Mite Maroon: A Storybook Season

This post is dedicated the kids and parents of our Mite Maroon team. Coach Joe, Coach Gary and myself were very fortunate to get the opportunity to coach such an incredible group. The development we saw in these kids from first practice to last was borderline unbelievable. Every single kid improved by leaps and bounds, and every single one of them tried their best all season long to achieve that. Every single kid was respectful, kind, and a good teammate both on and off the ice. Every single one of these kids is a hockey player.

Special props to the parents. All of us coaches know that it starts with you guys. You got them to the rink 3-4 times a week, got them dressed in their gear (not easy), woke up before the sun for most games, and encouraged your kids to be the best athletes that they can be day in and day out. You parents deserve special credit for doing all that you did these past 7 months. 7 months!! Thank you for making this a storybook season for your kids and their coaches. I’m going to cherish this experience for as long as I live.

(You can click on each picture to see a larger version, and if you right-click on an image and choose “Save image as…” you can save it to your computer. Both of those things should be possible with your phones as well, but the method differs depending on your type of phone.)


Spitzy. We got handed our first loss with him in net, but he took it like a champ and was smiling in the locker room afterwards. We all learned from him that day. Maybe one of my favorite moments of the season.


Sure these two had fun on the ice all year, but nobody had a better time than their dads, yucking it up behind the bench during games.


Good friends off the ice, teammates on the ice. Have fun in Squirts next year, Coop. We are going to miss you.


Amber and Austin getting ready to take the ice at the Tsongas Center.


Huddle up, kids. You’re about to skate on the same ice as the River Hawks.


After a vigorous pre-game speech from their coach, Mite White is all business heading to the ice.


Girls just wanna have fuh-un.


I slipped the camera guy a 20 after the game, so, you might happen to notice a few more shots of this guy than the other kids.


I need a faster camera if I want to catch Jack Sheehan in focus. Opposing teams beware, you’re not getting by this kid when he’s playing D.


A late-season addition to practices, but boy did he shine. You’ll look good in maroon and white, Mark.


A pre-game pic of our Maroons. Love these kids.


I warned you.


I got to calling him “Full Ice” Aidan by the end of the year. His speed and skills really stood out once we went full. Squirts are lucky to have you, A.


Cooper and Will getting ready for a face-off; smiles on their faces.


Hockey ready, every single one of them. Love it.


At the beginning of the season, all 4 Maroons in this pic would be bunched up around the puck. Nice spacing, kiddos.


Crashing the net.


Kiggins lets it rip.


Line change! (Aka, chaos)


Coach Joe took face-offs very seriously.


#5 bringing it out of the zone.


Nice face, Nicky!


He’s like a brick wall, isn’t he Ruby?


Like I said, very serious about his face-offs.


Honored to be sharing the ice, River Hawks.


Joe Joe has his game face on. Another kid headed up to Squirts that will be sorely missed by us Mites next year.


Z sets up on the blue line, his coach and dad preparing for the next shift in the background.


Luke streaks down the ice with Little Jack G (maybe the MVP of this game) following behind.


Hunter joined Mites mid-season and I really enjoyed seeing him develop during this time. Great job, Coach Glen.


Full Ice Aidan making a play from the corner, #5 manning the point.


Clayton about to pivot and get into position on D to stop those pesky Maroons from scoring.


I love the positioning of Mite White in this picture. That’s how to support the player with the puck! Well done, Coach Glen.


Josh getting into position in front of the net as one of his teammates battles for the puck off to the right. Stick down, Josh! (sorry, the coach in me never rests)


Brick. Wall.


Live action face-off. Great job, camera man.


Matty Ice on a breakaway. (We swapped goalies a few times by the way, this is legit)


Joe Joe rips one past Mark, not something easily done. This one rung off the post though… #GoaliesBestFriend


You guys getting the picture yet? Very, very serious business, this face-off stuff.


Maroon and White going after the puck, stride for stride.


Cooper bringing the puck out of the zone along the boards. Thank you for listening, Coop.


Nicky is getting on the ice, not off. This kid and his hair brought a smile to my face often.


Good times being had on the bench.


Joey G, on IR for a good chunk of the season, came back to us with a vengeance and finished the season strong. Here he’s about to challenge White for the puck behind the net.


Hunter going after Joe Joe as if he’s been skating with the Mites all year.


A sellout crowd watches on…


Haha! I caught Coach Joe having fun during a face-off. Busted!


Ruby on a breakaway…


Not so fast, Ruby. Maroon has something to say about your breakaway.




Jack mans the point as his teammates pinch deep in the other team’s zone.


Go get him, Amber! Click on this pic to see the larger version, note the smile on her face. Rule #1 — Have fun. Mission accomplished.


Joey G about to unleash a laser. Everyone duck!


Thanks for having us, Tsongas Center. We had a blast.


Magnus in pursuit of Joe Joe. Not an easy task.


This was Jack after a great save. “Hey, you guys looking for this?”


Coach Joe takes the puck and gives Jack a well deserved pat on the head.


Luke and Matty Ice battle for the puck.


One of my favorite pics of the shoot. Smiles and sweat, that’s all we want to see at the end of every game.


Great, great season for both Mite White and Mite Maroon. So proud of these kids and happy to be a part of this storybook season. Wishing all of you bright futures in the best sport that there is.

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Posted by on April 4, 2015 in Brad the Dad


The Story of Grem and Acer

WhereRUThey were cars.

Two lemons to be exact. Two lemons of little note. Exactly the way the two of them wanted it. For the most part…

“What do I care?” Grem whined in his shrill voice. “It’s better off they never notice us. We aren’t supposed to be noticed, remember?”

“You’re always so dramatic,” complained Acer. “I’m bored and this is getting old. Nobody ever notices us anyways.” And so went the argument they were having once again, an argument they seemingly had almost every single day. If it was up to Grem they would stay out of the spotlight and never have any fun, but Acer wanted more. Acer wanted a life that was more than just hiding. They were always hiding! Hiding as if they were criminals.

The two of them actually being criminals was not the point, thought Acer.

“How about we just test the waters and see what’s out there?” asked Acer.

“That’s not our life. That’s not who we are,” stated Grem as if this was absolute.

“The little one’s noticed us, you know?” Acer said with a nervous, sidelong glance.

“I know,” grumbled Grem in frustration. “He’s had his on eye us for a while now. We have to watch out for that one.”

Much to Acer’s delight, it didn’t take long for Grem’s suspicions to prove true. Before either of them knew what was happening, they found themselves pulled directly into the spotlight.

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Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Brad the Dad, Dads Round Table


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Confessions of the Lost: Her Fight in the Snow

BradTheDadFiction2She crouched behind the crumbled remnants of an old, stone wall and waited.

She could hear them breathing, hear the slight movements of their hands and arms coming from the signals they gave each other about her perceived whereabouts. This, along with the crunch of snow beneath their boots and sharp intakes of breath from the frigid air they were breathing gave away their exact locations. But, it was clear they did not know where she was. Knowing her location was unacceptable.

And why would they know where she was? Boys. They sent boys to kill her.

The last light of the day was slowly fading below the trees and their shadows began to stretch across the earth as if reaching for her from across a great distance. “Join the club,” she thought.

She wasn’t sure which was the bigger insult — that her ex-captors still wanted her dead after what they did to her, or that they sent these boys all this way to finish the job. After robbing her emotion and feeling, you would think they would leave it at that. Be satisfied that that was enough. That to leave her alone with the memories of their brand of torture would be punishment enough for her escape.

Alone, she was. Left alone, she was not.

She would always be alone after what they did to her. Nobody could possibly know how she felt, what she experienced in those caves. Nobody that was alive, at least. Women never left those caves, only entered. She was the first. She was on a mission of firsts, and if all went accordingly to plan, also of lasts. She, the one for whom the shadows were cast.

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To Our Mother; My Wife

Mselfie (1)Always there for me: in the middle of the night, when I get off the school bus, to hug me when I’m feeling happy as well as sad.

Underappreciated: there will come a day when I truly recognize and appreciate all that you have done for me and all the effort you gave to make me who I am, but for now, just know I love you unconditionally.

Sacrificer: something else I won’t fully appreciate until I’m older, but rest assured I’m taking it all in: your patience given, time dedicated, energy spent, love spread.

Teacher: you’ve taught me many things big and small, and will continue doing so for the rest of your life, but it’s those basic fundamentals I want to make a special point to thank you for — a critical life skill as well as a way to better enjoy pool parties with family or friends, our time spent at the beach … thank you for teaching me to swim.

Intelligent and strong: our entire family draws upon your strength daily and benefits from your intelligence just as often – teacher and educator, backbone and glue.

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Hockey Dad Tries out for Baseball Dad

BaseballBenchThe pace of baseball is completely foreign to me, the amount of rules stresses me out and my childhood memories of the game are less than glamorous.

But it’s not about me, is it?

It’s about my 6-year-old son who practically floats with excitement just being on the same field as all of his friends. The faces are even mostly the same, they are my hockey kids, only with mitts on their hands and caps on their heads. Their smiles just as I remember them from underneath their helmets. It’s becoming (painfully) clear to me that the sport itself is secondary to my little athlete and is more about playing with his friends.

So here I am, a hockey dad, and my son is playing baseball. Can I be a baseball dad too?

I don’t know the answer to that question yet, but you bet I’m going to try. It’s time that I put my own baseball cap on and get serious about this sport that is in my blood. You see, my grandfather used to scout for the Philadelphia Phillies and wrote a local sports column (I got the writing bug from him at least) called, Strictly Local. So, no more sitting idly by on the sidelines, it’s time for this hockey dad to shower his knowledge upon his son from the sidelines and maybe even teach these baseball coaches a thing or two in the process.

“Keep those knees bent, son. Head up and always be ready.”

Okay, that wasn’t so bad. I think it was even correct. Sure those same things apply in hockey, but nobody needs to know that.

“Great job! Way to swing that stick, er, bat.”

I need to focus a little harder here.

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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Brad the Dad, Dads Round Table


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Spring Training Rules with my Boys

sneakfave“I’m here, guys!”

As if we were unaware of his approach, his feet pretty much rumble the earth.

The 6-year-old and I panted with exertion and took a break from our soccer game to welcomeback the one we like to call, Freight Train. The game started out fine and with all of us playing together, but it didn’t take long for the feisty 3-year-old to take offense to being reminded about not putting his hands on the ball and quickly retreat inside to complain to mommy.

We were both happy when he returned.

He’ll get it eventually, and until then I’ll continue to remind him of the rules, but nor can I ignore the fact that his life has been defined by scratching and clawing for his own in this world and using his hands achieves exactly that by somewhat leveling the playing field with his bigger, faster brother. An older brother who lived a life uncontested for 3 years, a life completely unfamiliar to our 3-year-old. But on the field, their worlds become one and the rules apply equally.

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Posted by on April 9, 2014 in Brad the Dad, Dads Round Table


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A Model for a Successful School Fundraiser

TasteBag1Sold out. Again.


The Center Elementary School PTO of Chelmsford, MA boasts one of the most successful and anticipated events of the year with its Taste of Chelmsford fundraiser. Every year as we head into spring, locals are treated to a night out of socializing, music, prizes, and most importantly, a night of sampling appetizers, main dishes, and desserts of the areas many fine restaurants and caterers.

Not only is this tasting competition a “calender circling” event for many adults, it’s one of the town’s most successful school fundraisers all year and benefits Center School’s enrichment programs.

An adults-only night of friends, community, and sampling great food and drink that raises funds to grow the minds of our children for a mere $25? It’s crystal clear why the event is sold out every year and why this should be a model for any school searching for ideas on how to raise money for their own programs. Raising money for these programs is the most important part of the night, but the added benefits of supporting your local establishments and fostering local pride can’t be overlooked. Your sense of community is stronger when you leave this event than when you enter, and the restaurants and vendors who participate bring their “A” game knowing how big of a shot in the arm this exposure can be for business.

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Posted by on March 20, 2014 in Brad the Dad, Dads Round Table


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