Friday, March 4, 2011

A Post-Season Wrap-Up

Hayley loves basketball.  When we were making the decision to homeschool last spring she was really sad about not being able to play anymore.  Actually, that was the ONLY thing she was sad about giving up. She loved her middle school team. But she decided homeschooling was worth it.  I was very proud of her mature decision but my heart was broken for her to give up the thing she loved.

And then Wes got laid off at work.  In retrospect, this turned out to be the best thing that could have happened.  You think I'm crazy, right?  I'll explain.

I had been looking into homeschool sports options.  Unfortunately Arkansas is not one of the "Tim Tebow" states that allow homeschoolers to play sports with their local public schools.  Therefore, our only option was to find a homeschool co-op.  Unfortunately our town does not have a co-op that offers sports.  The nearest one was about a hour away.  I also discovered a Christian school that welcomed homeschoolers but it was 45 minutes away.  With one child in public school, I knew my schedule wouldn't allow us to commute daily to practices.  And so I gave up.

This is where the unemployment kicked in.  It wasn't unexpected.  Wes has had a long and lucrative career in medical sales but that is becoming an increasingly difficult field to work in. (Thanks, Obamacare!)  And then it dawned on us...Wes now had plenty of time to commute!   And that's how Hayley wound up playing basketball for Hot Springs Christian.  What we could have seen as a great disaster had just turned into the greatest blessing!  Wes was able to spend a couple of hours a day driving with Hayley which gave them lots of time to talk and grow their relationship.  He was free to spend his time helping out at practice which he really enjoyed. 

Hayley had the best year EVER.  Her coach, Bill Vining, Jr., was fabulous!  He's not only a gifted coach but he's a great educator too.  And he really cares about not only building great athletes but also great character.  And Hayley made some really great friends.  We could not have asked for a better season.  The school even invites her to go on their field trips every other week.  She's been to play paintball, to a shooting range and on a city-wide scavenger hunt.  Good times!

So you wanna see some pictures, right?  I should warn you that I have not yet mastered taking sports pictures.  These are the best I could do.

  There's my Lady Panther, #23!

Oh, look!  Who's that ref-ing the game?!  Too bad this wasn't a paying gig.

I should probably tell you their record.  I don't actually know.  It was a winning season.  That's all I need to know.  I'm a great sports mom.

Strategizing with Coach Vining.  The tallest girl is Hayley's good friend Aubree.  And that's Aubree's dad, Mr. Foshee, the assistant coach, in the striped shirt. 

I wish I had a pictures of the game that Wes and his brother Brad were the referees and Caitlin ran the scoreboard.  It was all Sullivans, all the time!

We all hated to see the season come to an end.  Although our wallet is glad to see the gas expense go.