Sunday, March 20, 2016

State Gymnastics!!

Kay is very proud of her performance at state despite the extreme nerves.  To cut to the chase, she placed as follows at level 7 in the 12 year old age bracket...

~ Tied for 2nd in floor with a 9.4 and the 1st place winner got a 9.45 - holy cow that was close and her best floor routine this year - its such a fun unique routine with music from macklemore - I love it!!
~ Tied for 10th in the bars with a 8.5, she made her giant but took a bit of a step on her landing and was arched in her giant (see how much I am learning?!)
~ Did not place in vault with a 9.1, they go to 10 places and its shocking she didn't place with that score since thats a killer score. The #1 place got a 9.4 so the scores here were really really tight
~ Did not place in beam with a 8.55, not her best beam performance, serious wobble on her back handspring but she managed to not fall and stayed on the beam, thats our girl!!
~ 9th overall for the all arounds!! Her comment "thank god I got a great score not the vault, that made all the difference!"

For comparison, she was 12th overall at state last year so, she's moving up:) And, she was the only one from her level and her gym that made state.

Also, interestingly enough, at level 7 you aren't able to go to regionals but ... at level 8+ you can. In order to get to regionals you need a 34.  Kay had a 35.6, so, if level 7s could go to regionals, she'd be totally in.  For perspective, the #1 all around girl, level 7 age 12,  had a 36.2, thats 1 wobble on the beam away from 1st and that tells you how close these competitions are. She's definitely in the hunt:)

Her coach said she continues to work hard, have fun, learn new skills and push herself - his philosophy is not mastery, its "good enough" and we love that! He doesn't require mastery at every level (if he did, she'd be in the same level multiple years in a row) rather he wants the kids to stay challenged, keep learning and have fun. His goal is that they enjoy a LONG career in gymnastics and doesnt push them to get 1st or 2nd - he said he's seen too many gymnasts push too hard early, taking top honors in level 4,5,6,7 and when they get to 8,9,10, they are burned out and quit, right before they start high school or college competitions. He wants Kay to be able to (and have fun) competing in high school and then college so he wants her to keep improving but not win and still learn new skills and have fun.  I really like that.

Here's some good snaps of our very competitive serious lover of gymnastics:)

Iowa TKD

quick update on Billy's 1st away tournament in taekwondo in Iowa. A few things to note...

a) damn is that a boring drive
b) wow, waterloo has some weird zoning laws in their downtown area - nice upscale restaurants and architecture firms next to an adult movie theater and used clothes store
c) throw back gyms are hot and sweaty
d) march weather in the upper midwest is unpredictable. We drove through rain, sleet, snow, sun and hail - all in a 4 hour period
e) to point d) people are not good drivers in Iowa, saw 5+ cars in the ditch

We drove down Friday night, got registered, grab a yummy dinner and then hit the hotel pool. Thats what away tournaments are for, right? Parent bonding (aka wine) and kid bonding (aka pool). Billy, Ace and Ese had a great time (remember, they call Billy and Ace Rush Hour after the movie with Jackie Chan and Chris Rock - it totally fits too personality wise)

Saturday morning was early and snowing, again. We were at East Waterloo High and it was like out of page of Hoosier - old brick building and single basketball court gym. They had the spectators in the balcony and, as you know heat rises, so as the day went on and the athletes sweated it got super stuffy and smelly.

Have we mentioned that TKD tournaments are not the fastest of events?  The time your kid or kids from your dojong are competing are really exciting, in between, not so much.

The event check in was at 8:30 and we left at 3:30, 3 hours before it officially ended but once all our dojong was finished.  Keep in mind, for those 7 hours, there was about 20 min's of intense activity as our kids competed -  ~ 2 minutes for each pomsea pattern (x 3 kids) and 3 minutes for each sparring (1 minute of competing 30 sec of rest and 2nd round at 1 minute) I, went for a walk, got caught up on Facebook (tom's Facebook) read People magazine, chatted with other parents, wandered aimlessly trying to avoid the snack bar full of walking tacos, pizza, donuts and other temptations and basically stared into space.

Billy did well, 2nd in pomsea and 3rd in sparring. The kid that won 1st in sparring was amazing. Really good moves/strategy to learn from him. Billy said he was happy with his kicks and sliding in but wants to work on multiple vs single kicks and being more aggressive. He was really happy with how he did.

Then, after all that bleacher sitting, we got in the car and drove home (aka, another bunch of sitting around)

Needless to say, I'm a bit antsy.

Congrats on your 1st out of town tournament Billy, you had fun, were a good team player and worked hard. We love you!
The 3 musketeers, Esa and Rush Hour

Throwback gym

Silver and Bronze!!


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Basketball State and Tryouts

Wow, this month is really getting away from us! You saw that its tournament season and we've barely had time to breath.

Jimmy had basketball state last weekend and I wish I could raise the victory flag, but, alas, the boys did not do well.  In part, they were down to 7 kids since one tore his ACL in the game in Rochester (ouch!) and one of those 7 had a broken thumb. It was all tapped up but everytime he took a shot we all cringed.  He just didn't have the right touch.  The boys played typical Hopkins Basketball, aggressive and a bit risky. It did not pay off.  Jimmy played some great defense with rebounds, guarding and hustle but you still need points on the board and we had a VERY hard time getting our balls through the hoop.  We were throwing rocks and rushing it. 

The good news in all of this,  because they went 3 for 3 (loses that is), they didn't have a game on Saturday night and were able to head downtown to see the Hopkins Boys High School team win BIG at the state tournament. They had a blast and it was fun to  hear their stories when they got back.  Tom and I watched the 1st 1/2 of the game from the local bar and the 2nd 1/2 at home. Turns out the high school team has many of the same plays we do (Oklahoma!!) and there seems to be a "Hopkins" style of play, as I mentioned. Aggressive, fast and risky.  But, it pays off for the high school kids, I think this was their ninth state tournament. They are a force to be reckoned with and many of the players have division 1 offers.

After the game, the dads hung out at the fire and swapped stories, reliving the glory days. It was all fun and games until the girls got home.  (Kay was at a bat mitzvah and 3 of her friends came home with her to spend the night). Needless to say, I got a glimpse of our very near future. 2 of Kays friends could NOT leave the boys alone.  Yikes, we are going to have to watch out for this:)  The boys on the other hand were too cool for school.

On top of all the state basketball hype Jimmy had baseball try outs and spring basketball try outs this weekend as well. Baseball seemed to go well, he hit every ball, caught every pop fly, threw a 71 mph pitch and walked out with a big smile on his face. Call backs were last night and that was a bit different. They didn't have him hit or field or pitch. He spent most of the night catching for the kids that were hitting/pitching and I think that was a fill in role, not an official try out role. But, they did have him throw from home to 2nd a # of times so...maybe they were evaluating him. Hard to say and he's not sure how he did.  He's desperate to be on AAA and is being a typical stubborn 14 yr old in saying that if he doesn't make AAA he's not going to play.  Enter spring basketball try outs.

The AAU has a spring basketball league and its where many of the high school players hone their skills. Jimmy fell in love with basketball at whole new level this year and isn't ready to give it up. The try outs were odd. Because of the  state tournament, not many kids showed (this was the 1st of 3 try outs). He got an offer to play but now .....

As you can imagine, baseball conflicts with basketball. What to do?!  Trying to figure out if he'll know if he made AAA before he needs to commit to basketball. Best case, he made AAA and we go with 1 sport for the spring - baseball. Worst case, he makes AA and we have to do some sort of compromise that he can play basketball if he stays in AA this year as a bridge to 9th grade baseball. We'll see. I want him to be able to play 3 sports as long as he can, (ie: not give up baseball) especially since kids get pushed to specialize so young but... its also a ton more running around.

We'll see....

Next up, TKD tournament in Iowa Saturday followed by Kay's State Gymnastics tournament Sunday.

Check back for updates:)             
Jimmy is always the 1st to the warm up - this time with Seth

Good reminders
on the D
Last second shot, it didn't go in


Sunday, March 06, 2016

State & Competition Season is upon us....

This was planned to be the busiest weekend of the winter.

Kay had a gymnastics tournament Friday
Billy had state taekwondo tournament Saturday
Jimmy had a basketball tournament Saturday and Sunday in Rochester

Here's how it played out ...

Tom and I were able to see Kay kick some serious butt on Friday - 1st in floor, 6th in bars (and her 1st completed giant in a competition, she was in heaven) and 6th overall - Awesome momentum going into the state meet in 2 weeks. So impressive and she's over the moon!!

Then, he packed up Jimmy and Kay and headed to Rochester Friday night. They did the typical sports bar burger dinner and Jimmy started his weekend-o-fun and limited adult supervision.

Tracy and Billy drove to Maple Grove, got registered for state and then had a nice gyros meal at Scullers (dive bar by our house, love that place, awesome food) and home for the Goosebumps movie and early to bed.

Saturday morning found Tom at Jimmy's 8:30 game and Tracy at Billy's 8:30 tournament.

Billy was awesome and took a gold in pomsea (patterns), silver in sparring and bronze in demo team. It was the 1st time the demo team ever competed and in state no less! They rocked it! So fun to see especially since their team ages span 6 to adult and many of the other teams were teenagers to adult. Really Really well done. Then, Billy and I busted out of there and drove to Rochester to hook up with the rest of the pack.  I took Billy/Kay swimming at the hotel and some of us (Tom) took naps.

Jimmys team lost their 1st game despite a really strong start. Wheels fell off the bus in the 2nd 1/2. They won their second game on Saturday and that meant a 8pm game.  What are 8 14 yr old boys to do with 6 hours of free time?!  Run wild, eat pizza, drink soda, eat candy and basically anything else you can think of that would NOT be good prep for a game. Needless to say, they did not win their 8pm game.  So, it was back to the hotel for more craziness and fun.  A sponsored pizza party by the league and beers with the parents.  Then, back in the room - got caught up on Extreme Pool Makeover and Some weird Treehouse show where the host is very "perky" as Kay described him. (and he is...)

Sunday's game was at 12:00 and needless to say, everyone was dragging. Major sugar, sleep, caffeine hang overs for the boys and just general malaise for the rest of us. (what you get when you put 5 tired people in one hot dry hotel room with a father that snores....)    But, breakfast was dynamite - homemade donuts from the local bakery (yum) egg sandwiches hash browns and slushies from the gas station.  What happens in Rochester....  Despite the high quality breakfast, the team wasn't able to pull out a win. In fact, it was a bit like watching the bad news bears play basketball. Really hard to watch.

Busted home mid afternoon so that Kay could get her homework done and go to the meet to see her team mates (level 6) compete.  Jimmy needed a shower (bad) and then proceeded to  play pick up basketball with the neighborhood homies (James, Miles, Andres)  What, me tired?!  Billy rode his bike while I walked Nikki and Tom got us ready for a nice fish dinner. Did I mention it was 60 degrees and sunny today.

Let's hope we are all in bed early and make it through this week.

Check out the photos and videos below - good stuff!

Next weekend?  Boys state basketball tournament, baseball try outs and spring basketball tryouts.

Never ever a dull moment around here....