Monday, June 28, 2010

The Rattlers go to State

The Rattlers went 5-1 in the state tournament. They were underdefeated and a #1 seed going into the championship bracket. They finished the bracket playing a team that was technically disqualified because they pitched in inelegible pitcher in our game. At the end of the game they took home runner up, but that is still being discussed by the officials that keep the books. We will know the final ruling this week.

Regardless of the tarnished championship game the Rattlers dominated the tournament. Here are some highlights from The Heat.

Hunter started the season as the clean up batter, lost his mojo for a while and came back at state with almost no strike outs and only one caught fly ball. He seemed to favor left field. We will update his exact stats as soon as we can.

Hunter played third base when he wasn't pitching. He was the teams Ace pitcher. He went in most games for the save when they needed to shut the game down fast. He was successful every time. We are not exactly sure of his walk to strike out ratio but it is around 1 walk to every 10 strike outs. His strike to ball ratio is around 75%.

Here is he getting his trophy from the commissioner.

Here he is with the #2 pitcher his best friend Kade. Kade has a strong performance in the tournament as well.

Here is the whole pitching staff.

A final photo of the team!!!

The Xtreme go to State

The Xtreme started the state championship off strong. Their pool play landed them an #8 seed of 23 teams. That is where their story ended. With Mother Nature playing a very cruel trick on them their remaining games were cut and they did not get to finish their tournament. Regardless the boys had a great tournament.

They ended their season 14-10-1 See side panel for Blake's phenomenal batting stats. He was also the teams strongest pitcher.

Here are some Blake highlights:

The team banner with the sponsors! No team can survive without great sponsors.

Pre game team huddle. Go Xtreme!!

Blake at bat and getting a hit. See stats for how he performed at bat. He had many highlights at bat. One home run on a big hit to left field, one home run on a big hit to right field, 3 rbis on a triple. He was the RBI and basestealing king and #2 slugger on the team. He had a little batting slump mid season after getting nailed in the leg leaving a large black and blue welt. He came out of it strong this weekend for 8 of 9 successful at bats.

Coach Dave. His role this season was the Mind Game. He got the boys rallied and in the right mind set with warm ups and the awarding of the much covetted game ball after each game. They all LOVED coach Dave.

Blake pitching in the last state game. He brought the heat to the Dubuque Sting.
Blake played 1st, 2nd, 3rd and short stop during the season, but his favorite and best played position was pitcher. He had a 53% average which is not as impressive as his brothers, but his speed was the real story. He burned it in just like his big brother. The Heat has a little competition.

Here is a little conference between Blake and his catcher Colby. They are getting serious now! We asked them what they talk about on the mound and one time they admitted they were just counting cars that drove by to get them back in their rythme. Interesting.

Final face shot. Many techniques were used to win games including pink batting gloves, not cutting hair and black goo on the face.
We were all a bit let down as this photo indicates as we will never know where this tournament would have ended...... Next year!

To the Fans of the 2010 USSSA Boys State Baseball Tournament

This weekend was the biggest baseball weekend of the year! Boys State Championship.

There are many highlights for both boys but first a thanks to the Underwood fans! There were 9 games over the weekend. All were attended by at least one Underwood fan at all times. With only three fans available, we did a great job covering the games. A big thanks for Grandpa Al fan extrordinaire. There was only one time he was wearing the wrong colors at a game. He didn't miss a minute of action!

The weekend was rocky with The Xtreme losing half of their games to rain (imagine if we had needed to cover yet another 3 games). Field changes on the fly (20 miles apart) and many rain delays and reschedules. Back to back games with only 20 minutes in between at times. Heat index reaching 101 and humidity that makes Florida look like a vacation destination this time of year.

With our stadium chairs, fold out chairs, umbrellas and cameras in hand we set up, packed up, and claimed our ground game after game seeking shade and fighting crowds. We had our SD cards ready and got many great shots. Somehow though, we did not get any of ourselves.

See the hightlights in the next blog!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dragons go Xtreme

Blake's Dragon's changed their name and became the Xtreme in the spring of 2010. What a year it has been. This weekend is the USSSA State Tournament and the end of the 2010 spring season. The boys grew a lot individually and as a team this year. Here are some highlights.

This year the boys worked on discipline. One of the things they did was a warm up routine every time they got together. The boys ran their own warm ups toward the end of the season, giving Coach Dave some time off. These are high knees, maybe they need a little work, but it is a start. That is Blake without a hat!

Fielding improved with the addition of ready position, focus, and working together to make plays.

There was deep focus at bat and a little superstition in the form of pink batting gloves for luck. There was a tough lesson this year as kid's began pitching, a batter can get hit by a ball. Many boys were hit and had to overcome the fear of going back up to bat again. We learned "walking it off" and used many strategies like face guards, thick undershorts really for sliding, and the nut cup. In the end, they all recovered and went back to bat!

The boys started pitching this year. Here is Blake setting up and winding up. During the last game he pitched a perfect inning striking three batters out in a row to save the game and the win. We heard fans say things like "he looks like his big brother Hunter!" Blake was very proud, so was Hunter!

Most importantly the boys had fun and learned how to be a team!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Three Fathers' Day

It was Fathers' Day at the Underwoods this evening.
 We toasted with Dad's Root Beer,
the old-fashioned kind that only some Dads remember.

But then, there was one little somebuddy that wanted something to drink too.
Hunter took up the challenge.

A little cuddle and the magic worked.
Off to slumberland.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

View of the Rattlers From the Bleachers

It was a big night, last night, for the Rattlers and the Rattler coaches...they were invited to meet the Iowa Cubs players and snag some autographs.I see that Amy managed to get better pictures from down near the keep reading...her pictures are on the next post.

Portrait While Waiting to Get In

Hunter getting an autograph on his ball.

Watching the game that the Iowa Cubs won--3-2 against Round Rock. It was an exciting game, especially for the grandmas and grandpas who were invited to see Hunter do his thing with his team!

Coach Dave--check out his parents, Jonita and Carl, in the background.

The Rattlers meet Sandberg

Last night at the I Cubs ballpark The Rattlers had a big night.

Hunter is the one in the photo next to Cubbie - Cubbie has his hand on his head.

Here are the coaches hanging out on the field while the boys get 10 mintues to get as many players to sign their balls as they can.

Here is Hunter getting his ball signed.

Here is who was signing his ball.

After the balls were signed, they got to stand on the field in their primary position during the National Anthem. Here is Hunter with his best friend Kade with the I Cubs pitcher.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Couldn't resist adding this shot to your post, Amy.

School - one more year gone!

Today is the last of day of 2nd grade for Blake and 4th grade for Hunter. Amazing.

The annual track and field day was yesterday. They ran in several relay races with their friends and came in first in all of their races. It was a victorious end to the school year. Here are some highlights.

Hunter running the last leg of the 4 x 200 no one else in sight!

Here is Hunter with his buddies Sumjay and Marcos. Photographing themselves.

Blake in the handoff from Caden in the Distance Medlay relay. The ran the same team for the Distance Medlay and the 4 x 100 and won both races.

Here is the team (Caden, Jake and Blake missing Ben). Ben was running around somewhere. Their teacher said the only time they sat still all day was for pictures.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Showdown at Sundown

Who's the brute?

Before the matches...

One takedown...

A pin...

After the matches: Roughed-up Runner-Up.

Ya gotta have cool shoes, Dude!

This Year's Christmas Angel

  Landon and I are telling the Christmas story with French-inspired crèche characters. We colored them with markers and cut them from f...