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2012 Middle School Softball Champs!

With apologies to Queen:  We are the champions, my friends.  We kept on fighting ’til the end.  We are the Champions.  We are the Cham….” Well, you get the picture.

2012 is a banner year for the Burke Middle School Softball Team!  Last year, this scrappy team came in a promising second place in what turned out to be a harbinger (AP English word) for this year’s run through the playoffs.  From spring training, until the final out on a long throw from Valerie to Sophia filling in for Esme, this team and this season has been special.  So special, in fact, that Sports historians, softball sabermatricians, and Burke graybeards are all looking into whether this is the first Sports Banner ever for a Burke Middle School team.

Final out on a long throw from short to first!

The wind-up… and the pitch…

With seven strong innings by pitcher, Catherine W…. and

She’s in 6th grade?!?!

Patient, solid hitting against a very strong Sandy Spring pitcher…and

Clockwork-like fielding, Burke played it calm and cool, like it has all season, to bring home the win, 6-1.

The season-capping win came before an SRO crowd comprised of parents, friends, many alums, and a bleacher-full of softball-loving faculty fans, including Bob K., Ginger, Monica, Susan, Guy, Judith, Michelle (and Chase), Wendell, and Daniel (channeling Casey Stengel).

Special thanks for such a special season go to all the coaches:  JD, Sam, Shala, and, of course, coach/team mascot Adam K.

Last, but not least, thanks for all the great action photos go to Holly Johnson!


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The Thrill

Your humble blogger has been awol – or more appropriately for this post – on the DL – for a while.  But I stumbled upon this video re-cap of the Burke 2012 Sports Season (scroll down).  Can one become nostalgic after only a few weeks?

Growing up I heard Jim McKay’s voice every saturday repeat the global sports clarion, like a prayer or haiku:

… thrill of victory
the agony of defeat
the human drama

After watching so many practices and games at Burke, and knowing the players and the coaches, I’ve come to see that the ‘thrill’ is not just in the victory (though, don’t get me wrong, that ain’t so bad).  “Thrill” is defined, in part, as a sudden wave of keen emotion.  What is the feeling that comes from watching the players grow over the years; pick themselves up off the turf; summon the courage or effort or love to make the attempt?  Seems “thrilling” to me.

As you watch the Winter Sports video, don’t despair that the season’s over… Spring MS Softball began yesterday with a 14-9 victory!  Come on out for the rest of the games – and feel the thrill of the grass!

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La Bengals

Jump Shot

Roving reporter and 8th Grade parent, Mark Popovich attended Tuesday’s Girls Middle School B-Ball game against Waldorf and filed this report (and action photos):

The middle school girls basketball team tipped up the 2011 campaign with its first “midnight madness at 3:15pm” game.  Facing Waldorf, the gallant gals worked through the first game jitters and both teams produced little scoring in a first half dominated by strong defensive play.  Scoring picked up the pace in the second stanza and while the burke bengals showed signs of much of the hard work of the preceding practices, they came up short on the final score.  The team looked mah-vah-lus.   Get em next game — Thursday…

Update – true to Mark’s word, La Bengals “got ’em” on Thursday with a great team effort (and btw – evening up their record at 1 & 1 with a strong “W” – and we’re not talking about G. Bush’s middle initial).

More Popovich original photos (from his new phone) at BurkePix!

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Seniors' Night!

One of my favorite nights of the school year is Senior Night.  After a hard fought soccer, wrestling, softball, etc. match, with the sun setting on another season, the players, coaches, parents and friends gather to recognize the work of the senior members of the team.

The night is less a celebration of individual contributions, than it is a recognition and tribute to the power and passage of time and the journey that the individuals and the team make through it.  With teammates and family around them, it’s a recognition of the many things that they have accomplished over the time that they have had together; a recognition that the separate moments of time are fleeting and deserving of a ‘look around’ before they become memories; and that the time ahead of them, though not fully defined, has promise.

Coach McQ and his bouquets

It’s also a (sometimes too implicit) recognition of all the hard work, patience, friendship, urging and caring from all the great coaches that they have had over the years.  A special nod goes to this year’s Girls Varsity Soccer team coaches, Meggan Eckert, Molly Eckert and Lynne Zummo, who not only taught the girls about how to play the game, but about how to be a team.  And thanks to Coach McQ for helping bring together and supporting such a great team of coaches across all of the Burke sports squads.

Here’s to the Seniors and the wonderful time we’ve had watching them grow:




Grace! (blurry)

Grace & Kate (less blurry!)

Ellie (of course, she makes everyone smile too much to stay in focus!!)

Dana - so much heart - no photo is big enough to capture it!

Congrats to the Girls Varsity Soccer current and future Seniors!

As always – more photos at BurkePix.

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Friday Night Lights


Let the trumpets sound:

Let the food be prepared:

Let the people assemble:

And let the Games begin:

For last Friday was the Homecoming Doubleheader for the Varsity Boys & Girls Soccer squads – as well as all of their loyal fans.  There were two great matches with a beautiful Fall sky colored by a setting sun on one side of the field – and a raucous crowd of Burke fans on the other.

Everyone came out, including – soccer hooligans:

Women of great stature

Men of great stature:

The runners:

The up & comers:

The movers & shakers:

The coaches:

The coach’s puppy:

And the players:

In fact, just about the entire Burke community:

Also, special bravos go to all the many people who pitched in, including Elena Hernandez, Nancy Golding, Diz Hormel, Monica Miracky, Vanessa White, Hal and Dawn Hiemstra, Thorne Rankin, Lisa Carr, Tina Chen, Beth Allaben, Wanda Cosmo, Mike Carr, and especially the Varsity Boys Soccer Team for hazmat cleanup duty under the bleachers – which got a good housekeeping stamp of approval from Coach McQ!

Lots more photos at BurkePix.

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Bringing It All Back Home!

Dear Burke Nation:  IT’S HOMECOMING!!!

Bengals!! Homecoming!! 'Nuff Said!!

Get to the Atrium for the All Bengal Swag Pep Rally.  And you must, MUST get down to the RFK soccer field at 3:30pm today for a Girls and Boys Soccer Doubleheader again Covenant Life.  These teams are “sick” (the kids assure me this is a good thing) and are not to be missed!  Paint your faces, paint your belly (mine takes too much paint), wear Burke trinkets, and bring out your best Burke hooligan spirit!  See you there!

Thanks to Steve O’Keefe, Math Impresario and school paparazzo, for the photograph.for more of his pics, go to PhotO’Keefe.

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Let’s Play 2!

As Ernie Banks, Chicago Cubs great, was known for saying, “it’s a great day for a ballgame… Let’s play two!”  Well, the sun’s set in a blue sky, the temperature is just right, the field is dry, it’s a great day for a soccer match – let’s play two!  In fact, the Girls and the Boys MS Soccer Bengals play back-to-back games at Field this afternoon beginning at 4:30pm.  Whatcha say about knocking off early, putting on your hooligan best, heading over to Foxhall Road and catching a Burke doubleheader? If I leave now, I might have time to get my head shaved!  See ya there.

MS Bengals (minus Maestro John Howard) after win at RFK over Waldorf

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