Please Go Vote For Austin to Win Scholarship

Move MountainsHigh School graduation is just around the corner and seniors have been filling out scholarship applications left and right. My wife has searched all over for available scholarships and Austin, who graduates in May, has filled out a bunch.

Here’s a chance for you to help!

Austin is entered in the Kids Moving Mountains Scholarship. Four students will receive a $5,000 scholarship and one will receive $10,000.

Here’s how you can help: Click here to go to the Kids Moving Mountains site where you will see Austin’s picture. Take about 90 seconds to register and then vote! You can vote once a day until April 12th.

Thanks for taking the time to vote . . . now go do it!

And They Are Off…

Joe & Syd 2 picThe past few weeks have been kind of a whirlwind around our house. Josiah finished up the school year at CCU and we got him moved out of the dorm. About a week later we had Sydney’s Graduation Open House on a Monday and then she officially graduated from high school on that Friday. By June 1st, both kids were gone.

Josiah is spending the summer near Chicago, IL, serving as an intern at Journey Christian Church in Elmhurst. He will be involved with the worship ministry, take part in staff meetings and get a taste of life in a church plant. The church doesn’t have their own building yet, so he gets to experience the weekly setup and tear down for the worship service.

Sydney started her freshmen year at the University of Louisville this week. She moved in June 1, had orientation on the 2nd and started her first class on the 3rd. Much of the team is on campus during the summer taking classes and working out. Her first day on campus she joined one of the coaches and a current player to pick up a recruit at the airport. She is excited about being on campus, starting basketball workouts and settling into college life.

I love the picture of Joe and Syd at the top of the page. Hard to believe that time has moved so quickly and they are not only out of the house, they are out of the state. I’m excited about what God will continue to do in them and through them.

Joe is 22

joe is 22Hard to believe that twenty-two years ago Josiah made his appearance into this world. He was born in Defiance, OH (it’s kind of funny to say he was born in defiance – get it?), moved to Kentucky, to Indiana and then back to Ohio. He is keeping busy with school at CCU along with working three different jobs on campus.

I was looking back at past posts about Joe that have involved marching bands, mission trips, his stroke in middle school family gatherings and even past birthdays. My how time flies!

This morning I was thinking about and praying for Joe and especially the opportunity he will have this summer for an internship. I’m looking forward to where God leads him in that venture and how that will direct His future.

Happy Birthday Joe!

Joe Turns 21 Today!

Joe senior 59On this day, a mere 21 years ago, Joe showed up! He was born in Defiance (the name of the city, not his state of being) Ohio and much has transpired since then. We have lived in three different states (Ohio to Kentucky to Indiana and back to Ohio) and a sister joined the group a few years after his arrival.

Kind of hard to believe that he hits 21 years today. I was thinking this morning that I remember when I turned 21 and find it somewhat disconcerting that I now have a son that is 21.

He’s played football and basketball, performed in many band concerts, traveled numerous miles with Solid Rock, marched on many a football field, participated in several musicals, graduated high school and is making his way through college. A stroke darkened the picture for a little while in junior high, but he still managed to go visit Uruguay while in elementary school, take a trip to Southeast Asia with his grandfather and cousin and go to Ireland with a crew from college. Not a bad itinerary for the first 21 years of life.

I know God has good things in store for Joe and look forward to what He will do through him. So, Happy 21st Birthday!! Here’s a “cup of Joe” to help celebrate. (Hitting pf changs later in the day for a good birthday meal)

Cup of Joe (Brackemyre)

Visit to U. of Michigan

The last few months have given us a unique opportunity to visit several schools as Syd makes a decision about where she will go to school. We’ve had visits to Indiana and Louisville along with several others. This past weekend took us to Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan. (I can almost hear the groan from all my Buckeye friends).  She was one of several prospects checking out the school.

Michigan has a new coaching staff and are beginning the process of building a team that wins championships.  The new staff is high energy and we had the opportunity to watch the team practice. It was fun to watch as they ran drills, worked on offense and defense and prepared for the upcoming season.  The practice facility is newly renovated and the courts and locker room are quite nice.  The Division 1 schools I have seen really put money into the athletic facilities.

This is a look at the locker room. Pretty nice set up.

This is the hallway that leads to Crisler Arena where the teams play their games. It has gone under major renovation and looks very nice. There is a camera in the hallway that projects on the scoreboard so the fans can see the team in the tunnel before they come out.

This weekend was also the Michigan/Michigan State game. We were part of the 113,00+ people who were in attendance. The crowd was pretty excited about beating their rivals and it turned out to be the 900th victory in U of M football history.

We met some of the coaches from the men’s team and had a good visit. Now, she just needs to decide where she’s going to land.

Chris Hansen ESPN HoopGurlz on Syd

I already put this link on my Facebook, but wanted to share it through this media outlet as well. Chris Hansen is an ESPN HoopGurlz Writer and National Director of Prospects.  While Syd was at the Fab 5 Camp in Georgia, Chris Hansen took some time to interview her and published this article on the ESPN website.

Since it’s already been on Facebook, I won’t repost it here.  Here’s the opening part of the article.  You can click on the link to read it in its entirety.

’14 Brackemyre nears decision, elite status

Sydney Brackemyre of Harveysburg, Ohio, used the EBA Fab Five Camp to make a play at elite status in the 2014 class while her recruitment nears its apex.

Here’s a link to the ESPN article.

Visit to U. of Louisville

Last Saturday afforded a visit to the University of Louisville to take a look at the school and the basketball program.  Syd is beginning to narrow down the schools on her list and this was our first look at Louisville.

Ironically, many years ago (before Syd was born), our family resided in Louisville. Other than passing the football stadium on the highway and going on to campus one time for a meeting, I didn’t really know a lot about the university.  Obviously the men’s basketball program is pretty well-known and the women’s program has enjoyed success over the past few year.

The campus and facilities were quite nice.  The KFC Yum! Center where the games are held is quite a venue.  Compared to the gyms we sit in during high school basketball season, it is a monster.  While the university doesn’t own it, they have very nice locker rooms and practice areas that are reserved just for U of L.  We took in a volleyball game and got a chance to look around the Yum! Center.


This is the women’s locker room at the Yum! Center.  The ladies also have a locker room in their practice facility.

This is a picture of the video room. They also had a training room and a place for the girls to hang out before and after practice. Very nice.

First Unoffical Visit

If you have been reading much of this blog, I’ve posted a number of things from my daughter’s basketball endeavors and accomplishments.  She experienced a successful summer with her Cincinnati Angels teammates and from that, had exposure to college coaches.  Playing in the OGBR Top 64 also gave her the opportunity to get in front of college scouts again.

This weekend we make our first unofficial visit to a college basketball program.  We have another one lined up for next weekend and a few coaches are coming to watch her at her high school practices or games.

This is all brand-new for us and obviously, pretty exciting. Syd’s desire is to play at the next level and she has been working hard toward that.  We are looking forward to seeing what doors open up for her.

For now we will get as much info as we can and she will continue working on her game.  Be interesting to see what the next few months have in store.

Same Song, Different Verse

In our High School class, we have been talking about the future, primarily regarding college choices and career decisions.  We have focused our discussion on preparing for college as most of our students will make that the next step after high school graduation.

In preparing, I found a good article about why many students seem to lose their faith in college.  As you read this particular quote, think about how relevant you think it is to students today.

Think about what happens to many young people who are raised with all the benefits of prosperous parents who are cultural Christians themselves. As children, they are taken to church, where they hear the parts of the Christian message that their particular church embraces. Although it is rare in our times, maybe they even receive some measure of religious instruction at home. Eventually, they leave home, and launch out into the world. Some go to work; some go to college. They face temptations that they have not faced before and give in to them. Their lives might get out of control with the use of alcohol, and they might give in to sexual indulgence. At the least, they never read the Bible or make any attempt to develop a spiritual life. Most don’t even attempt to take what knowledge is at their disposal and form their own beliefs and convictions. They don’t learn to think.

In reading that most of us would agree that it applies to students today.  While it is not true of all students, the statistics seem to show that many Christian students stumble in their faith at college.  This quote is actually attributed to William Wilberforce in 1797.  While it applies in 2010, he made the observation over 200 ago.

Same song, different verse.

While colleges and college students look different in 2010 than they did in 1797, they both struggle with the same thing – making my faith real as I move out of the confines of home and the church and venture out on my own.

Our continual challenge is engaging our own minds and the minds of students to think like a Christian, whether in high school, on the college campus or in the work force.  Wilberforce uses the phrase “cultural Christians” in his observation.  Does that describe us today?

Back 2 School

In a previous post I talked about my son turning 18. Well, now he is off to college. I actually have two freshmen this year…a freshman in high school and a freshman in college.

It’s a new experience having him at school. I have seen other families go through this transition and some have gone through it joyfully, while others have shed many tears.

I guess one of the emotions I think of is excitement. I remember the anticipation I had when I went off to school so I can relate to the excitement of my son (and the other freshmen) as they venture off to college for the first time.

I am trusting it will also be a learning and growing experience and God will use this year (and the ones that follow) to provide direction to my son and his classmates.

To everyone who is going back to school….have a great year!