Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Grizzlies Again (Fall 2016)

Colton had played with the Grizzlies (a Copper Hills High School prep team) last Fall and Winter. The team disbanded after that, but when he was asked if he wanted to join up again for this Fall ... we said yes, even though he was still playing for the Wolves (6th grade). Different teammates and friends, more playing time, a variety of coaching techniques and plays, it's good to get more experience and practice.  This is Colton's grade level too (5th grade, although half the team is in 4th playing up). The Grizzlies would also be playing in the Gene Fullmer Fall Superleague, and the director ended up working with us, and scheduling the Grizzly games and the Wolves games back to back at the same location each week. That helped out a lot! There was one change up (which ended up with conflicting games) and Colton was sick one week ... but here's highlights from the games I got *Ü*

Game #1 (September 17, 2016)

Game #2 (September 24, 2016)

Game #3 (October 1, 2016)

Game #5 (October 15, 2016)

Game #7 (November 5, 2016)

Winter is Coming.
For Grizzlies AND Wolves.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Wolves in Autumn

New Uniforms. Back to Black.

With the turning colors of the leaves in Autumn, the Wolves changed their colors too. New uniforms. Similar style, but bigger (these boys grow!) and in black, with a shooting shirt to match. Looking good Wolves!

Looking toward leagues for the Fall, Gene Fullmer is nice and close. There is a mid-week league through Salt Lake County, and Dimple Dell was also one we were considering. Then a new league in Lehi was looking to add a few more teams and offered some enticements to join them. The decision was to try Gene Fullmer and Lehi for Fall ... double games most Saturdays.

The Lehi league started up first ... it's a long drive. I don't do freeways. Colton and I have had to catch rides to these Lehi games. Held at the Karl Malone Training Center, I'll admit I was hoping for a little more from the facility (from a basketball mom spectator standpoint). They have three courts mashed into one room. Family and friends watching are sitting on the sideline. ON it. There really isn't room to move around, which doesn't stop children from running and playing (I wish those in charge would keep things under control a bit better). While they've been great working with our coach as far as scheduling (to avoid conflicts with our other league) as a parent, it's been frustrating to not have any online schedule or stats posted. We are only notified of game time a day or two before, have no idea who we are playing, or where we stand. Almost every other league now uses "quick scores" or some other online tracker, so I guess I've been spoiled. The games themselves ... so far they've all been quite close and competitive. A good challenge for our boys. Because of the drive, I've just sent Colton to a couple games, so I don't have highlights for every game.

Lehi Highlights 

The Gene Fullmer games started the week after Lehi. We had thought they were doing an upper and lower division, as there were 12 teams, but pre-tournament they just randomly matched teams. Unfortunately ... there is quite a mismatch in this league. Our first game was an easy blowout win. The next two games were against tough teams, we suffered blowout losses. What happens when those teams play that first team? Yikes! It fun (but doesn't help you improve much) to play lesser teams, and while you still can learn from playing much better teams ... it's a little tough to keep the chin up. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Colton's Summer Wolves

No downtime for these boys! The Wolves played on into the summer. There was a pretty big break there though, all of June was off, most of July too.  We were playing in the Dimple Dell Superleague. As school had finished up in May, we'd technically moved up a grade, now playing 6th grade (Colton will be in 5th). No upper/lower divisions here, and this was a challenge, facing some really talented teams. We only managed one win, but got some good experience. 

Here's Highlights ...

I MUCH preferred playing at the Dimple Dell Rec center this season, unlike last Fall, where they scheduled us up at Butler Middle School. There were nine teams, and only five season games. We didn't get to play all the teams, and happened to hit all the hardest ones (and had to play Future twice). Practices were still Friday evenings at SLCC. On to Fall ...

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Stuff for Keaton and Cal

 Summer means basketball camps! 
June was busy, with Dixie, the U camp and Copper Hills High School camp...
Dixie is a favorite with the boys. A week long camp, hanging out with basketball buddies 24/7 and getting some games in. Originally, we had a family vacation planned at the same time. Callahan still committed to the Dixie camp, but Dad wanted Keaton on the vacation. At the last minute, we had to back out of our Seattle plans, and happily Keaton was able to squeeze in a spot still. So both boys were off one early morning ... begrudgingly posing for a picture.

Sophomores in the Sun

Both boys had a blast and came home with the annual t-shirt.

Callahan and crew earned a second t-shirt for taking the 2-min tournament!

I had a text conversation with the coach that first night there. Callahan had been struck hard in the face, a cut just above his lip that went all the way through. There was some question as to whether it needed stitches ... Callahan just opted for some superglue.

I was hoping for a few more pictures documenting their days ... 
Keaton took ONE for me at least, on the bus ride home.

The Utes Basketball Camp is held at the University grounds. This one always stresses me out a bit, because I don't drive downtown, so it's a little hard to commit to getting my kid there. Teams weren't announced, so was couldn't plan carpools (Callahan can drive now, but even he was getting rides and couldn't commit to taking Keaton, even if their schedules would have lined up). Luckily it worked out with Keaton getting on a team with some friends that I felt comfortable with imposing (the ride to/from and hanging with, as it's an all day activity). I really would have liked to go watch and video some of the games ... but not enough to actually go downtown myself.

At least the Grizzly camp was nice and close to home, just over at the high school. It was nice that Keaton's age group was combined with Callahan's (10-12th together) so that I didn't have to provide chauffeur services. Skills and drills and teamwork ... prep for making the team come Fall.

All this took place in June ... July felt a little bereft of basketball!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Spring Ball for Keaton&Cal

Callahan &Co continued to play in the Spring season. They had several games in April and May. I went to all I could (the close ones) and got video, but didn't get around to making the highlight reels for most of them. Here's one ...

Keaton had broken his wrist in the early spring (playing basketball in gym class at school). He'd been asked to be on the all-star team for state, reunited with all his best buds, and was crushed when he wasn't able to play. The cast came off right as the Spring season started up. He got bumped to the B team, which was disappointing (and a lot harder to find carpools for game conflicts) but he made the best of it ... even though they got pretty trounced! They did the Spring Fling (AAU, games all over) and the Spring Slam (at CHHS).

Keaton didn't even want me to video his games ... so I didn't. Mostly. I had my camera in my purse one game where he did SO awesome, I felt bad I hadn't been filming I brought the video camera to another game, and again, Keaton did great, so he was grudgingly pleased to have it captured on film 

We were both quite relieved when the Spring season was over though.

 Things could get a little crazy ... some Saturday schedules looked like this!

 In addition to playing, the boys would also run clocks and keep stats.

I'd discovered audiobooks during this time, so me with  my headphones on was a common sight at all the games. I could video, watch, and listen to my book all at the same time! Talk about multi-tasking, right? We even got Maga and Colton out to come watch (Keaton was there for many of Cal's games).

Spring has sprung and now is done ... on to Summer!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Colton - Spring Wolves

Spring Season is here! We lost one player from our winter team (Max rejoined his former team "The Scorpions" who we will play against) and so we added Issac. That's right. ANOTHER Issac. We already had two on the team ... now we have three! With 10 players, Coach Farmer generally plays the boys in sets of five. Colton, Gage, Isiah, Kiony, Gordon are one set, and the other is the Issacs and Collins (we have two Collins too!). 

Practices are still Friday nights, 6:30-8:30 at SLCC. Again, a HUGE thanks to the Berlin family for letting Colton catch rides! We are playing in two spring leagues, a Saturday Superleague  with Gene Fullmer (schedule/stats), and a Tuesday one with Murray Parks and Rec (schedule/stats).

You can catch all the highlights ...
Games 1&2
Games 3&4
Game 5 (Rebels)
Game 6 (Grizzlies)
Game 7 (Scorpions)

... and the Murray Games
Two games each week, always against the same teams. A-train and Future

April 4
April 12
May 3
May 10

A video posted by BlackhamBall (@blackhamball) on

After the regular season, there were playoffs ... we played the Grizzlies again, and then ... a rematch against Mayhem. We'd already played them twice (games 3&4) ... lost one, won one. The boys really wanted to win the championship, but it wasn't meant to be. Mayhem came out strong, and our boys could NOT get a shot to drop the entire first quarter. Finally, got some baskets and got close enough to make the end exciting, but couldn't clinch it.

Sometimes I think we need to take a picture BEFORE the final game (we can always take another "#1" one after if they win) ... the boys, especially Colton, were having a bit of a hard time smiling after the loss. On to Summer at Dimple Dell!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Colton - Junior Jazz Tournament

Colton's team had played in the regular Junior Jazz season. At the end, there is a tournament for teams who would like to play a bit more. Instead of just going against the teams in your immediate area, you play teams from various rec centers. It's generally a bit more competitive, as the winning teams, those who have had a good season, are usually the ones that decide to move forward. 

We were playing in the 4th grade division (half the team was in 3rd grade) and when the schedule came out, many of the games were downtown. I don't drive downtown. I was able to catch rides with team members and hit almost all of the games. Surprisingly, several of them were easy wins. We did have a few challenges, and ended up in the championships. That was a close game! The rules did NOT allow a press at all ... and we were able to use that to clinch the win (although I can see why they do allow a press in the final moments, because it did consist of our boys running the clock down, and it did lack excitement ... although I'm sure any other coach in the situation would have done the same). The boys were pretty happy with their championship t-shirts! Here's highlights from the tournament games ...
The first two games ...

The final three games ...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Colton - 4th Grade Grizzlies

After our Fall League experience (playing in the rec 3rd/4th division and dominating every game) we decided to try the boys in a superleague. 4th grade division, as Colton and a few of the other boys were 4th graders (the rest were in 3rd, with Austin still in 2nd). Coach decided on the Murray Topflight League.

The games were Thursday nights ... often late (8:00 or 9:00 on a school night!) and this league had divisions (upper/lower) and yikes! This was the SUPERleague! These teams were good! And the competitiveness was high. Waiting for our first game, a yelling match ensued between coaches/refs and even parents until the game was called and people were ejected. It was a little intimidating.

The schedule ...
  • January 7 - Elite
  • January 14 - Hoosiers
  • January 21 - Murray
  • January 28 - Cyprus
  • February 4 - Titans
  • February 18 - Olympus
Only one win in the regular season (right in the middle, vs Murray). In the playoffs, we faced Murray again (and won again) and advanced. Unfortunately, the next playoff game conflicted with our Junior Jazz Tournament game. Our boys were winning, when five of them had to take off to the other game, leaving just four players to attempt to hold the score (they weren't able to). So that was the end of the Murray league.

Here's the highlights from the regular season ...

 ... and here's the first playoff game (a win!)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Colton - Winter Wolves

Colton reconnected with his coach and several teammates from his Spring and Summer seasons, and rejoined them for a Superleague team this Winter. They played in two different leagues. The Salt Lake Superleague which played on Wednesday evenings, and then in the Dimple Dell League on Saturdays. They practiced a couple of hours on Friday nights at Salt Lake Community College. 

It was a good season.
We were pretty much in the middle of the pack in both leagues. 
We won some and lost some. 

I didn't get video of all the games ... with other boys in basketball, there were some conflicts, and I had to send Colton with teammates a few times (thank you SO much to Collin's family for helping me out with carpools to games and practices). Here are links to the videos I did get ...

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Callahan - JV

Another year, another tryout, and another team. Callahan has moved on up to the JV team at Copper Hills High School. He's SO excited to get playing again, and I love watching him play. So far they have had some pre-season play, the Elite8 Tournament, and a tournament in Orlando, Florida (in which they took first place!) It's almost time for the real season to start up ...

Here a link to the SCHEDULE and so I don't overwhelm the family Facebook, I set up an alternate account just for basketball stuff. JenB-BasketballMom. As the kids aren't really using FB anymore themselves, I also set up "Basketball Mom" accounts for Instagram and Twitter ... of course, now they are using SnapChat, right?  I'll be making muvees of every game I get to, and adding them to the YouTube Playlist Callahan-JV and posting links to the aforementioned social media.

Go Grizzlies!