2011 Pre-season started with a BBQ at my house. It was a nice, relaxed cookout with all the players and lots of parents. It gave the returners time to not only catch up, but also start to get to know the new players. It's a large group this year for pre-season, which is great, so there were a lot of new faces. Fortunately, Hurricane Irene had already come and gone, as had our power outage and flooded road, so everyone had a clear (or pretty clear) road out to the house. OK, there may have still been some water covering the road, but not entirely. Stud checked it out for everyone and guided them through the couple inches of water still there, and around the "road closed" barricade.
Courtney caught us up a bit on her summer where she befriended her new 7 year old neighbor who is having to undergo a bone marrow transplant now. The pink tee shirt in the photo is for "EMMA." She'll have to be in the hospital for quite a while, and Courtney has been by her side most of the summer. While it was hard for Court to leave her new friend facing such a serious and painful ordeal, she asked the team to sign a shirt to send to Emma to let her know that we are all thinking about her! We'll keep tabs on Emma and give updates. I have a feeling that Emma may become a new fan of our Blog so she can keep tabs on Courtney and the rest of the team!
Steve Oster, our Faculty Affiliate, was able to attend with his family, which was really great. It's always nice for the new players to meet Steve, and for he and the upperclassmen to have a chance to hang out informally. His wife and three girls were here as well, in addition to my Assistant, Brian and his wife and two daughters, and my husband and three kids, so we had quite a houseful.
We are two days into practices now, and feeling like there's just not enough time for everything, but then the cry came out for some assistance, and the team stepped up to the plate. We took the afternoon off today to help with Irene Relief Aid over in Hancock and Rochester--two mountain towns who sustained a lot of storm damage, not to mention road closures that practically cut them off from the rest of the world. I was about to tell the captains about the emails I was getting about desperately needing volunteer workers when they asked if there was anything that they could to do to help with the relief efforts.
Almost every Fall Sports Team has been out helping clear brush, clean up houses and property and debris all over the place. Some towns are still cut off from the outside world by washed out bridges leading into and out of town. Fortunately, Middlebury was mostly spared from the major storm damage, but our neighbors were not as lucky. I'll update soon with hopefully some photos, but we almost had a group stranded on the other side of the mountain tonight....but they're BACK! Everyone enjoyed helping out, and their help was very much appreciated. :)