Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Final Hurrah

Cooper's team had played so good up to this point I think I started to forget that they were 9. I started expecting them to make every play, get every clutch hit, always make the right decision and walk away victorious. I was ready to chronicle this into a movie that would battle the likes of Hoosiers, Rudy, Miracle on Ice, and The Natural.

Cooper's team battled fiercely against a stacked Florida team.  They did not give it away, but they did make a couple of mistakes. We had opportunities to win, but Florida had some great pitching and our bats never really got going. Florida won 6-4. We bounced back with wins against Tennessee and Virginia, before losing to South Carolina and being eliminated from the tournament. But after winning the area and state championships and finishing in the top 10 out of about 600 little league teams in the South East Region, it was tough not to be pretty proud for the boys.

Highlights of the Trip:

  • Buying a printed program with my son's picture and name in it and having him autograph it for me.
  • Watching my son pitch in the South East Regional and have guys with radar guns behind the dug out (he only throws between 48 - 50 MPH, which is good but not exceptional speed for a 9 year old incidentally) but it was still a rush. 
  • Pool Parties -- until the Baby Ruth in the pool incident (it wasn't our kid)
  • Painting our car with the team before we left
  • Having the whole family together 
Football starts next week -- Both Will and Cooper are playing. Only in the South can your 6 year old sign up for full on tackle football!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

State Champs and on to the Southeast Regional -- Day 1 Opening Ceremonies

Day 1 -- Arrival, check in and Opening Cermonies --

After a 5 hour car ride we arrived at the pride of Richmond, Virginia -- The Comfort Inn. We immediately hit the pool. Forecast for tomorrow, the first day of the tournament, is an even 100 degrees. Add in the humidity and says it will feel like 107 or something like that. Sounds like a great day to play a doubleheader!

First up, Florida State Champions. We might as well be playing the NY Stinkin' Yankees. When I saw their team when we arrived, they were not just big, they were strong. They had huge, strong necks, backs and arms. I am not saying these kids were juicing or anything, but they had some serious muscle compared to the rest of the teams. They are the favorite to win the whole thing. We will see if we are any good based on how we play them. After that, we play Tennessee. Not much easier. Day 2 are teams I think we might have a better chance against, but we they are all good teams, they all won their state.

After opening ceremonies, which were pretty cool, the kids all exchanged pins with the other teams, and each of the teams walked out on the big, major league sized field and carried their state's flag. We had a picnic, but it was too hot, the hot dogs kind of sucked and we had to pay 7 dollars for them. So we hurried back to the pool and then tried to get 4 kids to bed before 9 (Cooper's best friend came to cheer him on).

We will post some pictures from the games later. Wish us luck. We got David vs. Goliath tomorrow, but hopefully we will have our slingshots ready.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

9U North Carolina State Champs

And then there was 1.

12 teams qualified for the State Championship. Cooper's team started off horribly going down 14 - 1 in their first game, where just about every player on the team had an error and we looked like the bad news bears in the first 3 innings. They actually came back to tie that game but it was too little too late and they started the state championship tournament with a loss.

But then the proverbial GONG went off. "What? Daniel Larusa is gonna fight?"

From that point forward, they went on an absolute tear outscoring their opponents 75 - 13 over the next 5 games in route to the NC State Championship.

While I was vomiting of anxiety along the fence line, Cooper pitched the final 3 innings in both the semifinal and state championship games (they play 6 inning games and you by rule you can't pitch more than 6 innings over 2 consecutive games).

The other team's fans were literally pulling fog horns, ringing cow bells and blowing those world cup horns while my son was pitching. When I looked over and saw him still blowing bubbles with his gum mid- pitch, I knew we were ok or atleast not falling apart in the moment. His team played amazing D behind him and they won the State Championship and advanced to the South East Regionals in Virginia.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Coop Action Pitching Shots from this Weekend's Area Championship

Area 4 Cal Ripken Little League 9U All-Stars Championship Game

Cooper McKeehan

Nice Balanced Knee Bend

Raring back to throw

Drive off the front foot...

Follow Through....

Bring home the championship and act crazy -- Can you find Cooper in this picture?
I believe he is in the middle. I can see his dirty backside but can not see his face.
That's a little better -- smiling back row in the middle

Can you say statement game! -- Area championship goes to the Matthews - American League All-Stars 17 - 4 on July 4th weekend 2010! On to the State Championships this weekend. We have to get a hotel and travel and everything. Cooper and the whole family are excited.