Thursday, August 3, 2017
One Last Ride With the Angels
This spring and summer, amidst the house selling and buying and moving, we also played and watched a whole lot of baseball. This season was the last year of AA Ball - otherwise known as Kid Pitch - before Jaden has the opportunity to move up into a higher division next year, if he chooses.
With increasing demands on football and basketball not too far down the road, we haven't decided yet what his baseball future holds, but for right now we're pretty content to just savor the past few months and appreciate the friendships we made on this Angels' team over the last couple of years. It's true that some of my best girlfriends and our closest family relationships, have been strengthened and deepened in large part to this team. We've had to spend a lot of time together, but you know you've got a good group when one of the moms is fighting off tears at the end of the final game because she knows it's the end of a journey!
Jaden showed positive growth this season. Not having an opportunity to actually work on his baseball skills between last year and this year, and almost deciding to not go out for baseball at all earlier this spring, he should feel good about the progress he made and some of the lessons he learned. He even worked himself into the regular pitching lineup... something we definitely did not foresee happening!
Batting remained his toughest challenge, and the infield continued to be his greatest strength. Baseball is so tough at this age for a number of reasons, including a heavy game schedule and minimal practice time, but the boys closed out the season once again with a winning record and a middle-place finish in the final league standings.
And once again, our families journeyed through it all with us. These boys are so lucky to be so loved and doted on.
I love these next several images. We were in game one of the post-season gold bracket tournament and the game was on the line. Corbin came up with a HUGE hit, rallying the troops and sealing a victory to send us to the post season championship game. These kids genuinely enjoy each other, and one area we really saw growth in from last year to this year, is how much they vocally rooted each other on whether in the dugout or out on the field. They grew up a bit!
And this kiddo. Knowing his name was about to be called with the game on the line. He very often was the team's "closer" on the pitching mound, and I think it was tougher on Mom than it was on him!
These three. These families have become so important to us, and we're so excited to watch these boys grow together.
We came up short in the championship game, but they fought hard and earned their medals. Jaden's collection continues to grow.
To celebrate the end of our journey, Rebecca and Matt hosted us all at their church on a Friday night. Matt grilled an abundance of meat, we all brought side dishes and desserts and watched all the players and their siblings play a rowdy game of kick ball in the church's backyard.
And then Brad and Malea surprised us all with these...
It was such a fun night filled with lots of laughter and memories, and we wrapped things up with letters and gifts for our coaches.
Love these kids. But now we're on to the next thing! Jaden re-unites with the Outlaws in just a week and a half to kick off their second basketball season already with practices resuming the middle of August... and he starts football practice the week after that. He is so anxious for all of it, and we are going to be busy!