Growing up in Texas, I started playing organized team sports in middle school. I started on my less than illustrious volleyball career in middle school initially to avoid taking PE - really, really didn't want to take middle school PE. That philosophy actually did well by me through high school - joining the team to avoid taking gym class/off season training. I started playing basketball after volleyball season was over (when I was a Freshman) so I didn't have to do volleyball off-season, then took up track to avoid basketball off-season. Anyway, it all started for me back in middle school.
Up until middle school I wasn't a big athlete. I participated in the neighborhood fun and games, and gym class and playground activities, but nothing organized. I was more of a dance person - ballet, gymnastics, and clogging floated my boat. But starting in eighth grade, I was all about sports, and it seems that some of that has rubbed off on my eldest. Earlier this year Max tried out for and made a flag football team at his middle school. Max isn't a big guy - just average size for a 6th grader, but he's fast, and he's nimble on is feet. Those two summers of rugby have really improved his football game, and his soccer feet are clearly an asset. He was one of 25 kids in 6th grade that made the football teams. They do play flag football, which is the only reason we agreed to this. Coming from Texas we knew better than to toss our little guy into pads - that's just too scary for this mom and dad. Anyway, the were four teams in the middle school's football league, and Max's team went undefeated this past season.
Unfortunately, due to rain and snow (in October - can you imagine?) they missed a few games, but they finally called the season, and his team was undefeated. I was able to catch just one game - the rest were rained out - but I did see him catch an interception and almost make it across the goal line. It was cool seeing Max, all 56" of him playing football next to some 8th graders that were well over six feet. Flag football season is over now, and while Max is still playing soccer (although indoors - it's starting to get cold) he's already expressed interest in joining a basketball team. While my heart jumps at the thought of one of my kiddos playing the sport that I grew to really love and enjoy, the idea of him trying out for and making a basketball team at his height makes me giggle.