When I picked up Ph. from futbol practice this morning noon,
he reported–big smile–that he’s been offered a spot on the varsity squad.
We’re happy for him, of course, and he’s excited, encouraged by the invitation.
Still, of sophomores on varsity, I’m of, oh…say, twelve or thirteen minds.
I’ll bother mentioning just a few of them. Consider:

  • Sitting the bench as a sophomore is a waste of time. Take advantage of
    practices or it’s a lost season of development.
  • The sophomore on JV is likely to get minutes, has a shot at a leadership
    role, develops confidence and gains valuable experience.
  • If older players aren’t watched and the going gets tough (as in a sub-.500
    season), underclass players can sponge it up, suffer the brunt of it.
  • A right-headed sophomore who toughs it out (persistent and dependable
    effort, attends everything on time, etc.) stands to develop a better
    relationship with the v. coach.

Probably sounds like I’m anticipating the worst. Bad case of parental wariness.
Because no. 2 in the list best describes my experience with H.S. sports, I’m
burdened with a mild when-I-was-young bias. Of course this isn’t just
some arbitrary and inconsequential scenario. It’s the scenario. So
I’d better get busy suppressing my apprehensions, let this fine opportunity run
its course, and relax knowing that Ph. will make the most of it, like he always


  1. I think you know your son pretty well. I’ve probably already said this, but I was very impressed with that clip of him at Shakespeare camp–he strikes me as someone who can take anything and make something out of it. Perhaps you can get him read some of your books for your exams ; )

  2. You’re probably right. I do know him pretty well. It’s gone very well for him so far. Last night he joined his teammates in the stands at SU’s soccer match against Niagara (season opener), and today, at their morning workout, he made his timed mile. Needed to be under six minutes and he scored a 5:58. I suspect the only way to get him to help me with my exam reading is to add the stuff he’s already reading (right now it’s Slaughterhouse Five).

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