Friday, March 28, 2014

You Can Play Project: Middlebury

Check this out:  You Can Play Project: Middlebury College.  We had a couple of team members participate in this great project, so I hope you enjoy watching.  It's a really important project, that basically says if you can play, you can play, regardless of your sexual orientation, or anything else.  We're all just people, and if you can play, nothing else matters!


(AND, so we can add a photo in here--because every blog entry needs a photo--this is a Team Dinner during Mid-Term week right before Spring Break!)

Here's the press release that goes with this video:

The Middlebury College Panthers join the You Can Play team in embracing and promoting inclusion and diversity for all athletes, coaches, staff, and fans.
"Teammates are everything," "Because you are a part of our family, we need to embrace differences. Not look past them or ignore them…embrace," "We're all in this together," are but a few of the unscripted sentiments expressed by Middlebury student athletes on the subject of equality and respect for all teammates. Each athlete expresses his or her own feelings, yet all share a common theme.
More than thirty varsity teams compete at Middlebury, and since 1993 these teams have won 31 national championships and a Learfield Sports Directors Cup. "These achievements would not have been remotely possibly without complete acceptance and respect of self and teammate. Yet as impressive and rewarding as these championship 'destinations' are, the respective journeys—all that is experienced and learned along the way—are what will be remembered most," said the Panthers in a statement.
Middlebury College was founded in 1800.  The school, in Middlebury, Vermont, was the first institution of higher learning to grant a bachelor's degree to an African-American, Alexander Twilight in 1823.
Middlebury's video was produced by the Class of 2013's Matt Lennon and the school's article is here:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Blast from the past, plus a look into the future in Denver!

I recently attended the Colorado Crossroads National Qualifier Volleyball Tournament, and not only got to see many talented young players, but also one who's been at MIDD, and one who's coming to MIDD.  Incoming freshman Becca was there playing with her Encore Team from CA, and would-be senior Courtney was there coaching her CVA Team from CO.

I enjoyed seeing Becca play, and will look forward to seeing a lot more of her over the next four years at MIDD.  Court is enjoying her second year coaching club, while finishing her final year of college.  She was there with her parents, Emma, and her boyfriend.  Court will graduate this Spring and will pursue both an MD, and a PHD.  She's currently interviewing, and has some very exciting opportunities, so it'll be great fun to keep track of where she ends up next year.

Emma is doing fantastic!  She looks great, her hair has all grown back, is back in school, and seems to be leading a normal life, mostly cancer-free now!  It's a miracle!  She absolutely adores Courtney, which I knew, but I got to see it first hand this time, and how fun that was to see.  Both Courtney's parents look great, and treated me to lunch, so a huge thank you to both of them.  I had a fabulous time catching up with Court, and starting to get to know both Emma and Ryan.

Court, I'm very proud of you, and although you'll be an excellent doctor,of that I have NO doubt, I think the coaching world will be losing a great coach to the medical profession, so I'm delighted to see you coaching now while you can.  Who knows, maybe some day you'll return to coaching club with your own kids?!  :)

Becca--I was going to take a photo of you at the tournament for this Blog entry, but when I didn't take it the first time I saw you, I didn't want to stalk you by coming back by to take your picture.  I still have the picture your dad sent me of your first recruiting trip that I'll include right here, just for fun!  Keep up the great work Becca and Courtney!

I'm also attaching a couple of pictures here of the Spring Blizzard that we had right as I was trying to get out to Denver.  I'm happy that I was only delayed by one day after seeing the snowfall and drifting we had.  The storm dropped 2 feet of snow, and the wind created drifts that were so big the plow truck couldn't get through them.  The first run through on our driveway was with a tractor, but unfortunately, the path wasn't quite wide enough for my car.  I did finally make my plane, however, but not with much time to spare.  This big blue bear is outside the Convention Center in Denver where the tournament was.  Very fun!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Girls in Sports Day is a Fun Day!

Girls in Sports Day is a very fun day for everyone.  The "big" girls and the "little" girls all have fun coming together and just playing.  The young girls divide into several different groups, and then shuttle through the different stations set up by the college sports teams (lacrosse, track, volleyball, field hockey, etc.)  For our Volleyball station, we lowered the net, got super light balls (almost like beach balls), and the team taught groups of these adorable young girls in half hour blocks all morning on a Sunday in early March.  The most important thing that was a constant all day was the many smiles from big and small girls alike!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Chili Fest 2014!!

I was worried that the cold might dampen the turnout, but apparently there was a great turnout, despite the cold.  It's amazing what turning the main street of town into a pedestrian zone and filling it with all kinds of different types of chili and cornbread, and (for those of age) a beer tent, and music, and enthusiasm.

Chili Fest is a fun day where they block off the main street of town and dozens of different businesses and individuals enter their recipe of chili into the contest.  You buy a ticket at one end of the street, and with it comes a pin (to signify you've paid), and a spoon!  Then, literally, you get in line and just walk down the street and back tasting a million different types of chili and you vote on your favorites.  It's so much fun!

It's a great event, and I received a fun email and picture from Angela, who came up with Ann and Paul to experience it, and visit their daughters, so thank you for sharing.  And, they ran into Amy while they were there, too!  Here is what Angela had to say about Chili Fest 2014:

"Andersons and I decided it would be fun to attend Chili Fest this year. It was cold, windy, spitting snow, did i say cold yet. Ha. But it was fun to spend time with our daughters and taste the different chilis and corn breads to the sounds of dj's and a Mardi Gras percussion group. I must admit that Megan/MJ and I did not taste the winning chili, but, congrats to men's cross country team!! "

NICE!!  Now, with time change, it's ALMOST starting to feel/look like spring.  Although, spring in MIDD means more snow is to come, so, right on cue, they're predicting a new snow storm Wednesday...bring on more chili!