Tag Archives: National Anthem

Allard Park 2016

Sometimes I sit and I wonder, what would fill the hole in my heart, were it not for this little gem, Allard Park.

Allard Park - 2016 Districts Game 10

Bow vs. Concord. National Anthem. Final game of the 2016 District Tournament, Pool A. 13-15 yr. old Babe Ruth All-stars. Allard Park, Goffstown, NH.                                 (click on the picture for larger view)

Grizzlies Hockey ~ It’s Quarter-Final Time!

It’s Tournament Time, and the Grizzlies have advanced to the NHIAA Division II Ice Hockey Quarter-Finals! The Grizzlies travel to West Side Arena in Manchester, NH to take on the #2 seed, Merrimack Tomahawks. The puck drops at 4pm tomorrow, Saturday, March 12th at West Side Arena. For you Grizzlies’ fans, come out and support your #7 seed, Goffstown Grizzlies.

Before I get into this brief preview, full of stats and numbers that often times don’t matter once the puck drops, I have one other thing that does matter, and I have wanted to cover this for quite some time. Recently, a video has made its way around cyberspace providing perfect segway to get this teaching moment off of my chest.

I have discussed this with my kids long before this video came around, but I encourage any parent or coach to share this with their kids or their players, early, and often if needed. This is about honor and respect. It’s about our flag, our anthem, our country. My kids will tell you that my favorite song is our National Anthem (it’s true). So, I share this video. Just click on the link and take the 4+ minutes required to watch it. Share it and make sure this generation understands what it all stands for. It drives me crazy when I see players, coaches, or anyone else who can’t stand up straight and quit being a distraction or being distracted long enough to honor our country. Again, this isn’t about views or sides, but about honor and respect; two things that this world could use a lot more of. Thanks.

The teams line up for the National Anthem. (c) 1inawesomewonder (Photo by Charron)

The teams line up for the National Anthem. (c) 1inawesomewonder (Photo by Fortin/Charron)

Now, on to tomorrow’s matchup. Back on January 6th, Merrimack beat Goffstown 2-0 at Sullivan Arena. It was the first game for both teams after the Christmas break, and a lot has happened since then. After the win on January 6th, Merrimack would lose 3 games in the next 5 days. They haven’t lost since. The Tomahawks finished the season with a 13-3-2 record, and haven’t lost since January 13th (10-0-2 in the streak).

Goffstown has a style all their own. The Grizzlies are the lowest scoring team of the 10 teams that qualified for the Tournament. Goffstown has struggled to find the net at times, both getting pucks to the net, and getting pucks into the net. But man, do they compete?!?! They just won’t go away. It’s a beautiful thing.

When the Grizzlies tangled with the Tomahawks in early January, both teams had 21 shots on goal. The Grizzlies trailed 1-0 for most of the game, right up until Merrimack scored an empty net goal with 20 seconds left in regulation. Obviously, no team is any hotter than the white-hot Tomahawks. Then again, they haven’t played a meaningful game since Feb. 25th. By tomorrow, that will be 16 days since they last played. The Grizzlies are now 6-2-1 in their last 9 outings and have started to generate some momentum themselves. Anything can happen as we all know, and tomorrow we will find out if any of these numbers mean a thing.

Grizzlies line up during pre-game. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Grizzlies line up during pre-game. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

The Grizzlies are led by seniors, Colin Holt (G), Sam Greenwood (F), and Ben Roy (F). The Goffstown juniors are, Tyler Riendeau (F), Nick Nault (D), and Dylan Hyers (D). Goffstown is loaded with freshmen and sophomores, starting with 2nd year players, Mike Fortin (F-D), Max Lajeunesse (F), Ethan Smith (G), Noah Charron (F). The freshmen are, Stephen Provencher (F), Colin Burke (D), Jake Noonan (D), Brett Lassonde (D), Alex McCarthy (F), Sebastian Beal (F), and Griffin Cook (F). The coaching staff is led by Head Coach Ben Slocum (1st year), and Assistant Coaches, John Nanoff and Shane Tufts.

The Last Day of the Season

To Coach Hartwell, Coach Dodge, our baseball community, and the parents and families surrounding the players on our team:

As gravity took over and the baseballs’ path fell from the sky and rested finally into the opposing left fielder’s glove, my hopes for a miracle comeback were replaced with the reality that I knew could come. Almost immediately, I found the softer, sentimental side of me taking over and countless thoughts and memories started messing with my mind. I mean, I was still just making my way on to the field to shake hands with our opponents, and my mind was flashing memories of my own personal collection of “The Last Day of the Season”. As we shook hands, and I congratulated the other team and wished them well moving forward, a coach from the other team asked me to make sure that Goffstown, please, put in a bid to host the State Tournament next season. This was a vote of confidence and a compliment to how well our community had run the District Pool Play Tournament over July 8-14 this summer. Then, as I turned away from the end of the line, back towards our dugout, I could feel that choking feeling rise into my throat, and my eyes started to water despite my best efforts to keep such things at bay. Continue reading

By Heart – from The Daily Post

Today’s prompt from WordPress bloggers caught my eye…You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind?

Two songs came to mind this morning. The first was Seven Spanish Angels. The second song was our National Anthem.

Continue reading

Thank you Baseball

To Coach Hartwell and Coach Dodge:

This morning I woke wishing we still had games left to coach, or even tournament games left to organize. Excuses for me to be at Allard Park are easy to come by. Mostly though, I wanted to thank you both for welcoming me into your dugout. You two were selfless in regard to our pecking order and were very open minded regarding discussion, thought process, and decision making. I appreciate it very much. I enjoyed battling alongside you two over the past week as well as preparing in the weeks before, and yes, I miss it already. It was both a joy and a pleasure to be announced with you and the Goffstown team at Allard Park this week. The anthem still gives me goose bumps. I closed my eyes yesterday as we stood on the 3rd base line while the anthem played and I thought of how fortunate I was to be a part of the team and to represent my town. I sang the words silently to myself as the sun shone down, pondering the thousands of past baseball heroes who had been so lucky as me. Thank you guys. It was wonderful to pace the dirt floors of the Allard Park dugouts again, and to look up and down the bench at kids playing for their home town community spelled across their chests. Thank you.

Remembering Veteran’s Day

This morning is Veteran’s Day. In Canada it’s Remembrance Day. In my home we are honoring, remembering, respecting, and we are thankful for our Veteran’s, past, present, and future.

I am home with my three youngest children this morning and I want them to know what this means, and why we remember. A few minutes ago, my son came into the office and asked if I had just heard Theodore yelling. I said I had. He asked me if I knew why he was yelling so loud. I did not. He shared with me that the Star Spangled Banner had come on the TV in the family room, and that Theodore, on his own, sang “…of the brave” as loud as he could to end the Anthem.

A minute later Theodore pulled up a rocking chair beside me, and in the presence of his older brother, twin sister and I; he demanded silence as he attempted to sing the National Anthem on his own. It was adorable as he repeated a few lines here and there that were combined with other lines, but he gave it his best shot. He also knew that all should be quiet while he sang the song.

Then I played Madison Rising’s version of the Star Spangled Banner (which we all love). We played it a few times. Jacqueline held a little rhythm and pretended to sing the words, and we all enjoyed it, together.

But, more importantly, we recognize that among the reasons we have a morning like this to enjoy at all, is because the greatest forces of men and women in the history of mankind have defended our freedoms and beliefs. They were the best, they are the best, they will be the best. Most of us truly don’t have a clue as to what these brave men and women have endured, braved, and walked towards even when every fiber of their being would tell them to run the other way. For them, for all of them, I, we, are thankful. I wouldn’t even want to imagine it another way.

Our military, our armed forces, these fellow countrymen and women continue to do what is asked of them, day after day. Right, wrong, agreed, or disagreed, they go. They take each and every day seriously, and assume nothing. They go. They train. They are there. There are here, now. They are the best, and they still walk in harm’s way everyday. This day is not just about a time long ago, it’s about all times. It’s about times we haven’t yet experienced. It’s about times we are fortunate enough to not have experienced. Today is as important now as it would have been at any other time, or at any other time to come. A friend of mine who is very close to our military, recently made a comment to me after attending three military funerals in one day, to the effect of, wishing people understood how much warring is still going on. I don’t know which affected me more, the commentary itself, or the fact that this person (and so many others) deals with this kind of thing more often than a lot of us stop to even think about our men and women serving.

It’s Veteran’s Day. It’s Remembrance Day. Please take this time seriously. Mean what you say. Say what you mean. Either way, always remember. Always respect. Always be thankful. We have so much to be thankful for.

I have included below, a poem that came to me two years ago. I know it’s not the best verse ever, but it’s tied to strong emotions. I really did wake up in the middle of the night with most of the words to this little poem. Obviously, these thoughts are never far from my mind. It’s not the first time I awoke in thought on these matters, nor has it been the last.

REMEMBER
Remember more often, remember with others aloud
Remember more than today, remember they should feel proud
 
Remember to thank them, remember that is for always
Remember to be respectful, remember not just holidays
 
Remember we have no idea, remember they have been there
Remember our freedoms; remember they walked where most don’t dare
 
Remember that there are triggers, remember they relive then
Remember we have a place, remember we can love, we’ve never been
 
Remember heroes, do remember; remember time spent is a prize
Remember we can help them; remember to look into their eyes
 
Remember they didn’t always know why, remember they went on call
Remember some disagreed; remember them, not one, but all
 
Remember how we live today; remember it could have been a different way
Remember our men and women, remember them, embrace them today
 
Remember that memories don’t end; remember we must pass this on
Remember those serving today; remember all, not just those who are gone
 
Remember every day, remember, certainly, on this Veteran’s Day
Remember our place; remember we’re thankful supporters in every way

The Red Sox have Boston singing in the streets

Unlike the at bats of a Red Sox hitter, I will keep this short and sweet. But then, I may just foul off a few pitches, lay off a tough pitch just outside the zone, and work the faithful into a frenzy with a timely hit.

It occurred to me recently, as I sang along with the words that I think I know from “Tessie”, that Boston loves to sing.

From McGreevey and the Royal Rooters from more than 100 years ago all the way up to the Fenway Faithful belting out “…every little thing is gonna be alright…“. Quite often I will sing the National Anthem with the twins to start our day on the way to school. Boston loves to sing the anthem too. In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Boston sang. The Garden sang. These still bring tears to my eyes. Okay, actually they make me cry, completely.

Then for fun, I sing, “Take me out to the ballgame” with the kids all the time. And, for fun, Boston sings some more. Then there’s “Sweet Caroline”. A lot of people don’t like that Boston fans sing these songs. But, then I remember, it’s a game, it’s fun, and letting moments wash over me in my favorite ballpark ever, are better for me than had I not experienced them. Boston, all summer long, nightly, sings. Then there’s “Dirty Water” and “Shipping up to Boston”, and even “God Bless America”. Then there are fans who sing on the field. This video has been seen around the world. There are so many more.

Last night Boston was treated to something that had not been seen in 95 years, the home team winning the World Series on their home field. The Red Sox won their 3rd Championship in ten seasons and there was singing in every corner of Red Sox Nation through the night.

Last night I sang from my family room with the Dropkick Murphy’s as they sang the National Anthem. I shouted along with my TV when Victorino came to the plate. I participated in singing “Sweet Caroline” during the 8th inning. I celebrated and strained to hear The Standells above the roar of Fenway after Carpenter went down swinging. I watched the celebration and listened to player after player talk about, team, work, approach, belief, trust, and the will to win. Then I dozed off, smiling, and respectfully thinking of the players, fans, and generations that never saw any such thing in an 86 year span.

This morning started like most others do. Everyone scurrying to get to where they need to be, on time. On the ride to school the twins asked me to sing my special song, which is the National Anthem. I sang it, they filled in words where they knew to, or copied me. I smiled a little brighter and a little longer between words this morning, because I am a Boston Red Sox fan, and my favorite team won the World Series. Later today, if the mood strikes me, and I think it will, I may just bust out a few lines of “We are the Champions”. #bostonstrong