Best of Youth Sports

I shot a boys basketball game between Arcata High and Healdsburg High. Healdsburg went out to a early lead but were not able to hold it. Arcata tied the game and then stormed past Healdsburg with a combination of hustle and great shooting. At one point, Arcata was up 20 points. Healdsburg found themselves down 14 at halftime. They seemed out of sync and struggling to deal with Arcata's defensive double teams on their big man.

Near the end of the 3rd period, Healdsburg was still down by 10, but they were starting to click. At no point could you question their effort.

Healdsburg tied the game with 1:43 minutes left. They took the lead with 1:06 left. They did fall behind again but kept playing and hustling. They won by 6 points.

Both teams hustled, showed exceptional skill, and competitive fire. It was a great game to watch. I commented to the coaches that if I were a coach, I would be proud to coach either of the teams. 

The images here focus on the Healdsburg team because I was covering the game for the Healdsburg Tribune. I'll be publishing a full set of images on Flickr soon.

A Life Time

It has been almost three months since I updated my blog. On October 8th, a fire started in the hills outside of Santa Rosa that swept through parts of the city and destroyed about 5,000 homes, displaced about 8,000 people, and killed about 43. For the next 30 or so days, as a County disaster worker,  I worked in the Health Services Operations Center. We deployed public health, behavioral health, and environmental health professionals to serve the victims of this terrible disaster and the supplies necessary to meet the needs of the 7,000 individuals living in the emergency shelters. My first event back after the fires was a football game between Analy HS and Healdsburg HS, followed by a XC meet in Alexander Valley at the Hoot Owl Vineyards, and then a volleyball game between Elsie Allen HS v Healdsburg HS. During the disaster response, I worked mostly midnight shifts. I drove to the operations center in the evening and drove home in the early morning. Santa Rosa's downtown area was a ghost town. I drove to work down Highway 101 ... with burned out areas on either side. All of us were focused on getting the job done and, several times on the drive home, I found myself crying as I looked at the devastation. One of my colleagues lost her home in the fire. She and her husband have an 8th month old baby. I have been inspired by how she has dealt with the loss of her home. Dr. Mark Netherda lost his home. I saw him one night at the Operations Center. I embraced him and said how sorry I was that he'd lost his home ... all he wanted to do was show me photos of his boys hugging each other at a UC Berkley football game (Alex is a member of the Berkley football team) after the fire. He was embracing his life and what meant so much to him in the face of the loss of his home. 

Here are some photos from the events immediately following the fire. Photography has helped me cope with the tragedy. Check out the slide show for the football photos and scroll through the XC and VB images.

Viking XC Opener ...

I love shooting the Viking XC Opener. This year ... in addition to the great competition, Kim Conley, Olympian from Montgomery High Schoo, attended to support her former team and to recognized Bob Shor. I was asked to take a team photo with Kim and the Montgomery team. Great day ... 

mhs team 2 viking xc 2017.jpg

Volley Ball, XC and Football ... Time Well Spent

An enjoyable and busy week. Started with a volley ball match on Wednesday ... then a double header on Friday with the inaugural Bob Shor XC Invitational leading off, and then a drive north to Cloverdale for a football game between Berean Christian and Cloverdale High. 

Last year, HHS hired a new girls basketball coach. He is gone ... unfortunately, during his one year, he treated some young ladies very badly and robbed one young lady of a year of basketball. This young lady was on the court for the volley ball matches and I got to hang out and talk with her parents. I heard that coaches from other schools commented on her absence from the HHS Basketball team. They shared that they had been game planning about how to deal with her and were surprised to hear she wasn't on the team. They encouraged her to keep playing. I am looking forward to the basketball season so I can once again enjoy watching her compete.

The XC meet was bitter sweet. It was great to be at Spring Lake again. I was touched by the words of Coach Doug in recognizing Bob Shor. I know he acted as the starter with a heavy heart. I got to hang out with Carrie and Grace ... I think I got a photo of Coach Carrie Joseph's daughter running her first high school XC meet (at least I hope so) ... but I missed my photo buddy Thomas Benjamin. Hoping he can overcome his health issues and that we can hang out this XC season.

Finally, I thought that Rec Park (prior to their recent upgrade) had the worst possible lighting for a football field. There were actually "black holes" on the field. Unfortunately, Cloverdale High proved me wrong. Another photographer said the lighting on the field was like "candle light." I always enjoy shooting events in Cloverdale ... photographed little league and track/field. The folks are very nice. No difference for the football game ... felt welcomed. However, in order to get usable photos, I had to push my ISO to 20,000! The digital noise was significant. I had to push the noise reduction to the limits in post processing ... 

The photos below represent my week. Time well spent.