Maybe it's because I grew up in Ann Arbor, maybe it the beautiful architecture, but I enjoy activities in the older University of Michigan facilities. We are not exactly a hockey or skating family but we enjoy open skate at U of M's Yost Ice Arena. It's rich in U of M hockey history. When we skate there (the kids. ... me on ice?... shudder. I wouldn't risk a broken bone), we feel the years of people's hard work training for a sport, we also feel many years and generations of people just having fun, like us.
Dominic loves football. He is wrapping up his third year playing with the Ann Arbor Saints. It's a huge time commitment and we sacrifice family dinners most nights during the season. We live too far away to drop off and pick up, I drive him and stay, run local errands, or often, the girls and I will walk around Domino's Farms. The girls help me with concessions and other jobs at our home games. It's a happy time, as well a super busy one.
This year Dominic played guard as he has other years, but also was put in at tight end and scored his first touchdown! It's been an amazing season. touchdown!!!
putting pressure on the quarterback
Lydia and Mom pause to watch a play
Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2017 Varsity Ann Arbor Saints!
Once again Dominic played football with the Ann Arbor Saints. Once again we were delighted with the whole experience. The boys and their families, the coaches, and the organization itself is stellar, filled with good people. It's a nice mix of homeschool, Catholic school, and a few public and other schooled families. Mostly located around the local Catholic high school, my alma mater, Father Gabriel Richard, which has much to recommend it!
The Saints program is so good for the boy's athletic and character development. The terrific photographer dad on our team wrote it best:
By the end of the season, the team has become a brotherhood. When plays are called and run during practice, there is explosive speed and precision. Still, between plays, we see a silly bunch of kids just having fun. One of the coaches told me that the practice photos mean so much because of the glimpses of sheer joy. I think we all know that our sons, our boys, are growing up fast. They are becoming self-conscious and their belly laughs are becoming subdued as they seek to appear more mature. We don’t want to let go of the little guys we have known, yet we are confident that they are becoming good men.
Read his whole, wonderful essay and view more pictures here
The season was huge fun AND we won some games this year!!!!
the day of the last game
Coach Getty addresses the boys at the football banquet
Fortunately, there are still casual games at St. A's (in dress code clothes even!)
Regina wanted to play jv volleyball with Christ the King Jaguars. I didn't know how I would fit any more driving into my fall. Turns out their practices were just across the road from football practice and at nearly the same times. Another sport didn't really fit into the budget. Turns out Regina paid part with her savings and they gave her a scholarship for the rest. This was a very small team with a few very inexperienced players, Regina being one. (Inexperienced, not small.) Turns out Coach Hai took them all the way to the state homeschool championship and they won. Lady Jags, JV State Champs. Well, that was fun!
Jack coaches both. He pushes the kids to train harder, run faster, be stronger. He also encourages them to be holier. To do what they do for the Glory of God. After the rugby club work out, these young men,sweaty, sore, and dirty, unite in prayer and song from The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
It was a big commitment of resources and a new level of organized sports for us. Dominic played tackle football with a CYO league this fall. It was huge for Dom, he had been dreaming of playing for years. He is all heart and a little skill. He was blessed with good coaches who are good men, and good families from public, private, and homeschools. The whole season was fun and daily football practices kinda, sorta, almost wore Dominic out. It was a small team so he played offense, defense, and was the kicker. (We didn't mean to buy him red shoes, that's just what was left by the time we shopped. They fit Dom's personality and made it easy to spot him on the field.)
I think this was the only time he sat on the bench for any game the entire season. It was HOT! He got five minutes. :)
the usual cheering section, the big boys made it to a few games (us girls are kinda geeky, we kept referring to the game as a battle and their pads as armor LOL)
Dominic appears to be pretty good on defense, and threw a touchdown pass after carrying for quite a bit of yardage in his last game. I don't know if he is really any good, being his mom I kinda think he is awesome (he does too LOL). Anyway, he is having a great time!