Jonah had such a fun time learning to play t-ball this year. It was truly all he expected it to be and more. Having the best, most patient, understanding, caring coaches in the world certainly helped. :) This is Jonah with his head coach, Coach Kelly.
He is truly a man of integrity. Gentle with the kids but not afraid to tell them what they need to be doing. My favorite example of his care for the kids was at the beginning of the year when we were figuring out schedules for practices and games, Coach Kelly told us all that as soon as the twice weekly games began, we would no longer have practices. Most (dare I say all?) of the other teams continued practices, but our coach felt it was important not to burn out the kids. I just love that about him! We had a number of questionable happenings during the t-ball season (who knew there was so much DRAMA in t-ball???) and through it all Coach Kelly modeled good sportsmanship, encouraged the other teams as much as our own, built up our kids, showed them how to play and made sure they all had fun doing it.
One of the assistant coaches took Jonah under his wing. He's a big, gruff guy with a loud, gravelly voice. He would probably be voted 'most likely to scare small children' (I say this with the utmost respect for the guy!). Jonah for some reason just melted Coach Jeremy's heart. Coach Jeremy understood that Jonah didn't know anything about the game before his first practice. He made it a point to always make sure Jonah got to his position and he gave him the best pep-talks before each time up at bat. During the season he always greeted Jonah with a big ol' bear hug and at the end-of-season party he cried and cried when saying goodbye to JoJo. He may look tough, but he's a softy. :) Here's Jonah with Coach Jeremy.
Here's a couple of crazed t-ball fans...Bridget (r) with her friend Lily (l). They enjoyed playing in the
sand dirt during most of Jonah's games.
I know I'll sound a little prejudiced here (I am his mom, after all) but Jonah was the heart of the Astros this year. He captured the attention of all the coaches and parents, and usually had both teams cheering for him when he was up to bat. Don't imagine for a moment that this was because of his stellar t-ball skills. When I say that Jonah loved every minute of playing this year, it wasn't because he hit a home run (never happened) or because he even got to second base (a rare occasion) or because of his amazing fielding skills (chasing down balls only to hold on to them while the runner rounds the bases and makes it safely home). :) No, he loved it because he was part of a team. Jonah is nothing if not a team player. He felt valued and important as part of a team and thought the other boys were automatically his new best friends (which some of them have become). He didn't ever know if they had won or lost the game, he just enjoyed the snow-cone awarded at the end. Jonah is quite a slow runner, he actually doesn't even really prefer to run if he doesn't have to do so. That didn't stop him from giving it all he had every time he hit the ball. :)
I think that very innocence is what captured the parents and fans that watched the games. Everyone knew JoJo by the end of the season.
Coaches (L-R): Jeremy, Kelly, Cory, missing Coach JT
Players (back row): Garner, Sonny, Gavin, Taegan
(front row): Jonah, Ian, Casey, Carson, Miles, Zachary
What a fun year. I'm so glad that Jonah decided to play t-ball this year and can't wait for next season! Most of the coaches are moving up out of t-ball next year since their boys will be old enough for coach-pitch, so we're praying next year's coaches are at least half as incredible as the ones we had this year. :)