Spring 2017 Kickball Season

I think this was my seventh year of playing SJSL kickball (I could be off a year). I’ve definitely have seen much change over the years to the league and to my Honey Badger roster. But the one constant is that I always have some amazing teammates and we always play tough yet not too serious.

This season we had some new faces, and didn’t see some longtime Badgers return. Gone this season was legendary Honey Badger Kevin. I think our longtime spark plug has retired after a long and illustrious career. Truly a one of a kind character.

This season we surely had our struggles and had a hard time fielding a consistent squad out there week in and week out. It really has become quite the challenge to field a full roster every week. We had some fun moments and some terrible performances.

However, we truly did save our best for last. In the playoffs we played our finest kickball of the season.

Our opening kickball game was an instant Honey Badger classic. We faced off against the offensive juggernaut, the Slobber Bobs. Due to our seeding I was able to choose which field our game would be played on. Given the extremely strong wind blowing in from the shore and their strong legs, without hesitation I chose for us to play into the wind. With the intent of limiting the long ball and turning it into a defensive struggle.

Our team was great holding the Slobber Bobs to a 5-1 victory. Our squad was great. We played such a solid defensive game, and did such a great job of keeping our kicks low and not into the wind. Our opponents on the other hand struggling with the wind, and we were able to shut them down and frustrate them. It was great, and an amazing team effort!

We then advanced to the finals where we faced off against the Almost Athletes. Unfortunately for us they chose to play the final on the other field and it was a wise choice on their part. Their kickers got off to an amazing start with their perfectly placed kicks.

We were down by a huge margin early on, but we never threw in the towel. We battled back and actually made it a game again. But alas, they had another big late inning and were just too much offensively for us to prevail. They soundly defeated us.

Even though we didn’t win the championship, we had such a strong conclusion to our season. Our players did such a fine job when it mattered most, and gave it their absolute all. It was really great. So proud of these Badgers, and am amazed Dustin and I have survived so many SJSL seasons.



Spring 2016 SJSL Kickball Champions!!!

We’ve been playing in the SJSL since day one six years ago. We’ve have some tremendous teams over the years and made some tremendous playoff runs, but sadly had yet to come away with a championship until this kickball season.

The Spring 2016 Honey Badgers were the greatest team that I have ever had the pleasure of participating on. When I look at the individuals on our roster, I’m still baffled at how we were able to pull it off. We are a much older roster than most teams, we’re not as athletic, nor as strong, and we have several players who cannot kick past the infield.

However, we were all on the same page and had the same goal. I’ve been on great teams where the sum was greater than it’s parts, but never to the extent as this team. We all found a way to contribute, worked together, and simply clicked. It was amazing.

Our playoff run was the thing of legends.

Our first round game was against We Got the Runs, a team that we had narrowly defeated by one run with some insane 7th inning heroics earlier in the season. We were very evenly matched, and we knew it would be a battle.

The game turned out as advertised. Runs were hard fought and both defense solid. The huge swing play was with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 1st. Their captain blasted a shot to deep right field. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think Sarah had a good shot to get it. It was really well struck. Undeterred, she kept running at it, and by some miracle was able to get to it where she made one of the finest finger tip catches I’d ever seen. This would be an early 4 run swing in our favor and really built momentum for us.

There was some very big kicks by Ed and Dave throughout the night, and Sarah would later have a huge 2 out kick for us as well to knock in some hard fought runs.

With a 1 run lead, and nerves a plenty the unlikely tandem of Dustin at shortstop to Julie at 1st base sealed the deal for us. Julie could not of picked a bigger moment to make her two finest plays of the season. They were not easy plays at 1st. It was a hard fought and amazing victory.

Our quarterfinal matchup had us a fairly strong underdogs against The Slobber Bobs. They had defeated us 8-3 in our earlier meeting. They have some very strong kickers, run the bases very aggressively, and also field very well. A tough match up for sure.

Our gameplay was to play great defense and make sure that we backed one another up on defense on every play. We knew if we could somehow keep it close, that maybe we’d have a shot. The strategy going in was to kick often and early to their 1st baseman. We felt that we could have some success moving base runners doing that and hopefully frustrate them as well.

It was a 1-1 tightly contested match as expected, until we were finally able to bust through with a big inning late in the game breaking down the 1st base line. Wow, it was great.Before we knew it, we were up 11-1 in the 6th and they were getting very frustrated and we could feel the momentum on our side. We were able to close them out and advance. A perfectly played game against a very strong opponent.

In the finals we were set to square off against Suck My Kick who beat us 3-1 earlier in the season. They have some tremendous kickers on their side, but we always play them well and I could tell by our body language we were going to give them everything we had.

We screamed out of the gates putting up 8 runs in the first. They weren’t ready for that, and some in team bickering had begun. We couldn’t of asked for a better start. When their second baseman asks for me as the pitcher to move so that he can see better (sorry, but I’m going to stand where I can best benefit my team within the rules), I knew that we’d gotten into some of their heads a bit.

They are a very strong and determined team and were able to answer back with many runs of their own. However, with every run they were able to score we could answer right back padding a few here and there to our lead. We would eventually put up 19 runs which was plenty enough to put them away and win the championship.

It did feel pretty great to finally win it all, and what made it even better was they we won it playing right, with our guys, and didn’t go out and get some ringers to carry us. With the oldest core in the group, I’m not going to lie and didn’t think we’d be able to win a championship without breaking up our core group. So to win with Dustin and Kevin who’ve been with me since day 1 was amazing!

Kevin grinning ear to ear hoisted me high into the air! His excitement was so great to see! Steve and others attempted to do their best Gatorade shower with water bottles on hand. Wow, what an amazing crew.

So many players gave it their very all, played the best game they could, and did whatever the team asked of them. It as truly teamwork at it’s finest. An amazing job by a pretty amazing group of teammates!!!


32 Kickball Runs

Though earlier in the day it was looking like it might be a rainy day, it turned out to be probably the nicest kickball weather we’ve had all year. A lovely day for some kickball against our opponent the Star Spangled Bangers. They are a very athletic team and though we’ve had some close battles they tend to take the majority of the victories.

Well today would turned out to be an explosive offensive performance right from the start and continued throughout the entire game. What really made the difference for us were the numerous 2 out kicks. There were so many times where what would have been a small inning for us turned into a big inning with us continually finding the defensive holes kicking with 2 outs.

The kickball gods were truly with us yesterday as we just continually dropped kicks exactly where they couldn’t be played. It was quite a nice feeling and great to see everyone have a great moment or two against a quality opponent.

All in all we would wind up scoring 32 impressive runs and had a lot of fun doing so. It was relentless, and we managed to score several in each inning. Quite a fun time and I’m glad everyone had fun.


Shorthanded Improbable Kickball Victory

I do believe our victory over Pitches be Crazy last night was the finest athletic team effort I’ve ever been a part of. We were down a guy in the field all game, only started with 2 girls and had to take the out penalty, and played a fairly strong team.
Well in one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen, I watched us all take the field in the first missing 2 fielders giving them Grand Canyon sized gaps to kick to. With some amazing fielding we walked away giving up only 2 runs and would hold it to that until the very last inning. We won I believe 15-4 (though it may of been more for us) and all the ref could do was look at me like how is this really happening.
It was really awesome and I’m so proud that everyone gave it their all and played so well. It’d of been very easy to just assume that we couldn’t win with our lack of a proper roster.
A pretty amazing game.

Kickball Opening Day Spring 2014

Easily on of my favorite times of year is the opening day of SJSL Spring kickball. The weather if finally starting to get nice again (even more grateful after this past winter), I welcome back teammates and say hello to opponents whom I haven’t seen in a little while. A great time.

While we still are staying with the majority of our past Honey Badgers kickball core, we do have some changes this season. Sitting out the Spring season are both Geoff and John B. As anyone who follows kickball knows, that’s quite a lot of talent to take from a team. Geoff has easily been one of the best kickers in the entire league, and John B. perhaps one of the best overall players.

New to the team this season are Dave and Meghan. Dave has been a most pleasant addition to our dodgeball roster and should bring a bit more speed to our lineup. Meghan played volleyball with us and as a fierce competitor will surely be a great addition to the team as well.

Our opening day opponent was the Fresh Kicks of Ball Air (clever name). While many of them we recognizable from past kickball seasons, they are a new franchise and we were eager to play them.

Unfortunately just a few hours before game time I found out that longtime Badger Kevin was unable to play. After frantically working my phone, I was able to get John B. to fill in on short notice much to the delight of the team (he’s a well liked teammate of course).

We did start off with a bit of rust defensively giving up 3 runs in the first inning. However, we did answer back rather swiftly tying it up in no time. From that point the game really turned into more of a traditional Honey Badger defensive struggle.

We would pick up a run, they would tie it back up, etc. Eventually late in the game we were able to tack on some extra runs giving us a 8-5 lead. Scarily in the top of the seventh our opponent would load the bases with no outs. With a little bit of luck and some heads up plays we someone we able to escape unscathed and held on for a 8-5 victory!

It was a great team victory with everyone contributing in a big way. Everyone seemed most pleased and seemed to have a good time. I do believe we will have a very competitive team this season and look forward to continued success.


SJSL Summer 2013 Kickball All-Star Game

This summer the SJSL kickball league decided to have their first ever all-star game. What a great idea! Each team had to nominate a male and female player to represent their respective team in the game.

Being so amazingly awesome the Honey Badgers insisted that I would be our guy on the team. I truly believe that we have several guys on our team more deserving to play this season than myself, but they really went out of their way to select me and there was no way I could back out of this one. What a bunch of amazing teammates!

Choosing a girl was a bit tougher. Both Irena and Caitlin have had an excellent season for the Badgers in contrasting ways. One dominating with offense and the other with defense. Ultimately we went with Irena, but either way we were sending a great representative. They are both pretty terrific and I’m so glad to have them on my team.

The league also chose me to act as captain for our respective division. Yes, apparently I’m kinda a big deal in the SJSL. If only my entire life were so! An autograph session will be held shortly of course.

So the first order of business was to learn everyone’s name and where they were comfortable playing. I knew everyone’s face, but to finally get a name to place was great. We’ve played so many intense games against these guys over the years it was nice to be with them for a change. I was really impressed with how team first everyone was.

The game itself was very fun. We dug ourselves a really deep hole getting off to a rough start in the field. It was obvious we weren’t yet comfortable playing with everyone just yet.

I have to admit I was pretty nervous the first inning. I had hardly played in the field most of the season, letting my guys play and also resting my elbow. So playing right field with no substitutes did have me a little nervous to start. I did drop one I really should have caught in the first, but after that I settled down and things went well.

Irena was amazing and had one of if not her finest overall games! She really made us look good and came up with some big kicks in some big situations. Mike was dominant at third, pretty much single handedly getting us out of a few jams with some great plays.

While we had some excellent plays, we also had too many sloppy ones too. But that kinda comes with playing with different people. I do have to say that that a few of our opponents girls had some amazing kicks getting behind out outfielders. One of the girls really shocked us with her range, she did not look like she would be launching balls that far.

I didn’t feel comfortable telling people too much of what to do, as they’re all pretty great and it’s an all-star game, so I tried to lead by example. So I decided to run, and run a lot. Covering the infield on every play, helping out at 2nd, being the cut off man, and sprinting on the bases each and every time. I’m not sure if it worked or not, but I do know that I was drenched with sweat and completely exhausted by the end of the game.

Sadly despite a pretty amazing comeback, we would go on to lost the all-star game to a very solid team. They did a great job out there and just made more solid plays on the night.

It was a really great experience and I’m so glad my team was so generous to select me to play. It was great to see all the Honey Badgers who turned out to cheer us on. I’ve got some pretty amazing teammates.