Well, little league baseball season is over in Oxford and while the last few games were frustrating trying to get a full roster with several of my members on vacation, I’m a little sad to see it end. Our boys, the Larson Big Star Red Sox, finished the season at 8-4. We lost to the same two teams, twice (yes, they were the #1 and #2 teams…making us essentially the #3 team…but the league didn’t keep up with it that way). If you were to ask me, I think the boys had a great time and should hopefully remember this season as a fun one.
As I stated earlier, I’ve been very fortunate to have been able to coach some great boys with great attitudes as well as fantastic parents. In most cases it is indeed true that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I’ve also had the good fortune to have some good guys/dads help me out. For the second year in a row now, I’ve been blessed to have Samuel Woodall on my team and his dad, Sammy Woodall, has helped me. I realize that I’m a bit biased, but I think we’ve made a great team. This year Pat Meagher (don’t ask me how to pronounce the last name, just go with it!) helped and we had a good crew. Of course, Brittany helped again this year after she decided not to play softball at the last minute. I also had help from Mason Phillips, Luke’s big brother, and from Will Larson’s grandfather (I made the mistake of calling him “Mr. Larson” once…and then I was corrected in that he is Christy’s dad, not Brent’s—but no one ever told me his name, so he remains “Will’s grandfather).
This year we did something a little different. Not only do Sammy and I see eye to eye on baseball, but we also have the same ideas about God and faith and such. I mentioned to him that I’d like to get all the boys together as a team outside of a game or practice, maybe have them all attend church together. Sammy jumped on the idea and immediately invited us all to his church…out in Taylor. I loved the idea!
For those of you who don’t know Sammy…he’s the dark-complected one in the photos here.
Now BJ and I have been to black churches before so we knew—even though Sammy warned me more than once—that they like to “get loud.” I can’t speak for the families on my team, but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that none of them had ever been to a black church before. So I was very anxious to see how the boys—AND their parents would react.
And we had a GREAT time! The overwhelming majority of my team went—that was exciting to see.
The entire membership of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church was all very welcoming to the team. In fact, after the services were over, they fed us—just us! The choir had rehearsal and other groups had work they had to attend to, but they still fed us! I suspect they realized that most white churches finished up services at least an hour earlier and there would be some hungry bellies! That was one of the first things Brittany noticed: the choir and congregation sang for a full hour before the preacher even got started. One of the things I noticed was that even though they sang for an hour, I knew very few of the songs. In most instances when you visit another church, you know 75% of the songs. Yes, I enjoyed them and sang when I could, but I didn’t know many of them. They also had one of the best praise bands I’ve ever heard—the drummer was fantastic!
Hopefully, this won’t be the last time we do this—in fact, BJ and I have already talked about just visiting there sometime…and hopefully, it won’t be the last time I get to coach with Sammy. But I am kinda sad to see the season end.