Sunday morning's wake up time was a little more reasonable than other weekends. Our team was slated to play the very first game, so we got a reprieve. The tournament was held just ten minutes from our hotel....we were practically sleeping in with an 8:15 arrival deadline.
I could kick myself for not taking a picture of our special guests in attendance that morning. Jonna and Kenady came to watch Mikayla and the rest of the team. It's so sweet how much Mikayla and Kenady support one another. (And, Jonna, may I brag for a moment is running on Monday in the BOSTON MARATHON....I'm so proud to know and be friends with her!!!)
Unfortunately, we were facing some very difficult teams (that eventually played each other for first and second place of the whole tournament). However, Jonna and Kenady were able to see the playing level much improved from our Kidsports days, and Mikayla did her part without a lot of mistakes. If you'll notice, she's wearing a different color of jersey as her teammates - identifying her as full-time libero. She's earned that position - it's not just a default given her because of her size. It means she plays a lot....in every game, rotating in and out for a couple of different players in the back row. On occasion, she gets to serve too. At this tournament, she only missed one - earning her a Blizzard from her coach on Tuesday. =)
I hope it doesn't sound like a lot of bragging on my kiddo - it's just that she's really exceeded expectations and - just like Brayden in football - you see a kid that small and don't think a lot is going to come out of him/her. She's worked hard, she's improved a ton, she's been asked to be team captain, and we are very proud. =)
On Wednesday, Samantha, their coach, set up a kids vs. parents day for their practice. Of course, I found myself all wound up, ready for it to be over before it began just because I was going to be put on the spot for my own playing ability. (As if anyone cares....). But, as I kind of thought would be the case, at the end of the experience, I had a GREAT time - wishing I'd be able to do this sort of thing a couple of times a week vs. once or twice a year.
I was able to bring Whitley with me too (the time kind of straddled when she'd normally be picked up...so I thought it'd be fun to have her with me). She was a HUGE distraction to the kids (well, everyone). With her nonstop smile and interactiveness, the kids would get caught up with her on the sideline and not focus on the game. This was especially the case when we were playing "Queen of the court" and rapidly switching which team of three would take the court.
Travis and Stephanie fully expect to see Whitley embrace soccer. (And swimming). (Let me be clear that they won't be "those parents" fulfilling themselves through her...they just to hope to see her enjoy those sports). Travis, in particular, has been let down by every Schilling and Riley child that has given soccer a half-hearted attempt only to abandon the sport for something else. Given all that, I couldn't help teasing them with this picture about how much she loves volleyball (a fall sport that would conflict with soccer). Steph later joked back that Whitley had told her that she thought it was a soccer ball. ;)
Our motley crew of parents did a great job holding our own - in fact we officially won the full parents vs. kids game to 25 in two sets. In the front row, being very goofy, are Noah and Grace's older sisters that played as well.
After the fact, I realized that just the fifth graders of our team were able to make it. It was fun to see their "un-jaded" enthusiasm overflow in fun with their parents.
It was a very fun afternoon. Not quite the non-stop cardio I was hoping for, but a work-out nonetheless. And, I actually played really well....so much of what I learned in high school is still ingrained in me and it's fun to see it come out. Somehow, I'm going to have to find a way to incorporate more of this in to my life.