|the newbies, from L to R: isabel, kitty, elmer, and willie|
this year we welcomed 4 newbies onto the JV team. pretty easy to pick them out in the attached picture... they are the ones who haven't earned their uniforms yet.
you've heard of "hell week" for military, police academy recruits, or even sports teams. while its a strong term, its pretty much what we do with our new guys for their first few weeks.
our intention is to push them hard physically, as well as introduce them to the discipline aspect of the academy. we do it in an extreme way so that they can adapt into the program quicker. we have found over the past years that this helps their "acclimation period" to not linger on and on...
these 4 have been... well... interesting, to say the least.
"isabel" (pictured 1st, in the white shirt) is just plain soft. he came in arrogant... and quickly realized that the rhinos are legit. he's 13 and was getting worked physically by 10 and 11 year olds. after workouts, he is always left with a look on his face that suggests he has no idea where he is.
"kitty" (pictured 2nd) hasn't said more than 2 words since he got here. he stays in a fog. he doesn't pay attention. he seems lost half the time. he's going to be a "project" for sure. the good news is, i remember when we had 30 newbies just like him - so we know there is hope!
"elmer" (pictured 3rd) is probably the most solid of the crew. he's picking things up a little faster, doesn't seem to mind being pushed physically, has shown some personality, and has a great smile! i think he's going to do well...
"william" (pictured last, in the green shirt) - what can i say about willie! he's clueless! he barely talks, can't read, and just seems to be lost everywhere he goes. you can literally tell him something directly, then ask him what you said, and he has no idea. he's cute... but he's going to take a lot of work...
these are our rookies. but now they are rhinos. when they received the news last friday that they had made the team, their excitement was special to see. it showed me that "being a rhino" is becoming a big deal in this community.
that works in our favor, as our hope is that the rhinos will be known as young men of integrity. if its "cool" in this village to be a rhino... that will eventually mean that it's "cool" to be a loving father, faithful husband, and man of God.