It’s no surprise that Hunter loves sports. It doesn’t quite matter what the sport is, he loves them all. He finished up basketball season just before spring break and I learned something this season while watching him.
He may not be the best player on the court/field, but the kid knows how to hustle. What he lacks in skill, he makes up for in grit and that alone makes him fun to watch. He learned early this season that his most valuable shot to practice was the lay-up and he spent many afternoons practicing. I think he made all of his points this year on that one shot – it paid off over and over again.
His last game (tournament game) the play was a little rough. He took some hard hits and one undercut from behind as he shot the ball. He fell from a jumping position flat on his back and hit his head hard on the floor. He didn’t get up right away, he went into the fetal position holding his head and crying. He’s usually a pretty tough kid so we knew he was in some pain. We got him off the court and evaluated him – he seemed to be doing okay, he definitely got the wind knocked out of him and he was taken some time on the bench. We went back and sat in the bleachers – didn’t think much about it.
At half-time a mom of a team mate who is a nurse came to talk with us and asked if she could go take a look at him. Even before looking at him she thought he had a concussion because of how loud it was when he hit the floor. That’s not what I wanted to hear – it was his final game of the season, it was a close three-point game, the team needed Hunter. She took a look at him and said he shouldn’t go back in. (She also thought he had hit his head earlier in the game, so this was the second hit, but it was only his first time hitting his head, he landed on his elbow the other time.)
Once again, my gut was telling me he was fine but I wasn’t a nurse. And really I wasn’t sure if my desire to have him play was clouding my judgement for his safety. Before the nurse returned to her seat she said if it was her son, she wouldn’t let him back in and we shouldn’t let Hunter back on the court. Now if I let him play I look like the worst mom on the planet! Instead, we left it up to Hunter. He heard what the nurse suggested and we reiterated to him the risk and then we walked away from the bench.
He didn’t end up going back in the game on his own accord. I’ll be honest, it was a little hard to watch, especially as his team started to implode. His teacher showed up at the game and he wasn’t playing. Our friends showed up and he wasn’t playing. He just sat at the end of the bench for his final game.
I’m glad he made the decision for himself and it wasn’t something forced upon him. In the end, I don’t think he had a concussion. He never displayed any of the symptoms – and we watched him closely. (Shockingly he didn’t even have a goose egg.) However, the game did get even more physical so perhaps had he stayed in he would have been more seriously injured.
At the close of this season, we thought we would be moving on to the next sport – Flag football – his very favorite sport…but that season has been cancelled. It didn’t cross my mind that watching that last tournament game would be our last sporting event for a long time!
Normally life with 5 kids is pretty manageable. We have been very deliberate as to what we put our kids in to make sure everything stays manageable. Although Saturday we had the perfect storm of activities and there was some serious juggling.
Hallie had a tennis tournament at 9. Steve took her at 8:30 to warm up and I joined with the other kids at 9. Steve had to leave shortly after to conduct a funeral service. A friend (who also had a girl at the tennis tournament) took Bennett to his soccer round robin tournament while we watched Hallie. The progress she’s made in the last 5 months has been amazing.
After Hallie and our friend’s daughter were finished with tennis we went to Bennett’s tournament where Steve met us after the funeral. After Bennett’s tournament, Bennett had additional soccer at another location that he had to rush off to. He claims soccer is his favorite sport and he is working so hard to improve. He has more drive and dedication than all the other kids combined. Drive will take him far in life.
Hallie and the little kids went home (to nap) while we rushed off to Hunter’s soccer game.
Hunter’s game was in the heat of the day and I had already been outside for four hours. My legs are nice and red after this additional hour and a half in the sun. Hunter loves all sports and soccer just happens to be what he plays competitively – at least this year.
This game was a little hard to watch as the ref lost control of the game early on and it just got ugly, real ugly. The team that we were playing knew how to play dirty and there wasn’t a ref stopping them.
Hunter took a couple hits in the back – most of which were when the ball was in play. However there was a two hand shove after the play stopped and he fell face first onto the ground. I think he was surprised more than anything but it also hurt to hit the ground that hard – there’s not a lot of grass to pad the fall.
The longer the game went on the harder it was to watch. We’ve played a lot of teams and we haven’t met this kind of cheap physical play. It wasn’t until the very end of the game when one of the other team’s players had had his 13th 2nd chance and he was asked to get off the field. Not with a red card. Not with a penalty kick. He was just asked to leave. We had two goals that were called back for one reason or another so when the game ended in a tie it was a tough ending. Fortunately, there were no broken bones, just a few scrapes and bruises.
We pulled in the driveway at 3pm with Hallie asking to go play basketball and go to the temple with friends. We hopped back in the car to drop her off and pick up a trampoline off craigslist to replace ours that flew over the fence and folded like a taco back in July.
Of course we ended the evening building a trampoline which is not what I had in mind after a long day but the kids were dying to get it put together.
Both Steve and I sat on the bed last night amazed that we made it through an abnormally busy day. In fact, I can’t recall any Saturday that we’ve run around that much. Normally we wouldn’t sign up for conflicting events but Hallie’s tournament was a make up from the week before when it rained and you never plan for funerals, right!? Friends helped get kids to and from and that’s the only way it was possible. I said multiple times, “It takes a village”.
Luckily, I really do love watching my kids play sports at all levels and we do make that a priority as a family. Even when the cheering squad ends up cheering at just the wrong time during a tennis match! I need to teach them a golf clap – they think they’re in a basketball gymnasium! 🙂
I know college football isn’t for everyone (hard to believe) – but for us it’s a family affair. We enjoy college football as a family. We follow teams. We celebrate wins. And we mourn the losses. What can I say, we are committed.
We are committed to watching games at home – following teams we’ve grown to love over the years – Saturday afternoon is for folding laundry and football.
We are also committed to the Sun Devils. I wish they were better than they are – but we are committed because we live close, we have tickets and it’s something we all enjoy doing.
We are so committed, we attend early season games when it is down right miserable outside. How miserable you might ask? When it’s 107* at 8:30 at night – and your clothes stick to you when you stand up from the metal seats. Not going to lie – its a little miserable. But look at all these happy sweaty faces! (minus Hunter who was at a swim birthday party which sounded infinitely better than a hot and sweaty stadium!)
Looking forward to the game this weekend when it’s a high of 95 – It will feel dreamy!
Here’s to another amazing college football weekend. Good luck to your favorite teams – unless they’re playing ASU, Boise State, Wisconsin or BYU! 🙂
Hunter came home from school one day saying he really wanted to sign up for a football league. I did some research and called a few leagues and found one that hadn’t closed their roster yet – we had three days to decide if wanted to play and they would place him on a team.
In Hunter’s mind that meant he had three days to find 10 kids who wanted to play and convince a parent to coach them.
The coach part was easy – Steve was quick to volunteer. Hunter went to school the next day and came home with a sticky note full of 10 names: 9 boys and 1 girl. They all agreed at recess to play on the team. That meant me calling each parent (luckily the sticky note included some phone numbers) to see if they really wanted their kid playing. Every kid was in. In 48 hours, Hunter had fielded a team to play on!
Hunter and Steve had the time of their life – I’m not sure which one had more fun! They would sit in the kitchen before games looking at the index card plays talking about how to improve their game. Then there was the post-game talk, reliving memorable plays or calls.
They were fun to watch and each game there was improvement.
Hunter LOVES football. He has carried a football around the house for years. The first sport he tried was football. He’s moved on to other sports, but recess football is still in his blood and he was living his 10 year-old best life back on the field.
He was good for a touchdown or two each game and I have countless shots that look just like this – him running and juking and running some more!
They were hoping to take the championship – but it just wasn’t in the cards this year. In the tournament they lost to the championship team in 5 overtimes. (Which we heard from the league was unheard of since we were a new, inexperienced team) It was heartbreaking for this little team. I’m sure they’ll be committed to coming back next year and trying again!
They love the game and even more they loved the time together.
Football season is coming to a close and the tournament starts this weekend. Hunter has carried a football around the house since he was little. And even then, this is only the second time he’s played in a league. But he loves this sport. He loves watching it, he loves playing it, he loves talking about it.
I have a slew of pictures just like this one of him diving through the air in an attempt to intercept or block. I’ll miss watching him play, but I won’t miss baking in the sun while he plays.