Trials and tribulations of southern AA and AAA travel ice hockey; against the grain of northern traditions and southern legacies.

Mo is now the starting goalie for his high school and this is his senior year.  He has worked hard both on and off of the ice and there is still no time to waste with a lot to accomplish.  We have to push hard to ensure the right path is selected.  Over the last several years, his hockey path has not been typical and in fact, overcome many odds to play where he is playing hockey, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

E. Kentwood Ice

E. Kentwood Ice

Throughout this journey, we have made many friends and some will be life-long.  People have embraced Jacob and our family with open arms and taken him in just as their own.  (Waving to Rox).  Moving from Tennessee to Michigan was the best thing for Jacob as he pushes to play at a higher level of hockey than Tennessee was able to offer at the time.  He is hoping to catch the eye of a scout who will recommend him to a coach and allow him to continue to strive to play at the highest level of play possible.  From a parental perspective, I believe that he can insert himself into a top Junior program is that is the route he must take.  I would prefer him to go directly to college, but am learning that the college route is via juniors unless you play juniors while in high school.  It doesn’t work like football, baseball or any southern sport route that I have come across.  They want these goalies to mature, to grow not only in strength, but mental toughness as well.  Jacob’s journey up to this point has been unconventional.  He didn’t “lace them up” as soon as he could crawl, but rather about nine or ten-years-old finding the sport of inline hockey.  This left my husband and I scrambling to learn the game, who plays ice hockey in Tennessee?  Well, the MoBros (nicknamed by Coach Phillips years ago).  It was as if one time of lacing them up (roller blades) and placing the pads on, they were hooked (pun intended) and never looked back to another sport.  So, here we are, ten years later with both John and Jacob still playing hockey, John plays recreational while attending college and Jacob seeking every avenue to play the highest level of hockey he can achieve.  I know that I am just the mom, but think he could go all the way if that is what he wants.  Now, I can hear the cyber groans and see you rolling your cyber eyes.  Be realistic, the chances of him making college or professional ice hockey team are slim to none.  We know this, but I also know that someone gets the opportunity to play and why NOT Jacob?  When did it become commonplace for parents to tell their children that the chances are so slim that you shouldn’t go for it?  I refuse to be one of those parents.   Anything is possible including college hockey and beyond, even for a boy born and bread in a small town in Middle Tennessee.

Art Prize Grand Rapids 2014

Art Prize Grand Rapids 2014

EK Falcons 2014 2015

EK Falcons 2014 2015

Although we have been told after high school, he should play in the junior program, we are also soliciting colleges.  We have taken the non-traditional route from the very beginning and who knows, there may be a coach out there looking for a coach-able goalie with great instincts like Mo.   There is no right or wrong way to college or professional sports, in my honest opinion.  I believe and know in my heart that if he has the heart, the work ethic and the talent, he can go as far as his heart desires.

Sorry it has been so long in between posts.  I am still working on getting my book edits done for my novel to begin selling.  So, please stop by often and perhaps send me a note on your experiences in this addictive sport of ice hockey.

See you in the bookstores!

Lori

Writing as Kolin Mofield

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It is very hard to believe that five months have passed without a post. There are no excuses outside of the season coming to an end, the summer, work load and working on a novel at the behest of an agent. Yes, I said agent. One has requested my novel and a couple of changes were accepted. This is an incredible opportunity, finally, so my friends, please keep your fingers crossed.

Sponge Bob Knows...

Sponge Bob Knows…

Now, as far as hockey goes, it continues to be busy for Jacob in Michigan. He has had no break in the venue and has even taken his lessons to three out of four weeks with a private coach. He has made the goalie position for the MDHL, Team West (Green). He is fighting for the top spot of this league and fighting hard; currently at 93% saves ratio with 1.89 GAA.

Here is the site for stats: http://mdhl.goalline.ca/statistics.php?league_id=9375&lang=1

There are three games left, one of which is Saturday, 10/11 at 9:00 in Detroit. That means, he has to drive two hours to get to the rink. He get’s up at 5 AM and meets his buddy Abel at 5:45 at the rink, they carpool there and we did it last weekend (waving to Abel and Terra). In fact, put 2200 miles on a rental the entire weekend. From his house, driving 85 MPH it takes every bit of two hours to get to the rink in Detroit! The practices are located at his high school rink, so that works for him and is able to keep down his miles.

UPDATE:  Green lost to White 4/3.  Jacob had approximately 25 shots with one goal allowed.  Two games left.

The green team is in a three-way tie for first. They were actually considering dissolving the Team West (Grand Rapids area) because they were not doing well competing with the Detroit boys. I was told they hadn’t had a winning team since Abdelkader, until this year. Hey, guess what!!!! There’s a TN boy in goal, one of two anyway. However, he is holding his own in stats and presence. Now, they have periodic tournaments where the best of the best are invited to play. This is pretty important to be chosen. They play in front of scouts, coaches looking, colleges, NHL reps, they are playing to be noticed and the whole reason Jacob’s up there, is for that reason. Even though he is or has been tied for first, he has not been invited to play, they do ask two goalies. Hmmmm. Well, he talked with his coach and he kind of explained that he was given serious consideration, but in the end wasn’t asked. Well, they don’t know him we assume. “So?” I ask!!!! Get to know him. He’s awesome. Let his stats speak out clear and strong, he should be invited. The goalies that have been invited, we assume again (you know what that does), are from Detroit. Jacob was disappointed for sure. I asked him what could be done? He said, “I need to introduce myself to the coach.” That is exactly right. Get that invite!!!! Will let you know how it goes!

UPDATE:  Jacob believes there are no more tournaments left in the MDHL season.  He still plans on introducing himself to the coach and is waiting for him to come out of the crow’s nest.  Certainly can’t hurt.

Now to the goalie mom (dads too), are strong.  I often hear from other parents, hockey and otherwise, “I don’t think I could be a goalie parent.  It is certainly not for the faint of heart.  But, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and many people know, the goalies themselves, are often times, a different kind of player.   As I cannot speak for others, I know that Jacob and I both find friendship among goalies, parents and players.  Such a unique group of individuals and only a goalie parent/player knows the pressures they endure and hence, understand, they do become friends for the most part.  Many of us stand at the net, seeing the rebounds that are stopped but never recorded, sliding with him as he snags an attempted snipe, being there when the red light and fog horn erupt.  I so miss standing there. I enjoyed watching Jacob play the game last weekend, it was worth each and every of the 2200 miles we drove from Friday through Sunday night.  Think about that:  Left Nashville, TN area on Friday to Grand Rapids, MI Friday night.  Saturday morning drove to Detroit (two hours) and back for game.  Saturday night went to downtown Grand Rapids for Art Prize.  Sunday morning, drove to Detroit and back to Grand Rapids for game.  Sunday afternoon, drove from Grand Rapids to Nashville to home.  Fortunately,  John (#3 of four sons) went with us and we had a blast. He even got some filming in as a last minute idea hit him, here is the debut of Joey as he and Jacob work at John’s direction to complete his idea for a racing promo for Corey Rowland: Check out his video at:   http://vimeo.com/107509095.

In closing, we had a great time!  The picture below is from the Art Prize and is Alexis, Jacob, Me and John standing on the bridge over the Grand River. To Rox, Jacob’s new Hockey Billet Mom, there are not enough words to thank you for making his life an adventure that he loves!  Hugs!!!

Grand River, September 2014, Alexis, Jacob, Me and John at Art Prize

Grand River, September 2014, Alexis, Jacob, Me and John at Art Prize

Thanks again for stopping by even after all this time.  Remember to hug your teenager, it could be the difference in the road he or she chooses.

Happy hockey!

Lori

http://www.Lorikolinmofield.wordpress.com

I don’t know about you, but when I am on the computer, I am having a conversation and my mind quickly moves from one topic to another.  I find that after rereading my last post, there were too many run-on sentences.  I am a writer and should have caught that, but in addition to being a writer, email, texting and now instagram’ing, these are my modes of communication rather than the telephone and I relate to the general blogs, emails and such as I would talking on the phone.  I have come to abhor that communication mechanism for no particular reason.  Deep seeded issues?  Nah, just one of those things.  My mother says I am just like my father.  I think it is simple; I think that as a writer, this mode of communication feels satisfying to me.  An escape that is on my time schedule and no others.  So, with this I apologize for the grammar issues in my posts, but I am typing as my thoughts railroad across the synapses of my grey matter.

It has been a busy week for me, us.  I have been diligently trying to edit a manuscript requested by an agent (woot, woot!!!  dancing recklessly, singing and doing cartwheels), finally finding a used car for Jacob and all that comes with that and making sure it is mechanically sound for him.  I have been busy with an abundance of work to which I am grateful for and then squeezing in some time on the computer.  No complaints, just busy, busy, busy.  Now that hockey is not as much an issue with swallowing all of my time, my work (paying) is filling up my days and writing (not paid…yet), so unless it is last minute, I would probably have to cancel lunch anyway.

I will say that I have found that with Jacob up north, it has been challenging trying to locate private coaching for him.  I didn’t think that this would be a problem up there, you know, so much ice, so much involvement in the sport, I would think we could just look it up on Craig’s list.  However,  I do have to remember that adults do have to work and the ice still does cost and scheduling can be difficult.  Across state lines, I suppose some things are the same; only the demographic is different.

Across borders I have found another new friend, hockey mom and better yet, goalie mom (waving to Sara).  We became cyber friends through my blog, then through Facebook and although some complain about the internet and technology making social activities less and less face-to-face, I have found the opposite.  I have found a venue to begin friendships based on common goals and dreams, common links through children and interests and I believe my horizons have been expanded.  Perhaps we don’t meet for lunch and Yoga, but reaching across state lines and boarders, I am much more enriched today than I was 15 years ago when I still hated the phone, but a necessary evil.   Elizabeth Urlacher who is a wonderful artist and works on hockey fundraising (http://hockeyspirit.com/) out of Red Deer, who I know call friend, these are people that I may not have come to know without technology.  I have reconnected with classmates from my past and so enjoy a small peep into their lives.  I go on vacation with them, see them though births, deaths, grandchildren and sports.  They support me when I need it and can be blunt when I need a quick cyber smack.  Technology also allows me to spread my wings and hopefully touch someone out there in cyber space with my blog.  This is all a master plan you see, when my book is published, cyber or hard copy, each of you may buy it, may love it and may tell a friend who will do the same.  I can only hope that through our common interests, we have become more than just words on a blog, but a connected family, albeit miles away and sometimes, countries in-between us.  That is okay, however, I would have probably have to cancel lunch anyway to write, work or help a teenager with that dramatic moment in time.  I like this mode and although I cannot “reach out and touch you”, I am much closer to some that I would have been in the past.  So, cyber cheers to you and to some of my favorite hockey moms who have enjoyed an El Ray’s Margarita on occasion.

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Thanks for stopping by and remember to hug a hockey player, just have them shower first!

Lori

Many people associate hockey with the winter and indeed, many do enjoy extra playing time up in the northern US and Canada.  However, hockey is going strong across the country and even in Tennessee.  However, in the south, we have to rent the ice and when you are dealing with four sheets, well, supply and demand, there is just none available  with leagues and one rink closed down for maintenance on ice.  Yippee and damn, more ice lost for four months.  Another reason Jacob has left home and headed up to the great state of Michigan to play hockey.   He is playing in their spring league while attempting to find a personal goalie coach, arrange ice time, schedule camps, find a job, go to prom and keep his grades up to As and Bs.

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This will be the first first mother’s day without him here and he with my other sons, will be off doing their own thing.  Probably will sleep in, have coffee, do no laundry, no cleaning at all, will do no dishes, no cooking, but will eat and may even have dessert.  😀  I do know that I have done the best for my boys, my sons who are no longer boys, but men.  I have made mistakes and hopefully learned from them, loved each of them with everything fiber of my being and still do.  I can only hope that they know that they are loved to the end and back.  As I knew this day would be here, they would have their own lives in different places, I can admit now that I was never ready for it, still am not.  So, once again, it is what it is and we moms stay in the shadows.

It is just part of life, my boys scattered all over the eastern US.  I have one in Atlanta, one in Michigan, one still lives with me while going to college and one in Ashland City, TN, about an hour west of me.  I cannot complain however, we all talk and talk often.  I do remember that when Jacob and John were playing inline hockey, never failed that they would have a game or series of games on Mother’s day and I would complain and complain.  I get two days off a year, my birthday and Mother’s day and they shouldn’t play hockey on mother’s day.  In one ear and out the other; the dad’s would snicker and say there was no better place to be, but they didn’t have to do it on Father’s day (I just reread that sentence and sure, that is what father’s want to be doing on Mother’s day.  LOL.)    Will be quiet at our house this Mother’s Day.  Christopher is not able to be here as he has to work; I will have some time with Kevin, maybe we can do lunch at our favorite Chinese Buffet, John has to work a double at Olive Garden and Jacob will be with his “other mother” in Michigan and has a game on Sunday.  Wish I could go; it is what it is.

Throughout their lives and on whatever stage they strive for, we mother’s push, nag, drive, wake them up early, scold, support, yell, tutor, encourage, laundress, motivate, bandage, take their shit and love these athletes.  Some of us in the shadows, behind the scenes and never ask for anything more than our child reaching for the stars, pushing them to jump higher, skate faster, become stronger and sometimes they grab hold and pull themselves to the highest level in their sport, and sometimes they reach the highest level in their life and we as moms are just glad to come along for the ride (although I have told John my film student he better remember me in his speech when accepting his Emmy for best cinematography).     Then one son publicly offers tribute to his mother and  it spoke to the hearts of us all.  Thank you Kevin Durant.  If you have not seen his emotional tribute.  Here is the link:   http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba/news/20140509/nick-collison-kevin-durant-oklahoma-city-thunder/

My crazy family!

 

Happy Mother’s day and remember to hug your teenager today, someone else’s may call the police!  😀

Thanks for stopping by to read my thoughts!  Please check out my other WordPress blog, “With murderous intent, I write!” to keep up with my writing adventures.

Lori

 

 

This has certainly been the shortest season of play for Jacob as he was held for the first part of the season by rules of transfer in his local high school hockey organization. Although he did well, I was only able to see about four games and it was heartbreaking, for sure.  I love to watch him play.  On the upside, he did well and gave the number one goalie a run for his stats climbing to within the third spot in the rankings.  A Tennessee goalie holds the third spot in all of Michigan high school hockey.  Wow!!!!  Unfortunately, it wasn’t for long as he got sick and the season ended.  He made it though, the goalie holding the number one spot knew who he was, made a snide remark and to this goalie mom, that means he was threatened.  Yep, made my year!   Still, only had 10 games to play in regular season then the playoffs, certainly was very little time to show your stuff.  Yet he did, he worked hard and played hard, he loves it!

This journey to northern hockey has been filled with such a range of emotions for me that it is hard to pinpoint the strongest, and yet I do try to explain how I dealt with sending my youngest son at 17 into the arms of another family.  I know it was the best thing for him to excel.  Isn’t that what parents are supposed to do?   Knowing that he probably will want to stay, even before asking to stay.  It is as if he was born up there, with these players.  From being the goalie from Tennessee to a brother and friend on the ice, he has excelled in more than hockey, academics is broader, he has to learn to deal with a sister, another brother, his three brothers and an emotional mom from time to time.  Suppose we are all growing in one way or another!

Pond hockey with the boys!

Pond hockey with the boys!

After getting to know these players and parents, my hockey family has been extended.  Fostering in those who have encircled my son as he pursues his dream of playing hockey in Michigan has been easy.   Nancy who now has a taste of being a goalie mom and what it entails. continues to nurture him; surrounding him with love and support as he heads into another season.   I do believe this is probably going to become his fondest memories of his teen years.  As he quickly approaches 18 on March 20th, I know that the next year, he will thrive.  It will be hard for him as many of his friends/brothers are seniors and will be leaving for college, the bonds they have forged are lifelong.  How could I have ever questioned sending him up there?  Alas, hind sight is 20/20; it is my hope that other players are half as lucky has Jacob on obtaining a wonderful surrogate family.

John (older brother by 2.5 years) and Pat (collaborative film student and friend) came with us one weekend to do a documentary on Jacob for a college project.  He is hopeful to submit to a premier at a local film festival and get some nods.  Having your two youngest sons working with what they love, film and hockey, together, friends, with respect, was a moment for me to cherish.  Below are a couple of shots taken by Pat during the filming.  Once documentary is complete, I will put up a link after the premier to the team for your viewing.  However, here is a taste of John and Pat’s work.

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John and Jacob doing what they love!

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Jacob on ice

Jacob on ice

I have had the opportunity to make some more hockey friends, waving!!!!  I have been initiated to Michigan with a slip/fall out of the car in a parking lot.  Laughing, embarrassed and finally, initiated to the snow, more snow than I can remember seeing and I know, more than Jacob, John and Michael have seen.   We ventured out to Lake Michigan and walked on it’s frozen surface.  Our reward is seeing our son at his happiest moments, I know my husband and I made the best decision to send him “way up north” to play hockey and seek out his dream.  

Cam, Jacob and Alex on frozen lake Michigan!  Fun day.

Cam, Jacob and Alex on frozen lake Michigan! Fun day.

 As this first season of Michigan high school ice hockey comes to a close, my lessons have been life lessons indeed.   Learning that to let go is not to lose, but to indeed allow to him the freedom to travel on whatever road he is meant to take.  The road to success begins at home and eventually, will always return the same way.    

March 2014

March 2014

Thanks for stopping by and helping me figure out this sport of hockey.  Jacob’s birthday is March 20th and he will legally be an adult at 18, but we all know he is still my baby boy!

Lori

Remember to hug your teenager today, when you blink next, they are grown.

I know that it has been months since I have posted to my blog and so sorry about the delay (Mom plus one reader), things have been hectic.  My client base has increased thank God, have steady income for the hockey stuff and the extreme cleaning jobs come in, crime scene, hoarding, you know, the good stuff.  Jacob has finally started playing for his team in Michigan; after waiting for half the season to play. I am excited to report that he is doing very well and we have won the last three games including his first Michigan shut out.  He is settling into his new role well and I believe, has shaken off his debut jitters.  I was fortunate enough to be able to see him play his first game, but was late and arrived at second period.  They were tied at two and eventually won the game 6/3.  He did look nervous, but maybe only to me.  He has since played three games; the second game, the team won 4/2 and the third, he recorded his first shut out with the team winning 7/0.   Having to wait to play was difficult, but I believe will pay off in the long run.  The team has become a cohesive unit and as they skate toward playoffs, I am confident that under the guidance of Coach Jensen and his staff, we will have the opportunity to play for the state championship!

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It has been hard being so far away for me.  I am THAT mother, the one at every practice, every meeting, never miss a game, in town or out-of-town, but this has been good for Jacob and even me to a certain extent.  I noticed him maturing into a find young man, a greater hockey player, teammate, friend and indeed becoming a brother to Sherman and Hannah.  His surrogate family has taken him in, and indeed me as well, and stepped in to help mold him in these final years we have to influence the man he will become, is becoming; grateful is not a strong-enough word for this family.

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On the lighter side, Nancy says she is not sure she likes being a surrogate goalie mom.  Recently she felt the stress and heart pounding dread/excitement as he performed a move she was unsure about and although it worked, she didn’t realize the relief until she let out the breath she hadn’t realized she had been holding (a little bit of literary license here :D).   I told her that the apprehension does get easier, that is until there is a “scrum” at the net and your goalie can’t be seen.  That’s difficult still, but probably is for Pekka Rinne’s mom too. It does sound as if Nancy has experienced GPA, an affliction associated to those who are emotionally tied to that net-minder, GPA is not curable nor is a blood born pathogen; it cannot be transferred by hand-to-hand contact or body fluids, but is life-long affliction.  GPA (goalie parent anxiety) can only come from an emotional attachment to said player.  GPA is easily treatable by watching an amazing save, a graceful and/or a not-so-grateful move or the perfect butterfly and is only enhanced when followed by a referee’s whistle.   On the other hand, should the horn blow and the red-light illuminate, the GPA escalates to GPHS (Goalie parent hugging syndrome, when one wants to run on the ice and hug the goalie expressing it wasn’t his/her fault).  Should that happen, it is more difficult to control; the only ease of symptoms is an answering goal on opposing team and return to excellence by your goalie.  I could go on, but the syndromes tend to become a morbid look into the unique personality quips of parents, surrogate, adoptive and biological, it would cause you nausea and not entice you with morbid fascination.  Just know this, there is no effective cure, only the temporary fix when said teammates answer back in triumphant waves of goals.

As a long-distance goalie mom watches from afar, the hockey player excels, he moved in to the #3 position within the MIHS stats site (http://www.mihshockeyhub.com/page/show/649078-regular-season-leaders) .  I am proud that he has continued to work hard, but prouder still that he is holding his ego in check.  Well, at least as far as I know he is; however should that become an issue, in the words of Bill Cosby, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out!”.     Trying to balance an athlete in this competitive youth venue is difficult; raising a son who confident yet humble, coach-able yet knowledgeable and a person who is strong and will stand for those who cannot is a challenge for the most able of parents.   A question for the ages, I suppose and just hopeful, maybe for all of my sons, I have given them the tools for success in all areas of their lives.

As for me, I am writing again.  I have had a request for one of my novels so I am in a frantic edit mode for which I dread daily.  I love the creative process of writing and telling the stories to ease the voices in my head.  As their lives spill forth onto the pages of my manuscript, we can only hope to see them on the bookshelves; stories to make you tingle (inside joke).

Once again, thanks for stopping by my blog.  I have to edit more pages today so I must run for now.  Always remember to hug a hockey player and keep the antibacterial hand wash close!

2014 Jacob and me

Go Falcons!

Lori Kolin Mofield

In the south, we tend to be a little less intense, moving at a slower pace, our southern humility during sporting events and our kindness towards others, “bless their hearts” and watch your back  😀  I am caught in the middle somewhat between the fast-paced regularity of the northern cities versus the small town country ways of the south.  My parents are from Buffalo, New York and I was born up there.  We moved south when New York began with their financial issues and my father lost his job.  He drove down the coast until he acquired work near Atlanta and eventually moved us there when I was 9-years-old.   I have been in the south for 41 years and therefore, am “southern-fried”.  My sons comment often that I have more of a country accent than many who were born here, including them.  Live as the Romans, I suppose.  I don’t notice it until they say something about “you sound too hick, too country, fixen is slang, etc., etc.”.  At least the years of correcting their grammar has rubbed off and they pride themselves on proper English most of the time.  As a writer, to have sons who are talented and creative with the English language, I could not be prouder.  However, living in the south is much more than dialect differences and in which the speed of our conversation ensues.  Over the past two months, I have learned there is much more of a difference for hockey players and parents from the south and it really has opened my eyes.  This may be due partially to the lack of rinks, or more importantly, the lack of ice.  In our area, we have four sheets of ice and this is in about 300 miles, give or take and to our south, west and north, different states.  A proposed sporting facility has recently broken ground and includes two additional sheets of ice, but will not officially open until 2015, I think.  However, having four sheets of ice does indeed present challenges to the teams who play, to the youth who love the game and want to develop and to the men who love the game and simply want to continue playing.  Four years ago, I did an analysis of player population and based on my approximate numbers (Work-in-progress, “The Hockey Mom Diaries, A Goalie Mom’s Trail of Tears”), at that time, there were 18 high school teams with a minimum of 20 players per team, 14 beer league teams, a fireman’s league, two A teams, two AA teams and each facility had their house leagues adding up to approximately 3500 players.  In that radius (some do drive two hours) this may not sound like much to our counterparts in the northern states, but when you are utilizing four sheets of ice, it is a daunting and I am sure, overwhelming task to schedule ice time.  Add in just the thought of tournaments and you have a scheduling nightmare.  In keeping with that, I can explain away some of the training that goes into our teams and the lack of availability of skating coaches, goalie coaches and general hockey development, as there is just no ice.  So alternatives rear their heads and many turn and even began their hockey development by playing inline hockey.  That was how it started for Jacob.  Knoxville ECHO 05302009 022

Jacob has friends from that time and we both share great memories of those tournaments and coaches.  Waving to Coach Chris who started us on this road to travel and a shout-out to Michael who is at Culver playing hockey.

Back to the present…

Jacob made our local high school team after deciding not to try out for travel this year.  This was due to several things including possibly just wanting a break to be a teenager, not sure what to do for what he really wanted in the future and knowing he would have to leave home to be noticed, if at all.  Our travel team family had splintered, some going to AAA in Atlanta and Jacob was not interested in that, that north would be his answer.  However, at 17-years-old, was it too late?  I have to admit that I tried to encourage him to try for the next level of hockey, but he was unsure and stuck to his guns about taking some time.  As I have indicated in previous posts, everything does happen for a reason.  So, after making our high school team, parent meeting held, selection made for starting players, JV players, etc., we knew it would be a good season for Jacob and just hoped people would keep stats, would do it right and turn it in for Jacob’s record.  You see, for goalies people really don’t do the stats here, at least not in our league.  Last year, Jacob was in net against top high school team who thought they would mercy us and get to the football game within the first period.  Well, we did lose, but took it to the end with “Mo” totally on his game, we lost 7 to 0.  According to my stats and I err on the side of less (never pad numbers, it only hurts in the long run).  I have done this for Jacob for years since no one really ever kept them and he uses it to improve his game.  However, during this game and I kid you not, he faced 89 shots and we lost 7 to 0.  These shots were hard, fast (not like what he faces now, kudos to the EK Mich boys!), and much more accurate than our team could do with our total shot count at 3 on them.  I was stoked, both teams congratulated Jacob on the outstanding game.  I showed Jacob the numbers, he smiled and nodded.  That was it.  A few days went by and I checked the stats on-line and his numbers were not posted.  No one kept the goalie numbers.  Welcome to the south.  How could we reach out to any coach without statistics????   It is what it is…

So, the week of tryouts, a friend and team-mate (we shall call him Sherm) called and told him he needed to come and tryout for their team, that he would never get a look there playing for Wilson Central, but he could up in Michigan and with him, they could totally make state.  This of course, made Jacob feel great, but he wasn’t sure.  He had never lived anywhere else but our home just outside Nashville.  Sure, we traveled, but together.  He would have to move, live with Sherm and his family.  He really didn’t say much until one day he looked at me and said “You know, this may be my last chance at a look, to play for a great team and see if I am good enough to play in the north.  Maybe I should cast a line out there.  I think I want to try it.”

What??????  No……., sheesh, could this really be happening?  We have already started school here and he made the team here and he is my youngest of four sons and not ready for an empty nest.  Then I sank into realization, all the time I encouraged him to reach for it, to strive for more, although tough, it could be done and now I am fussing about an empty nest?  So, once I spoke with him seriously about this and we both looked at the pros and cons, he was serious about going, was ready for a change and give it a shot.  Okay.  It didn’t hit me until I made the plane reservation and I cried like a baby, then it was done.

 

He has been gone almost two months and my husband and I miss him greatly.  However, he is living with a great family with the ethics and values we have, who are friends and are taking care of Mo like their own.  I am grateful to have someone in his life and ours that I can allow my son to become theirs; albeit temporarily.  As teammates and friends, I know they will be there for years to come.  I found this picture from Nationals; Jacob made glove save and you’ll notice Sherm pushing a guy from Jacob.

Nationals 2013 vs. AZ Mission; glove save Sherm protecting Mo

Nationals 2013 vs. AZ Mission; glove save Sherm protecting Mo

Jacob is so busy, he has no time to be homesick.  The high school has its own rink.  He walks after school to the rink four days a week for drills for 1.5 hours (I think) and then dry-land after, running bleachers and my understanding is that the athletic trainer is an ex-Marine.  Yep, he is in great shape.  He has made fast friends with the team and has become very involved with the school sports.  They fund raise, yes, the players, I am sure the parents are involved to some extent, but the players go door-to-door collecting recycling cans, they clean up the stadium after football games, they do the restaurant thing and get a percentage, serve customers and clean tables, they support breast cancer awareness and as a team they support other teams at their high school.  Wow!  A lot of our school classmates don’t even know we have a hockey team.  We are lucky if there are fans at the game who are not parents.  Years ago during off-ice training, football players told our hockey players “why don’t you play a real sport?”  I would challenge anyone that hockey is one of the most demanding team sports out there.  So, in the last week of training camp, week six or seven, Jacob says that his legs are the strongest they have ever been, his is running farther, faster and seeing the puck well.  He is hopeful to make the team, confident that he will give everything to the tryout and beyond.  He is loving the family of EK hockey and is excited to see snow, well, more than 2 inches (Grand Rapids area, LOL).   He loves the fishing, outdoors, and true friends he has made and the brother he lives with now with his Michigan family.

I don’t know what the future holds for Jacob.  Good things are happening as he steps into this next phase of his life.  I am truly happy that he did indeed, cast out his line for bigger and better things.

Photo: Jacob finally caught a salmon in the grand river.

May the Febreeze be with you!

Thanks for stopping by to read the life and times of this goalie mom!

Lori

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