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An UPWARDS kind of day

Yesterday was our first day playing/cheering for Upward ball.  It was a really well-run, organized program -- I look forward to spending the season with the church here in town running this league! 

We began the day with Frederick's game at noon.
My camera is NOT the best for this sort of thing. . .so most of these pictures are just memories for us. 
 They play man-to-man so this is how they line up every six minutes to "face" the player they'll be defending. 
 Just a large-court picture. . .Frederick is white #2
And here he is (left side) fighting for the ball.  We were surprised how aggressive he was on the court.  It must be all the basketball games we've been to this year watching his older brother's games!

He was the only one on his team to score yesterday -- the score was something like 2-32 -- ha!  They all had fun for a first-ever game (and only two practices) and did really well.  He got the gray star for his team -- gray is for offense (they also have stars for defense, best effort, Christ-likeness, etc.)

Since it was the first day, things were running a bit behind meaning that this game was over after one (2 18-min halves) and the next one (Marie's) started at 2 so we just hung around.  They had good flow in-and-out of the gym. . .you went in the gym through one door and out another so the next game could be started as soon as possible.  There was a large area for concessions and we got the kids nachos, hamburgers, hotdogs and juice.  Although they had all the regular "junky" things to eat, I really appreciated the more substantial food and having juice and water as a choice along with soda and Gatorade.  Plus, all the profit from the concession stand goes right back into the program making it more affordable for everyone.  Win-win!!

A little after 2:00 Marie took the court:
Terrible picture, but it shows how she was most of the game!  She would steal the ball and run it down the court.  She also made the 1st and last basket of the game -- yea Marie :)  Her team did win, but score is not important in Upward.  Margaret was having fun keeping score during the game. . .we now wish she would have kept score of Marie's baskets -- there were so many.  Who knew she was a good basketball player??  I think she'll be outside practicing more now! 
 Front right. . .just shot something?
 Again on the far right. . .it was funny watching all the girls move up-and-down the court in a big "blob".  Gotta start somewhere, huh?
And it looks like another shot. . .pretty sure this one missed, but she has a little air on the court!  If this is just the beginning. . .well. . .she's starting off well.  We begged her to play ball for school this year and she just didn't want to.  The coach of her school's team has even asked us why she's not playing. . .and a dad came up to Tom after the game yesterday very impressed with her skills too (who knew? we just thought we were watching a 4th grade basketball game) so I guess we'll be encouraging her more in this sport too.  She's already a very good soccer player. 
Marie, too, earned the gray star for her offense play yesterday.  The kids are supposed to display their stars on the sleeves of their undershirts. . .the kids get really excited about getting them!  There are also green stars for knowing their bible verses.

Poor Thomas wasn't feeling too well. . .this was him (at the games) all afternoon:
Next up was a 3:00 game that Margaret was cheering for:

Yep, that's her, all posed and ready for her pic to be snapped -- ha!

They had all the girls come out to the center of the gym when they went through the beginning prayer with the teams:
And at half-time the girls came out and did a little cheer for the fans:

(She is the third one from the left. . .definitely could have earned a "most spirited" award -- ha!)

So, from a family with *NO* cheerleading experience, this will be a good place to start.  When I was subbing at the HS earlier this fall they had their homecoming pep rally one day during lunch.  I came home and told my husband that the cheerleaders were my favorite!  I saw them as such leaders, such athletes. . .so much so I want MY girls to be cheerleaders :)  Margaret just may be the "one".  We'll see.  She'll need to tuck in her turtleneck next week. . .and she's already lost her megaphone. . .ahhhhhhh. . .life with ADD.  And yep, she was awarded the gray star too.

Although we were planning on going to another ball game between this 3:00 cheer game and Thomas's scheduled 7:00 p.m. game, we ended up heading home instead because Thomas felt so awful.  I told him that he didn't have to go back to play but Tom said "yes, I really want him to play" and Thomas, in truth, really wanted to too so after a quick dinner, a big sucker (for the sugar rush) and some Advil, we headed back into town for another game.
 Lining up. . .even the 5/6th graders do man-to-man defense.  Thomas is white number 21.  His coach is wonderful.
 Receiving a pass. . .
Throwing a pass. . .
 And receiving again. . .he probably shot this one. . .
And, with the 6-min rotation, here he is sitting out one of his 6-min intervals.  He played a GREAT game, scoring most of the points for his team (I think they lost 26-31).  In fact, in one of the sessions he sat out, his team didn't score a single point.  I think, at this age, if you aren't playing for school this is what you do.  Thomas has the advantage of playing for school, too, so he (probably) has lots more playing time in then his teammates.  But too, the refs don't call nearly all they should so he got away with a lot -- ha!  He, too, was awarded the gray star for offense.  How cool for him!  He barely gets to play at school (because this is his first year playing for a school team) but out here he really gets a chance to be a leader.

On our way home last night I told Tom, "this will be a great way to spend the next seven Saturdays".  Do I mention often enough how much I love spending time with my family?????


  1. Yesterday was our first Upward day too. And, we, too, had a great time!!


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