Goodbye Thunder, Hello Rampage

I guess that does it for ole team Thunder…  after several years of playing together the team has retired and the coaches and girls are moving on.  Many of them continue to play softball with several accepting positions on competitive teams, as is the case with Megan.  The girls had a blast playing together over the years, but are looking forward to new challenges; traveling, honing their skills and making new friends.  It’s both as sad and happy time as a new chapter begins with team Rampage.

You’ll find the Thunder postings in the categories section to the right, under kids, sports, softball. 

Photo Ordering Update

As of today, I’ve abandoned the DigiBug ordering system of photos from this site and have replaced it with another. We’ll call it Phi’s Ordering System – not very creative, but since I’ll be the one fulfilling orders you can trust that it’ll get done. The pricing is a little more than DigiBug since it’s a manual process. And if you need/want something special, just contact me and I’ll see what I can do. I don’t mean to bash the DigiBug folks, we just ran into a few kinks they haven’t figured out yet. Once they get things resolved, I may move back.

Like before, there’s a link at the bottom left of every photograph "Add Photo To Cart". Just click to add the photo you want, then select the size you’d like and either checkout or continue shopping for more pictures. Checkout is via Paypal by clicking the PayPal Buy Now.

That’s about it, I’ll ship your photos within a few days of the order.

A few kinks with the photo ordering system

OK – nobody panic (including me), but a few kinks have developed with the photo ordering system.  Isn't that how it always goes?  You test and test, then finally release it to the public and the wheels fall off.  Well, the wheels haven't really fallen off, but some of the orders have been delayed due to technical issues with the DIgiBug folks.  They're working on it and we'll hopefully get back on track soon.  Until then, know I'm keeping an eye on things.

Thunder goes undefeated!

Thunder wrapped up league play tonight winning a make up game against the Bandits. If I heard correctly, Thunder is the second team ever this year to go undefeated in their league. And provided Sheri and I counted the games right, that’s 18 wins in a row. Way to go girls! Pizza Party on the 13th – can’t beat that!

I posted a bunch of team pictures tonight, about 75 in total, you can find them here.

Changes to the Photo section

For awhile now I've been looking for an easier way to manage photos and simplify the "online ordering" of photos from this website. I think I've found it.

As you view pictures on this site, you'll notice an "item actions" menu "Order this Photo" link beneath the picture. Clicking on this and selecting "Print on Digibug.com" will automatically add your photo to the ordering site. You can order regular prints, posters, mugs, t-shirts, all kinds of stuff. If you use the new system, let me know how it works for you.

With these changes, you'll also notice I'm now watermarking my photos and I'll soon be removing the photo download option from the website. I put a lot of time and effort into this and I need to take a few steps to protect my work. It's not my intention to make a profit off the parents and I'll be putting together a coupon code that will enable you to order prints at a discount. This is just a hobby for me, so if by some miracle this becomes profitable, I'll work with the teams and we'll donate to them. My hope is this makes it easier for you and that I'll recover a small portion of what all this costs to run. It'd be awesome if it becomes beneficial to the teams too.

Note: if you order pictures online the watermark will be removed automatically. You don't need to do anything special, its all automatic.

Thunder takes the league championship.

Thursday team Thunder was awarded their champion t-shirts after winning their 17th game in a row. Winning just never gets old. Right girls? One more make up game Thursday and we're all done with softball and baseball for a couple of weeks. Not sure what we'll do with ourselves. Oh yeah, I still have pictures to post and videos to make.

Lots of Thunder pictures to post. Look for them sometime this week.

Thunder takes 1st place in their season tournament

Thunder continued their amazing winning streak the weekend going 3-0 to walk away with first place in this weekends double elimination tournament.  This makes the girls 14th straight win this season.  Pitching dominated the first first couple of games, but the final game was truly a team effort.  Good pitching, good fielding, good hitting.

Good job girls – enjoy your day off practice.  Pictures are coming, stay tuned.

Thunder goes 8-0

Thunder continues to storm all over the competition. Thursday's game, while a close one, chocked up another victory for the girls when they beat the Heat 3-2. This victory secures the top seed for the girls going into this weekends tournament.

Creditability and coaching

Having watched Sam and Megan play baseball/softball for the last 8 years, I've seen many different coaching styles and tactics. Everything from the incredibly laid back to the "in your face" type. So what makes a winning team? Is it the coaches? The tactics? The players? At some level it's all three, but for me personally, coaching and style is just a hair shy of everything for young, developing players. The ability to attract and keep talented players to build the team. The ability to get more out of the kids than anyone thought possible. The ability to develop passion in a player. Kids, especially young kids can do anything if motivated properly, but what is proper motivation?

Creditability! According to Jeff Janssen, who's actually studied a number of winning coaches. He claims there are seven secrets to coaching.

The sound of Thunder continues to drown out all the competition

Thunder took on the Heat for tonight's 90+ degree scorcher, in what was to be the toughest game of this early season. And once again, as it's been so many times before, a pitching battle ensued. Thankfully, Devon was on her game once again, giving up only one run in 5 innings of pitching, picking up her second homer in two games and generally leading Thunder to a 6-1 victory over the Heat. Thunder now finds itself 4-0 on the season with everyone gunning for them.  It should make for an interesting season.

Other credits for the evening:
Megan: 2 singles, 3 stolen bases – including home
Karson: 1 walk, 1 stolen base
Nicole: 1 walk, 2 stolen bases
Chelsey: a single, 1 stolen base