Thursday, June 02, 2016

Clayton Spring 11U/12U Baseball

This season was a great season of growth for our C-man as a ball player!  As was the case in the Fall season, the league made the decision to combine 11U and 12U teams.  Clayton is one of the younger 11U players, so he was essentially playing some kids that were almost 2 full years older than him.  There were some BIG boys out there!  Our C held his own, though!

Clayton had told us that he wanted to learn to play catcher this season.  We were hesitant, as you usually try a new position in the Fall when it isn't so competitive.  His heart was set on it, though!  He asked for catcher's gear from his grandparents for his birthday and a bag to hold his gear from Aunt Leigh Ann.  They both came through with his birthday wishes, of course.  We're so thankful for family members that love our kiddo and support him in his favorite pastime.  :)

Just like that, our boy became a catcher.  He and his friend, Zach, alternated catching.  Clayton worked hard and learned as much as he could.  He ended up doing really well!  We think he has found his niche!

 I love this sequence of images.  His tongue hanging out makes me laugh!

 The cutest catcher in all of the land...  No, I'm not biased at all!

 Coach Raul brought Sprite for their traditional first win shower!
Coach Kam felt like he had been tough on the boys during one of their Saturday practices.  So... he told them to convince their ride to take them to Sonic and he would buy them each a treat.  That Kam is a fun guy!  :)
Some fun friends came to cheer on our boy!
 C got to be the Captain for his hard work and being a leader on their team!

 C earned a second Game Ball for his excellent catching performance and a home run!

 Grammie, Papaw, Uncle Corey, Aunt Leigh Ann, Mak, Morgan, and Ethan all came to watch the boys play!

 Last Spring, Clayton decided that his goal was to make the All Star team.  Each coach is allowed to pick 3 players to play in the last game of the season.  He was devastated when he didn't make the team.  :(  This year, however, he was thrilled with the outcome!  He was chosen to play in the All Star game and he was soooo excited!  He caught for most of the game, and he did wonderful!  We were so proud of him!

 Getting his All Star medal
 So happy!

 The All Stars and their All Star Coaches/Dads!

 Coach Raul planned a super fun end of the season party for the kids - a parents vs. kids whiffle ball game!  I don't want to brag, but Mama got a hit!  Too bad that the second baseman (aka Clayton) tagged me out!  Stinker!

 C was given the award for Most Improved Fielder of the Year.  He learned a new position and gave it all he had this season!

There are two moments that stick out to me from the season as the highest high and the lowest low.  I don't have pictures of either, because, honestly, I was sobbing during both (happy tears for one and terrified tears for the other).

Highest high:  On Mother's Day weekend, I had teased the boys that all I wanted was for the big boys to each hit a home run and for Owen to stay 4 (his birthday was the day before Mother's Day).  Well...  My sweet Clayton pulled through for me!  That boy hit an AMAZING homer that went inches from the fence!  It was beautiful!!!  I was screaming my head off and jumping up and down!  He rounded home plate, looked in the stands, and then pointed at me!  It was like something out of a movie.  I just sat in the stands crying like a baby - so proud that he is mine!

Lowest low:  The Braves were playing the Red Sox in a night game.  I was sitting right behind home plate chatting with Kendra while she ran the scoreboard.  They had their starting pitcher on the mound.  He threw a wild pitch and clocked Clayton right on the edge of his helmet, near his jaw.  My baby fell straight down on the ground in pain.  I could see him sobbing, and I got so scared!  That boy does NOT cry, so I knew that he was really hurt.  I ran to the concession stand to get ice, but it was closed.  I could see Wade crouching down over C and talking to him.  I ran onto the field just as he was starting to get up.  I was so relieved!  I will say that my Mama Bear threatened to come out when those stinkers tried to throw him out at first.  Come on!  You just almost took the kid's head off!  Luckily, C was too fast, and they didn't succeed.  I'm still a little mad that they didn't check on Clayton after the game or apologize.  Where's the sportsmanship here???

Clayton proceeded to get hit multiple times throughout the season and took a helmet to the sternum while catching when a runner slid into him.  I teased that he had a magnet in his helmet that attracted balls.  Ha!

It was a fun season watching our boy!  We are so proud of the athlete that he is becoming, the teammate that he is, and the leader that he strives to be.  Way to go, #13!