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.