parents is to make sure they play. It really is that simple for the young kids. Play, play, play, play, just play.

When my kids were this young they ran. They ran through the house, they ran through the yard, heck they ran through the grocery store. I didn't care, I knew the running was making them better. They didn't know it, but I sure did. In my earlier posts I talked about my oldest being faster and stronger than everybody else. He got that way by running. Run, run, run. And you know what, little brother Devan wanted to be like big brother Jordan so he ran too. Always trying to catch up, he ran. To this day, both boys can still out run most anyone.

This is my first piece of advice. Get your young athletes running. They will be training and they won't even know it. An even better idea: Run with them, they will love it and so will you!


Devan has "it"!

My buddy Mike would come over to the house on the weekends to watch sports. We would watch all the games. University of Michigan, Michigan State, Lions, Tigers, Piston, and Red Wings. It did not matter to us, we were sports fanatics. If a game was on, we watched.

Both boys absolutely loved to watch with us. Running around the house, sports gear everywhere, they would pretend they were the athletes on the screen. Mimicking every play. This would go on until the wee hours, into the late Pac 10 games. It was a blast, we couldn't wait for the weekend.

One weekend sticks out in my mind more than any other. We were watching the Detroit Red Wings. Devan as usual had his little hockey set, playing with the guys on tv. He would really get into it. Shooting the puck(foam ball) all around the house, tear after it, whack it back across the house, chase back after it. He was having a blast. In between periods the Red Wings had a fan come down. The fan had a chance to win a decent chunk of change if he could hit the puck through a little slot in the goal from center ice. Can't be that hard right? Wrong! the guy didn't even come close.

Brilliant that we were, we decide to go out side and give it a go. I had pavement all the way from the back door to the fence, which was probably 30-40ft. One slat of the fence had broken off, it was a little wider than a puck. Perfect we thought. We grabbed my hockey stick and a street hockey puck. Can't be that hard right? Wrong. I played a bit of pond hockey growing up and was half way decent. I took a shot. No, another, no no no no no. I don't know how many times I tried, it was a bunch, and never came close. Next up was Mike. No...........no......no. Same results, this was pretty difficult for the regular Joe.

Devan is out there the whole time with his fisher price skates, his little stick, and a tennis ball, whacking it against the neighbors garage. Patiently waiting his turn. I set him up about ten feet from the slat, put the tennis ball down and stepped back. He immediately kicks the ball back towards the house, tosses the little stick the same way. He grabs my stick and the puck, skates(sort of) back to where we were shooting from, puts the puck down and fires.

I still can't believe what took place. Not only did he make it, the puck never even glanced the fence. Went through clean as a whistle. We are stunned! We look at each other and laugh. "No way he can do that again" I said in disbelief. Mike gets the puck, Devan sets it down, takes a shot, and perfect. Hooting and hollering the whole time, telling us how crappie we were. He must have shot 20 times and put damn near every one right through that slat. We were dumbfounded, this was unbelievable. He finally misses 3-4 in a row, storms off into the house, sits down, and watches the rest of the game.

Mike turns to me with a serious look and says "He has got to play hockey". I, still stunned, just nod my head in agreement. At that instant I knew he had "it". Just like his big brother, he had "it".



Absolutely amazing! That was the first thought that popped into my head the first time I watched Jordan play soccer. As he was racing down the field, ball glued to his foot, all I could think of was "college scholarship". It may not have been the correct thing to think of about a 1st grader, but man, he was good! Nobody could stop him. He was faster, stronger, and just plain better than anybody out there. He had barely played the game yet he looked like a pro compared to other kids his age. The whole season played out this way, nobody in the whole league was even close. I had a superstar.

As an athlete myself, I knew with hard work, this boy could use sports to make all his dreams come true. It was and is my job to guide him down the right path, to see that he makes the most out of his gift.

Devan at 4 yrs old was quite the character. He didn't have his brothers eye-popping skills (yet).
What he did have that set him apart even at that age was brains and heart to spare. He probably knew more about sports than most adults, and man did he love that little hockey set "uncle Jamie" had gotten him. He was always game to take on big brother, always thinking he would win. Can't even count how many times Devan would come in hollering "Jordan cheated, he's a cheater, I won and he cheated". Jordan right behind him screaming "you little baby, I didn't cheat, you cheated, I won fair and square". I was pretty competitive growing up but I couldn't hold a candle to these two. The two most competitive people I have ever known. They sure love each other, but give them a bat, a ball, a puck, weights, heck even darts, and it is on. So began our odyssey into youth athletics, and what a ride it has been.


The beginning!

We all know how it starts, your child picks up a bat, kicks a ball, or throws a pass. You think "he has it". We have all been there. I have been lucky enough that my first thoughts were right on the money. My boys "have it". I have been blessed. Not only are they great kids, they are phenomenal athletes.

Ever since they hit their first ball, threw their first pass, took their first slapshot, it was quite obvious to me and everyone around that my boys were special. They have not disappointed.
It has been quite the journey so far, and I expect it shall continue.

I hope to convey to everyone the trials and tribulations, the victories and defeats, the success, the failure we have endured through the years. Many points will be covered, from training tips to travel tips, I hope to help the parents of all athletes enjoy the journey just a bit more. I hope you enjoy!