Saturday, May 3, 2008

Birthdays, Guitars, & Soccer

Well, here it is...our blog.

The first big news to report is that NATHAN IS TWELVE YEARS OLD!! He wanted nothing more than a new guitar for his birthday. Yesterday, he and Michele went to Colonial Music, in Worthington, to find his prize. He came home with a red Epiphone SG G-400. It hasn't left his side much in the past twenty-four hours. Today, his Grandpa Lonnie helped him tune it. Using gift money he received from Grandpa & Grandma Keller, Nathan also bought a new cord and glass guitar slide. He's making some rockin' new sounds come from his room now...and making some rockin' new faces, too.

In soccer news [in our house, there is always soccer news], Nathan's team, the Team Ohio FC Dubliners, tied Worthington United by a score of 1-1 this afternoon. This was a moral victory, as the Worthington team had beaten us earlier in the season, three goals to nil. Unfortunately, I missed today's game, as I was [where else?] at another soccer game. However, Michele gave me the play-by-play via cell phone. Nathan played well at left fullback/midfield. He has always done a nice job of starting attacking plays out of the back, stringing together diagonal passes. He has also scored the "goal of the season" for his team this year, while playing against a tough Gahanna FC Arsenal team. In this game, Nathan made a field-length run up the back side, just as the ball was crossed into the penalty area in front of the eighteen yard line. The keeper came out of the goal to intercept, but Nathan made a leaping head flick just over the keeper's gloves, and buried the ball into the upper corner of the goal. I wish I had it on was English Premiership stuff.

Ian's team, the Team Ohio FC Sparta, played in the Round of 16 State Cup today. In a nail-biter, Sparta won 2-1 in overtime. Ian had a rough first half, as he had trouble getting used to the wet and muddy conditions of the pitch. The Sparta team trailed at halftime by a score of 1-0. However, in the second half, Ian came out fired up and helped to set up the tying goal with a dead-on pass, through multiple defenders, up the middle of the field. From there, two one-touch passes resulted in the goal that tied the game with twenty minutes left in regulation. Ian was then moved from his normal center midfield position to forward, as his team tried to close the game with another quick goal. However, the other team, Ohio Elite Academy, seemed satisfied with a tie, as they packed extra defenders in front of their goal. Two minutes into overtime, Ian made a nice run with the ball, up the right flank, to the corner flag. He then beat two defenders with some nifty dribbling, and placed a crossing pass at the feet of a teammate who was waiting in front of the goal. Somehow, he makes this look easy. The win allows the Sparta team to play in the state cup quarter-finals tomorrow. So, we'll pack up the family and leave for Cincinnati by 5:45 am. This is our life.

Ian recently traveled to Alabama with his state Olympic Development [ODP] team. They played in the Southeast College Showcase. Our family wasn't able to make this trip. So, for the first time, Ian traveled without us. His team took a charter bus from UD Arena, in Dayton, and traveled to Huntsville, AL. There, he trained with his team and played against other state ODP teams from Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, etc. He was also watched by several college coaches, and even received some individual praise by the coach of the University of South Alabama. That's exciting stuff for a 13 year old. In the photo, that's Ian in the top row, third from the left...and smiling. Standing next to him is his friend Naoto Koga. Naoto also plays for Team Ohio FC, and is a member of the U-14 U.S. National team pool!

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