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Now It’s Over

June 6, 2016

With tonight’s baseball banquet a wrap, I can now say Peter’s high school baseball career is really and truly over.

In attendance: the varsity team, the junior varsity team, coaches from both, and muchos parents, grandparents and siblings. Crowd estimates were well over a hundred. 🙂

The Bell house, way out in the middle of farmland and along the western edge of the municipal golf course, was the site of the extravaganza.

Here are some pics:

Not sure of the game in progress here, but they were having a great time. Even drippy wet, I can pick out Mason, Peter, Hunter and Ray in the water, Eton in dramatic mid-leap. And Ryan looking on. That could be Daniel’s arm and Gabe’s head.

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Here’s Dan just prior to the presentations. It’s always a bit shocking for me to see coaches out of uniform… like the regular guys they are. If we first met them as civilians in everyday casual wear, we might not be so intimidated and tongue tied every time we found ourselves face to face. Whatever that was, I don’t think I ever really got over my awkwardness in the coaches’ presence. Any of them. Weirdo me. (And for the final embarrassing, socially inept blow, I cried–yep, tears, lump in throat, immovable mouth–when I tried to say thanks for everything and goodbye. Honestly. Hope he got the message: it was a good time.)

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JV coach Jaret Kahoalii and assistant coach Rich, his dad, started things off. Nice guys, very well-liked coaches, but not comfortable public speakers. Names were read. Kids were handed certificates. Eyes were not met. End of the JV portion of the program.

Next up: varsity. Here’s Dan at the mic, with Dave Nicholson, Woody Woodard (barely visible, who has an actual first name that is not actually Woody), Thomas Goykovich and Robby Bronson looking on. (Mark Kenner and Tom Turray couldn’t make it.)

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He speaks to a rapt audience (of course, he’s the 20+ year veteran head coach of Davis’ only varsity baseball program who’s got their baseball futures in his hands.):

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Dan also, legendarily, doesn’t love public speaking, but can go on a very long time about baseball and the kids he loves so much. He has an amazingly photographic memory for game details and greatly enjoys sharing them. He has a vast inventory of stories about each player, and loves sharing those, as well. It was amusing, heartwarming, revealing.  It was GREAT to hear Dan speak so kindly and genuinely reverently about each player.

He handed out the Riggins award for most inspirational player to Solly! And the Bobby Jones award for MVP to Ryan; no surprise there, both exceptionally well deserved.

Several of the seniors made heartfelt presentations to the coaches that included personal stories and reflections. Peter spoke about pitching coach Kenner (being intimidated at first, but coming to value his mentorship). Daniel, Mason, Solly, Ray and Ryan also presented. They were all just terrific.

The whole program, all 60 minutes of  it, and, in fact the whole evening–a final gathering (for us) with the baseball kids and families we’ve known and mostly loved for so long–provided due and satisfying closure. And except for choking up at the end when closure-ing with Dan, I held it together quite well.

I was a little late shooting the cake… but actually got a slab with Peter’s name and a pretty funny typo…

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Go Blue Devils.

 

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