Saturday, June 28, 2014

Spring Baseball // Dragons // 2014

You may remember a few years back we took a stab at soccer. You may also remember it was painful. I mean, for the most part, Chaz did good.. it was the hubs that was a problem. With that, we took some time off from sports and let Chaz grow up a little. It was a necessary thing and I am really glad we did it. Fast forward to 2014 and we decided to jump back in, not to soccer of course but rather baseball. You see, my hubs has always been a fan of baseball and was quite the player back in his day. This really seemed a natural fit and Chaz was pumped to play.

I was a little overwhelmed at how we were going to manage work, pick-up, dinner and 5:30 practices and games but we did it! I will also admit, I was a little wary of this whole baseball thing. I grew up with my Papa watching it on TV and it was soooooo boring. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love to go watch the Hogs and cheer them on but could little kid baseball be that exciting?!?! I guess only time will tell.

Here is a look and a total picture overload at Spring Season 2014! Gooooooooo Dragons!!!

Practice. I wasn't really sure what to expect but I knew we would have to keep the baby occupied so I brought the Avengers, or as he would say... his "mens."
The hubs immediately jumped in, introduced himself and offered to help wherever possible.
Chaz was pretty hesitant at first. Many of these kiddos had played T-ball the previous year and had some kind of experience. Yes, I did have that moment of "Oh God! Not the soccer experience again!!"
Baby brother was ready to cheer him on. He was quite the handful that day.
I was so proud when Chaz decided he was all in to listen and learn as much as he could!
And equally proud of the hubs and his patience with all the kiddos.
The hubs and the main coach made a non verbal agreement NOT to coach their own kiddos. It is less stress for all parties involved.
Yes, I resulted to giving him my iPhone. The things you do to entertain.
And yes, they are six and seven so there was a lot of dirt kicking while they were bored.
By the time the second practice rolled around we had Tshirts and had practiced a little more.
I still had this little one to contend with but as long as he was playing with his "mens" and getting dirty he was a pretty happy fellow.
Chaz got a lot of batting practice, which was nice. It is his favor part of the game and he needed the practice.
Small team meetings were necessary to keep the kids focused. Did I mention they were 6 and 7??
Still being awesome!
Chaz was so excited that Dane was there to watch him. He kept coming over asking "Did you see that?!?" It was precious.

He had some fielding time as well which was really good. This was probably their biggest area for improvement as a team. Practice. Practice.
Ugh, baseball fields are SOOOO dirty. This drives this OCD momma crazy!

And then it was time for the first big game. To say this momma was nervous is probably an understatement. You know, you just want your kids to have a good time, do good and be proud of themselves. He was SO excited!
I think he daddy was pretty pumped as well. Time for a little pregame warm-up!
How else do you distract the baby? Feed him. Don't judge on what the food is, just know he was well contained.
Funny sidebar, Chaz actually had two good buddies end up on his team. One was Owen who he had been in daycare with when he was little. Roughly from 3 months to 4 years.  The other is Noah who had been in daycare with Owen and Chaz about the same amount of time and we remained semi close to over the years. His momma and I were actually best friends all growing up. Strange how small this world really is.

Owen is a fantastic baseball player!
And his little brother Hayes provided Dane some much needed companionship.
Chaz's cousin Jackson was at the first game to cheer him on!
Chaz was ready. Really ready!
As were the rest of the kiddos! The energy was a bit contagious! Who knew these little guys had this in them!
Chaz was up to bat and so excited. Notice the finger gesture from the hubs "keep your eye on the ball" Yeah, no pressure.
This was probably my favorite part of the day... You know when you watch baseball, they tend to slide into home. It makes the game that much more exciting. Well, why wouldn't you try that when you got to cross home for the first time.
Or you could kind of roll and flop on the ground because this isn't really in your zone just yet. AH-mazing!
He came up with a GIANT grin and that is really all that matters!
And we were on a roll! We still couldn't field to save our lives but the boys could certainly hit them in!
J.Walk, this little kiddo quickly became one of my favs. Not only was he good, he was the sweetest kid on the team... hands down. He was always so encouraging and was super sweet if a teammate got upset for being out. Great kid!
This is Noah. He is just a ball of energy!
Coach Bo is so patient and kind with the kiddos. We really loved his style!
Some of the kiddos, Noah in this particular instance, were not as patient.
Jackson still 100% into the game. Such a strong supporter!
Annnnnnnd sometimes we don't run fast enough and almost get ran over by our teammate. I guess as long as we are scoring it doesn't really matter at this point. HA!
Thanks to Gaga for chasing the beast when he tried to escape! She is such a keeper!
And we keep on going and going and going..
Good job, guys! We call this a win*!   *note for the season. This league doesn't keep score but we do in our head.
Cutest little baseball player EVER!!
Game 2, let's do this!

Before the games we need a pep-talk. This became a BIG part of starting them all off with the right attitude and excitement.
There he is again, with his mens.
So cute and so grown up all at the same time.
The thing about Chaz is! This boy is amazing!!
Noah was up next!
The little brothers were either bored or 100% into the game, there really wasn't an in between.
Mac was one of the certain rockstars of the team. He is coach Bo's kiddo. He could certainly knock the skin off the ball. I can't wait to see how he progresses into next year.
And with that CHAZ SCORES!! I don't care if it is blurry! He was so excited and loves to look back on these pictures.
His daddy was pretty proud of him too!
You see that little wave to the left? That is for his cheering squad! Yes, the whole family was usually in attendance to watch our little star!
Time out to show the hubs his mens.
J.Walk making the stop!
I tell you, these kids could hit and run them in!
Love this little rockstar!
The hubs was SUCH a good coach. He was so encouraging and never made the kids feel undervalued. This is such an important thing at this age. I am so glad we didn't end up on a team with a yelling coach.
There is that "slide" method. I don't understand why he kept doing this other than he thought it looked "cool." Hahahaha!
So happy!
Yep... guess what he is doing.. HA!
Probably one of my favorite parts of the game. Excellent sportsmanship.
It was time for Game 3 and the hubs decided he needed to practice before. The kiddo was super excited!
Campbell and crew were there to play with Dane and cheer on Chaz. We were lucky that they had a few instances where their games were before ours and they were able to stay and watch him play.
Yes, this is how I kept him occupied most of the season. No judging, there are times I resort to this..
Back to the boys! Baseball ready.
I really loved watching these two this year. Sometimes it was a little intense but overall they both did a fantastic job!

Over the few months we were together, I really started to fall in love with these little guys. JWalk was certainly one of my favs. He was awesome!!

They were all just so very sweet and full of life! that one in the middle! HA!

Sometimes verbal coaching doesn't work as well as physical coaching. "Move back in the box.. Noah, move back a little.." Ok, just pick him up and place him. You will soon see, he wasn't the only one!
There you go! Nice one!
A little Daddy coaching. I have to say, the hubs showed great patience this year! Impressive.
Annnnnnnnnnnd, there it is. HA!
Nothin' cuter than my little guy in a semi crooked uniform. LOVE!
RUN! He looks a bit like a gazelle when he runs but is wickedly fast!
I was  really quite surprise with how much I loved this. I thought it would be a little like watching paint dry, to be honest. But it was a blast. The kids kept it going and had great energy. If you were to hear me and the moms, you would have thought we were watching the World Series.
So precious!

Game 4: I think they were ready to play!
Of course, support from the little brothers is always a must. This is Hayes, Owen's little bro.

Run, my little gazelle, run!!!
You think we said "baseball ready" enough? Good listening for 90% of the group!
Yep, in the dugout watching a movie on my phone. I think this was the one game where we didn't have any family to help. We managed, he was somewhat compliant.
The kids were actually pretty good, for six/seven year-olds, at communicating in the field. There were some great plays and awesome outs!
A little break time in the dugout.

And then back at it. They rocked this game!!
Except for this moment... which wasn't a bonus. Sometimes he needed a bit of a scolding.
Owen, so cute!
Some more of the infield action.
One of my favorite things was the running faces. I was able to grab some of them throughout the season. Here is Chaz's silliness.
More running faces!
Mac was pretty good at the outrun and tag. YOU ARE OUT!
A little smug about it but wouldn't you be??!
"Mommy, I take pictures like you!!" Backwards and a kid camera... ok, buddy!
Chaz was even able to get in on some good fielding action. This is our weak point but they did a decent job.
And the JWalk/Owen combo!
Brothers doing what brothers do.
Game over. Great job, boys!!
And then a tradition was born. Coach Bo decided that every time they won, they would race the hubs to the fence and back. Annnnnnnnnd GO!
I love how Mac tried to block him in this one!
The boys thought it was hilarious. It really became motivation for them during the game. They all wanted to win!
And then there is this... I mean, seriously. This could be on a poster or in a book somewhere.

Game 5: I upped my game. Time to bring the mens AND a blanket. Yep, a designated spot to park him. We shall see if this works!
Getting ready to rock!
And they started off strong!
The hubs was pitching this game. Very much out of his comfort zone but he did a good job!
Taking a little rest. He may kill me for saying this but I just think he is such a doll!!
The facial expressions in the next few are by FAR my favorites!!

Lots of good fielding!
LOVE the faces! Pay no attention to the lady with the mask...
Not sure about this one but I think it is a riot.
Running faces... the BEST!
That tongue! Oh my goodness!!
The face of sheer bliss!! He was SO proud of himself!
Owen just has the look of a baseball player. Love it!
Sassy sister. Love this one!!

More awesome running faces.. and he even gets on base without being able to actually see the base. HA!

What is it with the tongues?!?!
Nice moves!
So intense.
Love the slide in to first!
Game over. Nice job, guys!
A little pow-wow, as usual.
They played a great game but didn't take home the win. We came together to congratulate ourselves on a good game and do the regular "Goooooooooooooooooo DRAGONS!!" chant..
But today there would be no race to the fence to beat the hubs.

Game 6: This was a later evening game. I was curious of how they would handle it but they were pumped and ready to win!
The "Let's go" chant still lives. Oddly enough, it makes my skin crawl. HAHA!!
Think he is ready to run!?!?
Grant had and awesome "run-face" as well.

And then this happened, again. Yes, this is a "slide" into home. What the heck? He looks like he bit it but he was, in fact, trying to slide into home. He runs like a gazelle but slides like a train wreck. Surely there is a happy medium here?!?!
He was happy. I guess he didn't see the replay of his pure grace!
More runs..
More tags..
More Baseball ready...
And more throws.
These kiddos were on fire!!!

I guess nighttime games are really their thing!
Love, love, love this face!!
RUN!! I am pretty sure they could hear me cheering in the next county over. I was a wee bit vocal.
There is that pretty gazelle leap!
I look over the fence to see this. A bunch of the siblings conspiring to do who knows what. Silly kiddos.

I love this. We had a few rough patches in our season. Typical craptastic behavior you always hear about from the parents. Seriously, the kids behave but the parents get out of line? Not acceptable. This coach was a class act. He was VERY encouraging of all the boys, not just his team.!
Killing it!
Great, great game!! We were worried about the time but y'all rocked it!
And yes, they got to run!
If I haven't mentioned it before, which I am sure I have, I will say it again, we have an AMAZING support system. Almost every game we had several people from the family--Gaga, Papa, Meme, Sandra, Michelle, Mark, Alexis, Ian, Kelsey, Gayle, Mah, Dah, EA, Marcy, Cameron, Jackson, Campbell, Davis and many friends. AH-Mazing! All for this little guy. He is so loved. Kelsey was so excited to get her pic with him.
Game7: This one was special. We were playing against his cousin Jackson's team. Fun times.
There is Jackson!

Dude, you can't steal home in this league. Nice try. Way to be fair, Coach!
There is that leaping gazelle.
They all played such a good game. It was so fun to watch the cousins get excited about watching each other play. Chaz kept turning around to me as saying "Mom, there is Jackson. Did you see him? Did you see Jackson??"
Chaz played a FANTASTIC game. I was one proud momma!!

One of my favorite pictures of the season.
Love seeing them in the same shot. They are both getting SO big!

SUCH determination!
Nice run, buddy!
Yes, he was there cheering him on!! Go brother!!!

Cutie pie with some coaching from Uncle Ry.
Nice job, Jackson!
Sweet boy watching so intently.
We had lots of love and support this year. ALL of the family was there on several occasions and some of the neighbor friends as well as other friends joined the fun. Brooke and the kiddos all came.
Dane being Dane.
RUN, you cute little gazelle!!
Notice the hub's younger brother right over his right shoulder. I love it!
This is a happy hug! The hubs was so proud of his boy!
Maybe the gazelle run is in the genes.
Love this picture. You can tell he was really enjoying the game.
His best bud came to support. Thanks, Hayes!

Love this one of  Jackson!

Game over! Great game, kiddos!!!
Team round-up.
Yep, they got to run!! They were beside themselves with excitement!
Chaz and his best buds!
And the cousin picture! Such cuties!!!

Game8 -- ready or not!
Love having family here to support and help with the little man! This time it was Aunt EA, Dah and Mah. Thanks, guys!
Looks like he was ready to work it!
This face, I just can't!
They are all just precious tough little dudes
Nice work you leaping lizard!
One of my favorite parts was high fiving the kiddos when they came into the dugout after a great run. They loves it and so did we!
I love this face! He was looking right at the fam in the stands! By this point everyone was there! Mah, Dah, EA, Gaga, Papa, Sandra, Meme.. The entire crew!!
Yep, you should be proud! Good job, little buddy!!!
Deep thoughts!

Nice run, Mac!!

Love this! Love my hubs face. He was so proud of those boys!
It was hot!! But the baby was still in a great mood and ready to cheer on his "boys."
The improvement from game 1 to game 8 was insane! They could hit, they learned to run..FAST and they managed to have some pretty good fielding. I this this came from the proper coaching (lots of fun, no yelling!) practice, practice, practice and dedication from the boys. They really wanted to play hard and win!
There is my gazelle!
If you could hear me you would hear RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNN!
Buuuuuuuuut sometimes you get bored and play with your lips. Whatever.
Yeah, brush it off, JWalk! You are awesome!
and a much calmer slide.

The light for the evening games was just amazing!!
Nice form, Noah!
Game over, kiddos!
A little post game moment between coach father and son!
Coming together to discuss the highs and lows of the game.
And yes, they did it again! W-I-N!
After the game they were nice enough to pose on this weird crooked tree. I literally just started snapping. They sure shined for the camera! Cuties!! Chaz is very used to me and my camera. Dane is still finding his proper "smile" face. Either way, I think they are simply adorable!!

Practice before the last game-- the little brothers were like two little peas in a pod.
Ready to practice.
Even the pups got to join.
After some practice and pizza it was time to get on the field. The boys were ready!
A little pep talk and gloves from daddy coach.
I love when you can see him beam with pride!!
and his dad was super proud of him too!!

Nice work, Owen!!
More support from his buddy, Hayes! He was so excited to hang out in the dugout.
I am not sure what he ate, but it was blue. That face!
This may have been caused by his boredom with waiting for the other team but the dust looks cool. HA!
So much excitement in this pictures. I love these kiddos!!

This is a fav too!!
And then there is this... The brother rigs his men in the fence when he is bored. Don't touch them, whatever you do!!
C'mon buddy! Knock it out of the park!!
Ready to run!
Nice run, JWalk!
C'mon Owen!!
THAT'S my boy!!!
This may have been the most exciting game. The boys were killing it!!
Future superstar!!
C'mon, Coach Bo! You got this!
Nice runs boys!!
Game over! Great sportsmanship, as usual! Love these kiddos!

What? You don't do armpit noises when your team wins? Whatever. #boys.
The talk..
And the run! YAYAYAYAYAYAY!! You boys earned this one, for sure!!
And then, because this was the last official game, it was time for awards.
He was SO excited. Except for his Jump rope for Hearts, he has never received a trophy. This was is super special!
More awards, more awesome kiddos.
Group photo.!?!
or sillier?!?
LOVE him! He had such a great season. He tried his hardest, embraced the challenges and came out on top. A+, buddy! You earned every bit of this!
And a little pose time with his BFF.
Someone found his favorite spot, with his Papa!
And eating some candy.
Gooooooooooooooooooo, Dragons!!!
Tournament time!!! Game 1: We were practiced and ready to go! The boys really wanted to win so they could keep on playing. They were having a blast!!!! We had gone from beginning of the season when were had long sleeves under their uniforms to the boys asking if they had baseball uniforms with shorts!

Ummmmm, stop looking back and ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun. This started this game and was maddening! What is in the world is he looking at?!?!

We played against our buddy and neighbor, Landon.

RUN, Owen!!
Nice work, Mac!
Love this! Such a little man!
Baseball ready!
Papa being score-keeping and Dane being Dane.
And sometimes, you lose your s*!t because a girl gets you out. It is life buddy, we can play your game too.  I know he is my kid but ... good job, little lady!

Getting a little pep from his Papa. He listens so well to this guy!
Watching intently.
Nice job!
Pride. He should be so proud of himself!
Game over.
Such studs!
The talk..

and yes, they got to run! WINNERS!!!!
The faces kill me. BAHAHAHA!

*Due to mass amount of picture overload... tournament time will need to continue to another post...

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