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Friday, February 26th, 2016. I dropped Ben off at the airport this morning at 9:00.  He is off to Orlando!

Thursday, February 25th, 2016. Both boys are pretty excited tonight.  Jackson came home with his first car, a 2014 Ford Focus, and Ben leaves in the morning for Disney World.  He will be traveling with his Aunt Deana, cousin Seth and his grandmother, Mo. 

 

Saturday, February 20th, 2016. Our little River is not so little anymore. 

Friday, February 19th, 2016. My business trip to Dalton, Georgia was first delayed by a snow/ice storm, then redirected to a more southbound route that took me through Bryson City and past the Nantahala.  I stopped just long enough to make a quick two mile run, huck a tiny estuary to the Nanty and to take a few waterfall selfies. 

I detoured on my route home just far enough to swing by the Tellico.  I again made a quick two mile run and this time made one pass at Baby Falls.  The sun was out and it was a glorious morning.  I would have loved to have paddled the river with all the boaters that were showing up, but I needed to get back on the road.

Sunday, February 14th, 2016.  Amy, who is now an Elder at our church, First Presbyterian, was busy with meetings there.  Ben and I were across town at Central Methodist for Scout Sunday.

2/13/2016. Ben pulled yet another double-header.  The day started with a loss in the first round of the Jr Hoops basketball tournament.  The league had great parity this year and the two teams that finished tied for 2nd went to the championship over the two teams that were tied for 1st.  Ben had a good day, scoring 11 points that included a long range three pointer.  Jared had a good day as well, scoring 17, but the only other points from the team came from two free throws that Chris hit.  That was very unlike how most of our games went, where scoring was very distributed.  It was a good season though and a good group of players.

We went from there to Indoor Soccer.  Ben's team has had the same line up for the past few months of Ben, Juan, Yahir, Brian and Brandon and it shows.  They are playing really well together.  Ben scored his second hat trick of the year.  Every player got in on the action by scoring multiple goals, with Yahir leading the way with 6.  It was a pretty one-sided game, but it stayed a lot closer once the opposing team made a goalie change.  More photos here.
 

February 6th, 2016 - Wow, what a game.  With Ridge and James home sick, Ben's team could only field 4 players.  They went with a triangle and 1 defense, with Ben chasing the ball.  Ben hit a 3, Chris scored, William scored and somehow after one quarter they were only down 2 pts.  Then it happened.  Ben had a transcendent 2nd quarter, knocking down 5 jumpers off quick screens. Jared and Chris scored, their defense generated steals and turnovers.  They could not have played a better quarter and hit the half up 7 points.  Unbelievable.  But they were spent, their tanks were empty.  The opposing team came out pressing hard, with a double-team on Ben that picked him up at half court.  The guys tried their best but were outscored 31-5 in the second half.  They only managed 1 basket in the last two quarters.  It was brutal.  The kids were so tired and frustrated that they were crying and getting hurt. I was upset with the other coach for not backing off after they were up a ton with time running out.   Ben finished with 13 pts, which is his season high.

And then, immediately after that, Ben hustled his bruised, sweaty self to an indoor soccer game.  He played well, did not score, but came close and played great defense.  Earlier in the morning Ben volunteered with Boy Scouts to collect food.  He fell off the side of my truck and hurt his hands, an elbow and a knee.  He was pretty beat up and tired by the end of the day.  He was asleep by 7 that evening.  More photos here.

   

Thursday, February 4th, 2016.  Our 2nd seeded Sr Hoops team lost in the tournament to the 3rd seeded team, the only team we had beaten twice in the regular season.  We were sad that the season did not end in the championship game, but it was a good group of players and a good year.  Jackson averaged 21.1 pts per game, making him the second leading scorer in the league.  He is a fantastic player, a good leader and a gracious teammate.