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Area Kids Swap Uniforms & Fields!!!

by Best Homes Team
Season Wrap Up & Season Start Up
If you’ve noticed, the sun is rising a bit earlier in the morning and days are getting longer. Birds are seen flying carrying twigs and bits of debris with which to construct their nests. Lizards are out of hibernation and there have even been a few snake sightings in the hills around our homes. This weekend, the thermometer is predicted to be in the mid-80’s.
Yep - Spring is in the air in San Diego County. Enjoy the sun now folks; the May-Gray & June-Gloom is just around the corner. For a few days though, the high pressure will dominate and the sun will shine.
The grass is green, the sun is shining, flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and baseballs are filling our local skies! That’s right - baseballs!
While it seems as though I just took the Christmas lights down, recently I found myself standing on the center-field grass of the Fletcher Hills Little League diamond celebrating Opening Day of the season.
The Powerful White Sox!
And what a day it was! All the teams were there in uniforms for pictures, the grass was perfect, and the boys (plus a few young ladies with pony tails sticking out from underneath their caps) were rambunctious and anxious to get those pristine uniforms covered with stains from the turf and infield clay. Games didn’t start for another week, but the season a was officially underway with the introduction of the teams, coaches, and the opening of the snack bar.
My son, Jake, is proudly wearing the colors of the White Sox this year in the ‘Rookies’ division, where the ball is actually thrown to him to hit. No more ‘tee’ to rest the ball on while the kids take their whacks at it. The ball is coming at you boys! Keep those eyes open and helmets on… We shall see what transpires as the season progresses.
New Home Run King?
Only if not tested for performance enhancing Slush-Puppies!
Jake will most certainly not be the star of the team; as a kindergartener I would have preferred he stay in ‘tee’ ball to hone his skills for another season before moving up to the big leagues, but he insisted that he play in the ‘real-pitch’ division with the older guys, so here we go! I’ll say a brief prayer before he comes to the plate each at bat.
Jake ready to catch!
Watching the games, I must say that there are few things that make a dad more proud than seeing his 6 year old on the diamond in full uniform. Those moments will never be forgotten.
On to the Soccer Field!
Immediately after the conclusion of the Opening Day ceremonies I jumped in my car and drove the 1/2 mile to the Our Lady of Grace field for the season wrap-up of the girl’s 2nd grade soccer team I coach. This has been a special team and a special season for our girls. We entered that Saturday’s game as the only undefeated team in the league, and our goal was to end the season that way.
For those parents of players reading this, you already know that this was a challenging season from a coaching and practice standpoint. While the majority of the players had participated in the competitive ‘Crusaders’ league with the same coaching staff, the dynamic with the girls was different coming directly from class to the practice field. The drama of 2nd grade life spilled over into the sessions and we coaches often left practice scratching our heads, wondering if we were getting through to the young ladies at all.
As a coach, I cannot adequately describe the rewarding feeling I get when my girls display the skills we’ve (the coaching staff) worked so hard to instill in them in practice. As noted in previous Blogs and e-mails, this is a special group of young ladies. I believe this team would have had the same success this year no matter who coached them, or even if we never had practice. Yes, our girls are that good.  And, playing in a 1st - 2nd grade division they were on the more mature and developed side of the scale when compared to the competition.
Yet in coaching these youngsters, the goal is not only to win games. We could have stacked our lineup and won most of our games by margins of 8 to 10 goals. The nature of those victories is a bit hollow for me, and I think for the girls too. Early in the season we pulled out players and played the competition with one or even two fewer girls on the field. This not only leveled the playing field for the other teams, but it forced our players to dig a bit deeper and perform at a higher level.
I want to commend the young ladies on the team for their patience and extra efforts. We had very little sniveling at game time over position assignments or over waiting on the sideline for their turn to be in the lineup. Prior to each game I made rosters to allow each player time at different positions. Nearly every player on the team scored this year, and everyone contributed. While the practice sessions were often frustrating, things always seemed to come together at game time. We stressed the importance of passing the ball, being in proper position, and assignments while in those positions.
As noted above, there were times at practice that Coach Scott, Coach Alan, and I were convinced that our time would have been better spent stacking BB’s or counting the grains of sand at the beach. We often felt that there was little or no attention paid to our instruction.
Then, in the last game of the season, it was as though the heavens opened and angels sent forth beams of holy enlightenment down upon us! The OLG Phantom girls took the opening kickoff and passed the ball brilliantly down to the goal! In a survey of the field, every player was in position – ready to receive the ball, drop into defense, or send the ball to another player. Coaches Alan, Scott, and I looked at each other with wide grins as our team moved the ball in the first minute of the game. They got it! All our efforts had not been in vain!
The game progressed this way, with unselfish passing and position soccer played by all we installed. I could not have been more proud of our team or had a greater sense of accomplishment in their play. This culminated in the 3rd period as Ashlin, our top scoring threat, was driving in one-on-one with the goalie. Normally Ashlin would take that shot, but Kelsey was running along with her in the right-forward position. Instead of Ashlin shooting on the goalie, the ball was passed beautifully across the field to the unguarded Kelsey, who whacked it into the open goal.
Three-to-one, and an undefeated season.
The OLG 2nd grade soccer team!
It came down to the final game, but our work with the girls came shining through. To reiterate, the coaching staff had little to do with an unblemished record: these girls are so talented they could have done that without us. I truly feel that each and every player in this group developed a greater sense of the game of soccer as a result of being a member of the team. That was our goal as coaches. Winning is great, but player development is most important.
The sportsmanship of our Phantom girls should not be overlooked either. They were all true ambassadors of the game, even when some of the other teams' players (and parents) were not.
I appreciate the efforts of Coach Scott and Coach Alan who helped so generously with the task of what we often called “Herding Cats” around the field. Also, you parents should be commended for your support of your girls individually and as a team. The long practices (how many times did I hear from our players “Coach, all the other teams are gone. Why are we the only ones here running windsprints?”) paid off, not only in the form of an unbeaten season, but in the readiness of those who’ll continue playing this game as they move on the next level.
For parents of players - we should all be proud of our girls. Their efforts as a team in support of each other were well beyond what should be expected of 2nd graders. I’m personally proud of my daughter Ashley, who I saw grow not only as a player, but as a teammate to her gang as well. Please take a moment and tell each of your girls how proud you are of their accomplishments.
For those parents who read this, it was an honor to be placed in charge of your kids. I hope the contributions of the coaches made a difference in their lives.

So now, it’s on to baseball. We’ll see what the Diamond holds in store…

When an Agent & Seller Work as a TEAM Homes Sell!

by Best Homes Team

OK, so you’ve heard the catchy buzz words and phrases—“staged,” “market-ready,” “move-in perfect,” and more—like a broken record from realtors.  The goal is to give a buyer no excuse to NOT out in an offer.  Although the "little" things are easy to fix, when they aren't prior to going into escrow it tells the buyer that this home hasn't been well-maintained, true or not.  For the realtors who really work with their Sellers to make these ideas real these catch phrases equal $$$$$DOLLAR$$$$$ signs.  


Recently we took on the project of selling 1913 Estela Drive, a unique home with both upgrades & views located in a great neighborhood.  While Estela Drive was gorgeous as is, it was not quite market ready.  In this case the seller's had done a remarkable job with upgrading & decorating the home so we suggested a few adjustments that were well-received & then it was "sale ready." 


We suggested that they de-clutter, so they rented a POD.  Into the POD went the extra memorabilia that is great while living & entertaining in a home, but can distract a buyer who is trying to potentially visualize their life in a home. 


They had gorgeous views, a definite hallmark selling point for the home, but the trees needed some trimming to really showcase the views from all angles of the backyard & through the windows.  The owners saw the validity in our suggestion to trim, so they hired someone to trim the trees to enhance the views.

 See, wouldn't you want to FEATURE these SPRAWLING VIEWS?!?

What did these “small” changes accompanied by our aggressive initial push of marketing accomplish?  Estela went into escrow within a week of going on the market with multiple offers—4 OFFERS. 


Although the quickness is somewhat uncommon the techniques & strategies are full-proof when selling a home.  Let the 2007 staging info below make you a believer how these "nit picky" suggestions can turn into $$$$$$ ...


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Photo of Best Homes Team by Rob Northrup Real Estate
Best Homes Team by Rob Northrup
Best Homes Team CA BRE#: 00938658
2552 Fletcher Parkway
El Cajon CA 92020
Fax: 619-463-1427