|Kyle Ames (33)|
As most everyone knows, my blog is mostly about music. However, today it is going to be about something entirely off topic. I don’t care really, it’s my blog and I can do whatever I want.
On May 31st of 2002 Cindy, Kyle, and I drove up in front of 202 Skyview Ln in Kerrville, Tx (never understood why that’s Kerrville – it’s in freakin’ Ingram) in the largest U-Haul I could legally drive. At the time my parents, Jack and Peggy Ames lived there and that is where we set up camp for a day or two while we moved into our small rent house on Chosen Spot in Ingram.
The U-Haul contained ten years of memories that began in Irving, Texas in 1992, along with four long years in Florida that had brought us to the Hill Country where I had always dreamt of planting roots. Cindy and I almost immediately found jobs in the area in the treatment industry and began planting those roots.
We had an incredible summer of me showing the two of them all of the things I had discovered about the Texas Hill Country over the years. Three months flew by and it was time to enroll Kyle into school. It all started that day in August at Ingram Elementary. Our bright-eyed third grader in all of his innocence started what to me was his actual first year in school.
Yes, he had been going to school in Florida, and he liked it at Chasco Elementary, but we left there before he had time to really connect. I knew we were going to be here a while so it just felt like I was taking him to school for the first time. He was there at Ingram Elementary for his third, forth, and fifth grades where he seemed to flourish, especially in art with Mrs. Mac, the art teacher at Ingram Elementary at the time.
She worked hard with Kyle. I remember him painting a pheasant from the cover of Texas Wildlife magazine. It won second prize in UIL competition. I have always loved art and was ecstatic. It appeared my son had the artistic gene, as do his Gramps and I. You most likely have seen Kyle’s Gramps at many of Ingram’s sporting events with his various different canes in hand. He carved them and painted them himself.
Back when Kyle was in the fifth grade, I was certain he was going to fall in love with the arts and follow in my footsteps. Then, not fully understanding the repercussions of what I was about to do, handed him a baseball!
He had played T-Ball in Florida but we had drifted away from baseball until arriving in Ingram. Kyle fell in love with it from the start and became determined to play the difficult position of catcher. He played catcher just about his entire Little League Baseball career. He was pretty darn good at it too!
Literally, every year he played LLB, he made the All-Star Team, representing Ingram. He met many friends, as did we. The Scherer’s, The Asbury’s, the Cassidy’s, The Nolan’s, The Martinez’s, The Waggoner’s, The Kirkland’s and many more! We became at the minimum, acquaintances with them all as we sat back and watched our children grow.
And grow they did. Kyle went on to be introduced to just about any sport that contained a sphere and began to either, catch it, throw it, hit it, kick it, or bat it down. He liked all sports but fell in absolute love with basketball. He virtually lived and breathed the sport, constantly looking for ways to get better.
When we moved to Bumble Bee Hills between Ingram and Hunt, I used to watch him play in the driveway against Jarrett Jacobs, two years his senior. Jarrett taught him a lot of moves, and perhaps without knowing it, started Kyle down his trek to a successful career as a bona-fide High School Basketball star.
He, Tyler Scherer, Josh Wilson, Tyler Moore, Brad Hansen and Nick Morris had been playing together for nearly all of their school years both in school and at the parks and gyms in and around the area. They became one. They became a team and played together nearly all of the time. Tyler went on to varsity ahead of everyone else, but the following year the team again was together.
I remember when Kyle was younger he would constantly talk about how he could not wait until he played for ITM on the Varsity Warrior Basketball team. He may have made it to the varsity level his sophomore year had it not been for a serious knee injury during basketball practice that knocked him out for the season.
He worked hard through physical therapy and even played summer basketball so he could be in shape for basketball season his Junior year. He played all year, mostly as the 6th man off the bench and did remarkably well.
Cindy and I were so proud of him but mostly of the team. They did well but lost twice to their nemesis, Harper. They made the play-offs and went to the second round before being knocked out by the number 10 team in the state Eastland.
Their Senior year, was their best ever. The boys were like a well-oiled machine. They worked through adversity, a dismal showing at the Johnson City Tourney, where Kyle injured his knee and was out for nearly all of the pre-season.
His injury turned out to be a deep contusion in his knee and he rehabbed it back into shape in time for district play where this time The Warriors went 8-0 and were the undisputed District Champs! They lost in an all out battle in the second round of the play-offs. They lost but it was a valiant battle!
I did not mean to dwell so long on basketball but that is the lads love. His love to play the sport and the other three sports he played at the varsity level, along with his academic and his dedication to his community are probably what got him and two of his peers, Tyler Moore and Alison Sheriff, the prestigious Sportsman of the Year award.
What I really wanted this article to be about was his love for his school, his love for his teachers and coaches, both past and present, his love for his community, and the love they – community, administration, and faculty - showed not only for him but for all of the students. I think this was one of the first times in a couple of years where I was not constantly hearing negative comments about ITM.
Things seemed to have turned around. The students loved their school and seemingly each other, the administration and faculty of the school reciprocated. It was an all out love fest between everyone involved.
So I found it quite incredible to read all of the negative comments about the school and its administration in the local papers. Who are these people? Where did they come from? How come they are having a seemingly completely different experience than I?
I know just about all of the teachers, all of the coaches, nearly all of the Upper classmen, and their parents. Where was all of this negativity coming from, and why?
I can only chalk it up to a lot of folks not liking change. Not changing is easy. It’s less work. We don’t have to adjust to anything if everything just stays the same. But Ingram ISD had slipped into mediocrity and to the current administration, faculty, and its students, mediocrity was unacceptable.
Changes were made. The trimester became the rule and people were upset. Not everyone though. As always, the upset people make the loudest noise, but that is to be expected.
All I know is what I see. Tomorrow night, June 1st, 2012, the best damn bunch of kids I have had the pleasure to know will be graduating from Ingram Tom Moore High School. Bad schools do not turn out this many great young men and women. That, my friends and neighbors, speaks volumes and is much louder than all the squawking I keep hearing from the naysayers!
To the young men and women of the 2012 Ingram Tom Moore High School graduating class, know this – I love each of you tremendously and wish you all nothing but the best!
See you all on the other side.