2012 A Year in Review

2012 started like any other year, but changed quickly for me.  I started out the year in Alaska.  I was the booster shooter for Eagle River High School  I had just come off the football season and shooting some hockey, but as the New Year started, it was all about Hoops.  It was a new look for the Eagle River boys. New players had transferred in from out of state, and the boys had a new coach in Fred Young who had coached at East Anchorage High School for years.  Coach Young was the 3rd coach for the boys team since the school opened in 2005.  I had been booster shooting for the Wolves since that first season 7 years ago.

Shaquan Rhoades splits the South defense for a layup Friday night

Shaquan Rhoades splits the South defense for a layup Friday night

I was also shooting the girls team, who was under the final season of coach Tara Bingham who was leaving the state the following summer.

Freshman Lauren Frost gets hit going to the hoop.

Freshman Lauren Frost gets hit going to the hoop.

I found out at the end of the basketball season that I would not be back the following season.  In July I was moving to Denver, and I announced that to the Wolves basketball team at the end of season banquet.

Senior Kevin Waterman heads to the rim for a dunk against Chugiak

Senior Kevin Waterman heads to the rim for a dunk against Chugiak

I did not shoot anything for Eagle River after basketball was over.  Well, I did shoot one girls soccer game at the request of the Reeves.  The Reeves family had done so much for me since their son Jimmy was a freshman, and I had photographed him all 4 years in football, and his sister who graduated later in the year playing volleyball and soccer, as well as both their senior photos.  I felt like I needed to photograph one more game for them.

I did not flow into baseball like usual, due to the fact that the baseball season goes all summer and I could not commit to shooting their games this year.  I did get a chance to go out to the ball field and say goodbye to the players, many of whom were umpires for me when I was the Umpire in Chief for Knik Little League.  A lot of these kids I had been photographing since they were in 3rd and 4th grade.

In July my mom and I joined my sister and brother in law in Arvada, Colorado, a suburb of Denver.  About a month after getting here I got a car and I was shooting immediately.  A few days after getting my car was the tragic shooting at the Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colorado.  I got an email from Zuma wanting photos so I head over in 103+ temperatures.

Police keep people away from the Century 16 theater in Aurora, CO, just outside Denver after a shooting at the Midnight Premier of the Dark Knight Rises where 12 people are confirmed dead and many more injured

Police keep people away from the Century 16 theater in Aurora, CO, just outside Denver after a shooting at the Midnight Premier of the Dark Knight Rises where 12 people are confirmed dead and many more injured

Soon after I started shooting the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer.  It was my first true pro sports since shooting the Seattle Sonics and Mariners almost 10 years earlier.  I was very impressed with the people at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, and the way media were treated all season long.

July 24th, 2012: Colorado Rapids host Swansea City AFC for a international friendly soccer match in Denver, CO.

July 24th, 2012: Swansea City AFC striker Luke Moore (19) in a 1-2 loss to Colorado Rapids in a international friendly soccer match in Denver, CO.

The next thing up for me was something new.  I shot a Triathlon.  I have shot running races before.  Had a photo from the Bear Paw 5k in Alaska in Runner’s World Magazine, but I had never shot a triathlon before.  My sister was running in it, so mom and I headed down to Cherry Creek to watch, and I brought my camera.  We did not get there in time to see the swim part of the race, but we were in a place to watch the bikes go by, and then the runners head out, and come back into the finish chute.  This was a women only Tri-For-A-Cure triathlon.

August 5th, 2012: Tri for the Cure Triathlon in Aurora, Colorado

August 5th, 2012: After swimming a half mile, racers pushed their bicycles up a hill before jumping on them for the bicycle leg of the Tri for the Cure Triathlon in Aurora, Colorado

August 5th, 2012:  One of the many women who ran in Denver's Tri for the Cure triathlon.

August 5th, 2012: One of the many women who ran in Denver’s Tri for the Cure triathlon.

Soon after this, it was time for the high school season to start.  In Alaska, I would already be shooting high school football, but here in the lower 48, we have normal sports seasons, so high school sports were not starting until the end of August.  Softball was up first for me.

HSSB 2012: Standley Lake vs Northglenn

August 21st, 2012: Standley Lake Gator senior second baseman Brooke Thompson swings at a pitch from Northglenn High School pitcher in the Gators home opener.

And soon after was boy’s soccer.

2012 HS Soccer: Standley Lake vs Centaurus

A Centaurus player tries to keep the ball away from the Standley Lake defense

In Alaska, I always shot the first high school football game in the nation for MaxPreps, and also the first high school football state championship for MaxPreps.  Here, we have a normal high school season, where all the sports start around the same time.  The football facility, which also houses a soccer pitch, is really nice, and about 10 minutes from my home.

2012 HS Football: Golden vs Thompson Valley

A Golden High running back is about to be tackled from behind by a Thompson Valley player

I was shooting a lot more high school stuff here.  In Alaska, I was the booster shooter for Eagle River, and during the fall I would shoot football, flag football, and volleyball.  Here in Colorado, instead of shooting one high school on a regular basis, I was shooting multiple high schools and multiple sports.  Softball, soccer, football, cross country, volleyball, and tennis were on my high school schedule.

HSSB 2012:  Mountain Range vs Pomona

I was also able to shoot Missy Franklin, US gold medalist in swimming at the London Olympics as she was honored at a Colorado Rapids game.

September 5, 2012:  2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, Missy Franklin takes photos with fans prior to the MLS Soccer game between the Colorado Rapids and Portland Timbers at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO just outside Denver.

September 5, 2012: 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, Missy Franklin takes photos with fans prior to the MLS Soccer game between the Colorado Rapids and Portland Timbers at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO just outside Denver.

And lets not forget about the NCAA.  I was in a PAC-12 state!.  I joined up with the wire service Cal Sport Media, and started shooting the Colorado Buffaloes for them, starting with football.

September 08, 2012: Ralphie V, the CU Buffaloes mascot takes the field prior to the Sacramento State Hornets and the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field in Boulder CO

September 08, 2012: Ralphie V, the CU Buffaloes mascot takes the field prior to the Sacramento State Hornets and the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field in Boulder CO

It was also the first time I had ever photographed tennis, and I really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to shooting more next fall.

September 11, 2012:  A Ralston Valley Varsity Tennis player returns the ball in his match against Dakota Ridge

September 11, 2012: A Ralston Valley Varsity Tennis player returns the ball in his match against Dakota Ridge

Then, as a real highlight to my 20+ year career, I got to shoot the Team USA Women’s National Team take on Australia.

Soccer 2012: Australia vs USA SEP 19

And just a week later I got to shoot the LA Galaxy as they took on the Colorado Rapids.  The following two photos were picked up from that game.  The photo of Landon Donovan was picked up by Sports Illustrated Soccer and the David Beckham shot was picked up by a Polish newspaper.

September 30, 2012: Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan (10) takes a shot on goal during the MLS Soccer Match between the Colorado Rapids and the Los Angeles Galaxy at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

September 30, 2012: Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan (10) takes a shot on goal during the MLS Soccer Match between the Colorado Rapids and the Los Angeles Galaxy at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

September 30, 2012: Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham (23) takes a corner kick during the MLS Soccer Match between the Colorado Rapids and the Los Angeles Galaxy at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

September 30, 2012: Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham (23) takes a corner kick during the MLS Soccer Match between the Colorado Rapids and the Los Angeles Galaxy at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado

As if the forest fires earlier in the year for Colorado, and the movie theater shooting in July was not enough, a local girl made the national news after she was kidnapped and brutally murdered.  Her body was discovered just a few miles away from a couple high schools, so at a game soon after her body was found, the schools honored her memory with a moment of silence and released purple balloons.

October 12th, 2012: Ralston Valley Mustang fans release purple balloons in memory of the missing Jessica Ridgeway, who's body, that was found just a few miles from Ralston Valley High and Pomona High, was positively identified early Friday morning.

October 12th, 2012: Ralston Valley Mustang fans release purple balloons in memory of the missing Jessica Ridgeway, who’s body, that was found just a few miles from Ralston Valley High and Pomona High, was positively identified early Friday morning.

In the parking lot of the football and soccer stadium I shoot at, I shot a high school cross country regional race with schools from all over the Denver/Boulder area.  This was the first time since I was a senior in high school (22 years ago) that I has shot a cross country race.

Girls Cross Country Start at NAAC in Arvada, CO

Girls Cross Country Start at NAAC in Arvada, CO

9 years in Alaska and I had never shot a high school football game in the snow.  Here in Denver, I got my chance.

October 25th, 2012: A Ralston Valley full back runs with the ball against Legacy High School defense on Thursday night in the snow and cold.

October 25th, 2012: A Ralston Valley full back runs with the ball against Legacy High School defense on Thursday night in the snow and cold.

And not only football.  I shot the 3A and 4A soccer championships in the snow also.  It was so bad they had to postpone the 5A championship 2 days.

November 10, 2012: The Colorado Academy players hold their championship trophy over their heads after their 1-0 win over Kent Denver in the 3A State Championship Soccer game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park

November 10, 2012: The Colorado Academy players hold their championship trophy over their heads after their 1-0 win over Kent Denver in the 3A State Championship Soccer game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

With the fall sports coming to an end, it was time to move inside for basketball and ice hockey.  But not just high school.  It was time for the Buffaloes to take to the hardwood too.

A Lincoln player is fouled as he goes to the hoop against Pomona

A Lincoln player is fouled as he goes to the hoop against Pomona

December 3rd, 2012:  A Westminster Lady Wolves Varsity basketball player dribbles the ball in the game against the visiting Pomona Panthers Monday night.

December 3rd, 2012: A Westminster Lady Wolves Varsity basketball player dribbles the ball in the game against the visiting Pomona Panthers Monday night.

December 4th, 2012: The Lincoln Palmer team captain handles the puck in the 0-8 loss to the Ralston Valley Mustangs Tuesday night at the APEX Ice arena

December 4th, 2012: The Lincoln Palmer team captain handles the puck in the 0-8 loss to the Ralston Valley Mustangs Tuesday night at the APEX Ice arena

And wrestling has started up for me too.

December 12th, 2012: A Mullen wrestler attempts to escape a hold by a Arvada wrestler in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

December 12th, 2012: A Mullen wrestler attempts to escape a hold by a Arvada wrestler in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

I closed out the 2012 season with a NCAA basketball double header that you can see in the following two posts.

Hartford Hawks vs Colorado Buffaloes

New Mexico Lobos vs Colorado Buffaloes

So, 2012 is coming to an end. Just less than 7 hours left in the year here in the Denver area. It has been a hard year, a lot of adjustments, and a financial strain. I do ask that you check out my photos on this site.  While not all of them are available for sale, there are quite a few, Eagles, Palin, and others that are available for sale, and more are being added, and for my Alaska sports people, please remember to check out my other photo site for ERHS Wolves and CHS Mustang sports and Knik Little League archives.  Also, for both Alaska High School Sports and Colorado High School Sports, check out my MaxPreps galleries.  I am trying to do this for a living, so it is very important that if you see a photo you like, please order it.  You can order either prints, products, or get a digital copy of just about everything except the NCAA and MLS photos.  Also, if you are a coach, booster club member, or school administrator, a college SID, or with a Pro Sports team in the Denver/Boulder/Golden area, I would be interested in talking to you about becoming your official team or school photographers.  Please contact me any time.

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