Coach Charles: Version 2.0

Today is the first day that we can begin practicing basketball for the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). I volunteer as a coach for a 7th grade boys’ team and an 8th grade boys’ team at St. Dominic Catholic Church.

I began coaching basketball back when I was an 8th grader at St. Dominic’s as a way to earn service hours. I started by helping coach my cousin Maddy’s 2nd grade girls’ team with her dad, my Uncle Pat.

I know coach his son, Robert, and his 8th grade team with my Uncle Pat. I began coaching the 7th grade team last year when a guy I had met coaching the girls’ ¬†team asked me to help.

It is a great way for me to give back to my parish as well as just relax and have a little fun. Words cannot describe how much I enjoy coaching these guys and seeing them grow up through the years.

Me coaching a player

Coaching Trent during a playoff game

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2016 CYO Toy Bowl

Today, I went to watch the Toy Bowl Court and Toy Bowl championship games at Archbishop Lipscomb Field. The Toy Bowl is the main fundraising event for the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) of the Archdiocese of Mobile. Each of the Catholic grade schools in the CYO compete in their sports leagues.

Each year the 8th grade boys have the opportunity to escort an 8th grade girl from their school and raise money for the CYO. These kids make up what is called the Toy Bowl Court. Then, a king and queen are announced to the highest money-raiser from the school with the most money raised per capita. The kids get to walk across the field with their date and also have a banquet, mass, and Toy Bowl dance.

They also have the championship games today for soccer and football with the volleyball games being played during the week. My cousin, Robert, is an 8th grader at St. Dominic and his football team won the league championship. That means that they played against a team of all-stars from the other teams in the Toy Bowl game. He was also part of the Toy Bowl Court.

Robert and his SDS football team beat the All-Stars today! This was their fifth league championship in the 8 years of playing. And all five times they have beaten the All-Stars!

GO EAGLES!!!

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8.5 Combo State Champs…Again!!!

This past weekend I went down to Gulf Shores to play in the 2016 USTA Alabama 8.5 Combo State Championships. I was playing with my dad – which was a blast! And you’re not going to believe this but we defended our title from last year and won state for the second straight year!!!

Our team went 4-0 at the tournament. My dad and I played together in all four matches and went undefeated. We won our first two matches fairly easily: 6-4, 6-1 and 6-3, 6-2. Our third match was very tough and we were the decisive winning match with a 6-4, 5-7, 10-2 victory. Finally, we clinched our team’s state championship with a 6-4, 7-6 (3) win.

We will play in Sectionals in Mobile at the Mobile Tennis Center from March 10-13, 2017. Our team will compete against state champions from the following states: Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee (as well as Alabama).

2016 8.5 combo state champs

Part of our state championship team. My dad and I are on the far right.

8.5 Combo State Championships

I’m headed down to the Gulf tomorrow to play in a state tennis tournament this weekend. This is the combo state championships, which means that two players of differing levels play with each other. The levels are 5.5, 6.5, 7.5, 8.5, and 9.5.

I am playing with my dad, a 4.5 player, and I am a 4.0 player – that means we are playing 8.5 combo. It is so much fun being able to play the sport I love with my dad, the man who taught me how to play! Hopefully, we can defend our state title that we won last year!

2015 combo state champs (partial team)

Here are a few of the guys from our 2015 8.5 Combo State Championship Team! My dad and I are on the far left.

 

Man, I’m getting old…

Today, November 2nd, is my little sister’s birthday.

Her 18th birthday!

I cannot believe that she is a senior in high school and looking at colleges for next year. It seems like only yesterday she was just a little kid following me around wherever I went. I am so proud of the young woman that she has become and love her to death.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH!!!

me and my sister

This is my sister, Sarah, and myself after she was participating in the Mobile County Distinguished Young Women competition.

P.S. It is also my Uncle Pat’s (mom’s brother) birthday tomorrow. My family apparently likes to keep birthdays close together as my parents were both born on May 13th, exactly one year apart. Crazy, I know! But HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you too, Uncle Pat!

 

War Eagle or Something Like That

This past weekend my mom, sister, and I took a trip up to Auburn. My sister was taking a college visit at the university and we have family that live there. It was great to spend the weekend with all these cousins (4 boys)!!! They are huge Auburn fans so we got to tailgate with them and go to the game on Saturday. Can’t wait to see them soon at Thanskgiving!

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High School Tennis Coach

As mentioned in my first personal post, I attended McGill-Toolen Catholic High School here in Mobile. While at McGill, I played tennis for the Yellow Jackets from my 7th grade year through my senior year.

After my freshman year at South Alabama, I realized I was missing some tennis in my life and was asked by my old coach to become the assistant tennis coach at McGill.

So, in honor of fall tryouts starting this afternoon, here is a picture of our 2016 varsity team with our 7A AHSAA runner-up trophy. Hopefully, we can get that first place trophy this year!¬†7A AHSAA 2nd place team photoI’m in the back row, far right. Yeah, I know, I look younger than most of our players.

NLCS Here We Come!!!

Last night was nerve-racking.

I am a big Los Angeles Dodgers fan and last night was the decisive Game 5 of the National League Division Series (NLDS). They won the game 4-3 thanks to a huge 7th inning scoring outburst and some creative and risky pitching moves.

GAME RECAP

Rich Hill, the starter for the Dodgers, lasted 2 2/3 innings on short rest and gave up one run. Joe Blanton and Julio Urias relieved him to get through the 6th inning. Then, the 7th inning happened.

With Max Scherzer dealing for the Washington Nationals, hopes for the Dodgers looked grim even though they were only down one run. But on the first pitch in the top of the 7th inning, Joc Pederson hits a solo HR to even the score at one all. (And thankfully Scherzer is pulled). After it is all said and done, the Dodgers explode for 4 runs in the inning and lead 4-1!!! To the bottom of the 7th we go…

A walk and and pinch-hit 2-run HR gets the Nationals back in it with a score of 4-3. So, with no outs, the top of the lineup coming up, manager Dave Roberts calls in his closer Kenley Jansen to stop the bleeding.

And does Jansen ever rise to the occasion. He pitches 2 1/3 innings of beautiful baseball, recording the most outs of his career and a career-high 51 pitches. But, he too gets in trouble and runs out of gas in the bottom of the 9th inning.

In comes Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw had pitched two days ago (on only 3 days rest in the Game 4 win), but records the two biggest outs of his career against the heart of the Nats’ lineup to send the Dodgers to the NLCS!!!!!

It was one of the craziest baseball games that I have ever seen and epitomizes the notion that nothing is wilder than playoff baseball.

Now let’s see if we can’t beat the Chicago Cubs and then win the World Series for the first time since 1988. GO DODGERS!!!

It’s Time For…Goodbyes?

“IT’S TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL!”

To hear Vin Scully say that before every Los Angeles Dodger baseball game is, in a sense, soothing to me. And now it is almost over. Vin Scully, the longtime announcer for the Dodgers, is retiring at the end of the regular season, after an illustrious 67-year career.

That’s right. Sixty-seven years. 6. 7.

In a most fitting way to go out at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers clinched a playoff berth and National League West division title yesterday with a walk-off homerun by Charlie Culberson in the bottom of the 10th inning. It was Vin’s last game at Dodger Stadium.

He is the greatest announcer that has ever lived and while we are sad to see him go, we are more thrilled that we got to experience such a master at work for such a long time. The way he called a game is truly iconic and could not be described any better than by Vin himself:

“The game is just one long conversation, and I’m anticipating that, and I will say things like ‘Did you know that?’ or ‘You’re probably wondering why.’ I’m really just conversing rather than just doing play-by-play. I never thought of myself as having a style. I don’t use key words. And the best thing I do? I shut up.”

His way of storytelling a game and painting a picture of what is going to be remembered but he is also a genuine and very humble man. He always gives credit where credit is due and has never boasted about any of his many achievements.

So, one last time, let’s hear you say it Vinny:

McGill vs Murphy Rivalry

Orange Cannon

McGill-Toolen Catholic High School and Murphy High School are huge rivals in the city of Mobile and this year was the 85th meeting of the rivalry. It is part of the Great American Rivalry Series.

It is tradition for the winner of the football game each year to paint the cannon, located at the loop in midtown, their school colors. This year McGill (my alma mater) won the game 43-0!!!

McGill is coming off of a 7A AHSAA state championship in football and hopes to continue that streak of dominance into this season. 7A is the highest classification in the AHSAA.

This is a picture that my sister, who is a senior at McGill, sent me of the cannon painted the way it should be – orange!

IT’S GREAT TO BE A YELLOW JACKET!