…and evolved to here:
And his serve was here:
…which evolved to here:
He went from here:
And he went from here:
(Check out those hands…they mean serious business blocking that ball.)
His smile went from this:
And his hair went from this:
(you can’t see him very well but he’s in the glare in the upper left corner with a buzz)
That pictures was from when the team took state his sophomore year and he was kind of a swing player between varsity and JV, so he got to be part of all the hoopla)
…has had the chance to travel to a bunch of great places…the most exciting of which was Hawaii.
He’s had a whole lot of advice from his Dad 🙂
…doubled to prom with all his teammates.
So it was hard to imagine that this was our last year.
But soon after we returned from China, my bracelet still wrapped tight around my wrist, that last season began, ready or not.
At first these boys had a little trouble connecting and we wondered about whether they could help each other find their stride, and they sure did.
It was so fun to watch them first really figure each other out at the tournament in California over spring break.
(more about that back here…it was an awesome tournament)
Through the season we spent a lot of time with the boys and their families…from dinner at our house:
(all the parents take turns hosting for home games)
…to hanging out in smaller groups that ended up at our house to hanging out with their parents on the bleachers cheering our hearts out.
Fun to see all the good buddies at the games too.
Toward the end of the season it was “Senior Night,” which I’ve been there to watch for four years.
It was just weird that this was OUR child’s senior night. It was fun to get to tell a little about Max along with the other parents telling about their kids before the game started.
Dave always seems to be socializing too much after the games to join in our pictures.
This team they played was good (their coach was Max’s coach at “high performance” a couple years ago and he was really good.)
We won the first two games and all of us parents were starting to breathe easier…
…until we lost the next two. We were all dying as we went into the fifth set (which only goes to 15 if it’s 2-2).
The game was neck and neck the whole entire time. You have to win by two and it got to 14-15.
We pulled up to 17-16 and then just like that we took that last point and won the game!
We were all dying and the kids were sooooo excited.
But this was my favorite part:
These boys knew that it could have just as easily ended with them losing. I just love, love, love the expressions on all those boys you can see as they went to shake hands with the other team.
Max with his biggest fans:
Love these kids who come out to support. Especially that middle one:
Let’s zoom in on her for a sec. here…
Running onto the court after the three-game sweep:
So then it was on to the semi-finals.
And more street cheering as the buses drove by.
The only picture I have of the game is here on my brother’s monitor where he had it streaming through (they stream the semis and finals on the internet).
I didn’t take any pictures because I was way too nervous standing there on the corner of the bleachers biting my nails 🙂
There was so much commotion going on. We had some mix-up with one of our best players who was taken out of the game half way through. We couldn’t get it together and we lost 4-1. It was sad but I had kind of gotten my heart ready for it so I survived 🙂 (please don’t take this too seriously, I know it’s just volleyball…some readers get a little bit fussed up about how I word things sometimes!)
But I WAS kind of into this sport I tell you! I would like to have a video of myself…I’m sure I would crack myself up. Dave was the same. We couldn’t hardly even sit by each other on these last games because both of us were too nervous.
And really, being nervous makes it pretty fun when you win.
Not quite so much when you lose, but this team was from the all-boys private prep school who beat us at their tournament a few months before and was ranked either one or two.
To wrap up the season, we had our traditional team dinner in this beautiful spot:
That was the end of the greatest volleyball season ever to be played in the history of volleyball (again, don’t take me too seriously!) Now for a little bit of bragging for posterity’s sake:
Max and the team setter won the “All-Tournament” award in both of their tournaments in the season.
And then we got word that he made first team All-State. We were so happy for him!
Through all this hoopla of a season, Max had decided not to do Nationals this summer. He was graduating and so excited for BYU and possible summer school up there.
But near the end of the season he was contacted by a few people from a pretty elite team asking if he’d like to join them. I think the temptation for both he and Dave was a little too much and Max decided to go for it.
So although this boy’s high school is all wrapped up, we’re on to Nationals one last time this summer.
He’s worked pretty hard learning new drills and sets, and is having a pretty great experience being on a steep learning curve. He had one tournament in California last weekend and now it’s on to Nationals next weekend.