Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's Football Season in Ohio!

One of the really, really, really wonderful things about being back in Ohio is living so close to our niece Kelly and her beautiful family.  What joy they bring to our lives!  They live in the picturesque midwestern town of Bluffton about a 2 hour drive north from Cincinnati.  We look for excuses to visit!  One of our very favorite visits is in the fall when we join them for a high school football game!  Our very own "Friday Night Lights"!Now I need to brag a bit!  Our nephew-in-law is one of the coaches- so we're rather like "insiders" when we visit.  Even better, when we go to Bluffton for a game we always get to sit right on the 50 yard line right under the "press box".  They are the best seats in the house and they belong to Kelly and Pat, but we get to sit there.

But enough of the chatter- and off to the game! Of course there is the marching band!  And they are really, really good!

And huddles with the guys!

And here is Pat running off the field after a little "on field chat"!

And we all bundled up to stay warm!

And then on Saturday morning we were up early and off to volleyball with Darby! Well just maybe Don, Kelly, Lucas and me stopped off for coffee while Darby was warming up!  Nothing like the "Common Grounds" sitting at the corner of Main and Cherry streetes, just two blocks from Kelly & Pat's house.

And look at Darby play!

And of course her favorite fans!


Kelly took us on a tour of the Ricky Matter Strength and Fitness Center on the Bluffton campus.  Kelly directs the strength and endurance training for the young female athletes at Bluffton High School.  When Max and I were in high school no one would have ever thought that girls would be caught in a weight room improving their strength and endurance.  Weight rooms were in the basement where the wrestlers tried to sweat off that last few ounces so they could make weight for their next match.   But Bluffton has an absolutely wonderful fitness center built in honor of Ricky Matter, a young athlete who was tragically killed in a car wreck his freshman year.  The city rallied to his memory and built this fitness center and this year paid off the mortgage after only a few short years of fund raising.

"Morning After" the Friday night game!

But of course the best part is just always "hanging" with the family!  Always the best reason for a drive up north!

PS: Our grandniece Bailey started high school this year and is playing on the varsity girls basketball team.  We see many, many, many more trips north in our future!  Bailey is a real varsity prospect even though this is her freshman year.  She has worked hard all summer to recover from knee surgery and then to be the first of this year's team to complete a workout routine involving 20,000 shots in basketball.  She has great potential and desire, and that's what it takes to be great.  We are really looking forward to watching her develop over these next four years of high school basketball.  Our first game to see Bailey is coming up in early December.

Our girls!

The guys aren't so bad either, just busy and a little shy.


Amber said...

looks like so much! and i'm so impressed with all the athleticism in the family!

Lucas said...

I gotta say, I'm jealous that you got to see the weight center and locker room. I know those places are huge in the lives of Kels and Pat but I've never been to either of them yet. Everybody looks great and I LOVED that pic of Darby all crouched down and ready for action. And how about those Pirate SUPERFANS! There's just nothing like a Bluffton Football Game. Heavens to Betsy I just love, love, LOVE our family!

Brandy said...

What a great trip! I'll echo that I love the intensity on Darby's face in the volleyball game.