Elsa Signs her National Letter of Intent for Lipscomb

Elsa chose to do an early signing of her National Letter of Intent, making her decision to attend and run for Lipscomb University official!  It was a great day, and she was surround by those that love her and who have supported her all along the way.  Underneath these pictures I have included a letter I read at her signing.  So proud of you, Elsa!  Go out there and be the very best Bison you can be!!!

"Elsa was 5 years old when someone first mentioned how speedy she was.  The gym teacher tracked me down at her Kindergarten Open House to let me know that Elsa was the fastest kid in all of the K-6th school, and her athleticism was very apparent.  Of course I was flattered and proud.

2 years later I received an email from Gene Ayers, who I barely knew at the time, to tell me he saw her playing a game of tag in a parking lot and was so impressed by her speed.  He said if we were wise we would never let her pick up a softball glove (sorry, Jon).  Track was in her future, or so Gene said.

7th grade modified track came and went, with a broken school record in all of her meets that season.  But still, no one knew if this would translate into something great or on what level she could realistically compete.  Her grandfather and I sat her down after her first season of track and asked her what she wanted out of running.  These were the goals she stated:

Win a NY State Title
Run for a Division 1 track program
Go to college for Free
Run and win at NCAA D1 Nationals
And finally, run at the Olympics

Needless to say, she has always had rather lofty goals.  We promised, with no guarantees, to do our best to help her reach those goals.  It wouldn't be easy, it meant 7 days a week-year round training, and even if she did everything asked of her, she still might not realize her goals.  We promised to push her, to keep her accountable, and to encourage her all along the way.  But, if at any time she wanted to quit, all she had to do was say the word, and we would all walk away.  No questions asked.  And so, with the help of my father, and the coaching staff here at Fillmore, she set out to be the fastest she could possibly be. 

4 years later, with 2 State titles, 7 State medals, 10 varsity records, 18 meet records broken, 14 sectional titles and 7,554 training miles under her belt, she today, will fulfill two of her greatest goals: signing to run for a great NCAA D1 track program, and the chance to get a college degree at no cost to her (or me, thankfully).   

Elsa, I am so proud of you.  Not only for this moment, but for every bit of who you are.  When statistics told you that you had only a 2.7% chance of making the leap to a Division 1 program, you didn't give up, you only determined to work harder.  You have fought through fatigue, boredom, injury, and some pretty significant lung issues.  Yet, here you stand, defying the odds, and accomplishing what so many will only ever dream about.

And so, as you sign today, and as blessed and lucky as you might feel for this opportunity, I feel it is Lipscomb who is actually the lucky one.  They gain one of the most honest, hardworking, and determined girls I have ever met.  Plus, as a bonus, God made you fast, and you run for a higher purpose.  I am so very proud to call you my daughter.  You have made all of us here at Fillmore proud, and we can't wait to see where this opportunity will take you in the future.  Signing today is only the beginning of your story, and we can't wait to read the whole thing!"


Her Final Season of Soccer

Fillmore had another outstanding year on the field.  Going undefeated in the regular season and ending with a record of 16-1-1 is surely something to be proud of.  This team did not lose one regular season game in the past two seasons, and ended up ranked 15th in the State this year.  Although they fell short of a Sectional Title for the second year in a row, this was such a great group of talented girls, and I know Elsa will very much miss playing soccer in the future!

Elsa accumulated some nice honors along the way this season:

Bolivar-Richburg Tournament All-Star
Section 5 Player of the Week (September 12-18th)
Allegany County D1 MVP
Allegany County Overall MVP
Big 30 All-Star
Selected for Section 5 Exceptional Seniors Game
Fillmore MVP
Fillmore Heart-Focus-Energy Award
Fillmore Career Excellence Award

She also ended up cracking the top 10 all-time point leaders for Fillmore, coming in at #9

Section 5 Exceptional Senior Game:

Great group of guys who always showed up to cheer the Lady Eagles on!!


Halloween Costumes

We have done things a little differently the past few years, as I have let the kids pick out their own costumes.  I will admit it was easier to do group themed costumes, but they really get excited about what they want to wear!

Noah the Astronaut:

Chase the Politician:

Easton as Robin Hood:

And Elsa the Adult Coloring Book with functional markers:


Chase Turns 7!

Chase is all about the Holidays. He decorates with whatever he can find, and is always disappointed in our lack of Halloween decorations.  So for his birthday, we decided to surprise him with a Halloween themed party.  The thought originated after he asked for an "orange cake with eyeballs that have red lines on them".  He was very happy!