Tacoma Defiance, Tacoma Rainiers

Kids of the South Sound Keep Us Smiling

No high-fives for Rhubarb the Reindeer. Jack the Bear isn’t hosting player walkouts. Kids aren’t running the bases or getting player autographs. Without games and matches we’re doing our best to keep our kids healthy and happy, but more often than not, our small coworkers are finding ways to bring us all joy.

Many of us are taking on more than usual. Schedules are crowded and at the same time quite open. Those resilient tikes are doing their best at home schooling, while finding ways to entertain themselves and us.

There are new challenges. When VP of Marketing Megan Mead needed to figure out how to give her two boys time away from schooling for the planned Spring Break, she solved it by going camping – a few dozen feet from the back door.

“Spring break was a challenge for me, how to differentiate a week of staying home, when you’ve already been racking your brain for fun at home activities for the last 3 weeks. For us, we decided to do a backyard campout. The change in scenery was just enough to make us forget that we hadn’t left the house in a month. My littles, although exhausting, are helping me stay positive and forcing me to get creative. Here we go, on to the next 28 days.”

Ingenuity from adults and youth are popping up in streets and homes around the South Sound. Our Assistant GM, Nick Cherniske, is getting nostalgic vibes looking out his window at youngsters taking their entertainment into their own hands.

“The neighbor kids have set up a rail in the street for their scooters. Takes me right back, a decade and a half, to the time I rode that same steel surf.”

Last season, Tacoma Defiance Head Coach Chris Little spent a lot of time cruising I-405 and I-5 driving his kids to practices, or getting to Cheney Stadium for matches. During the Stay Home order, he has a bit more time to spend with family. That time might just wind up making him a viral sensation.

“My daughter’s twelve. She’s very much into TikTok. The kids have been getting me to learn a bit of the TikTok dances. We try to at least play a family board game at least once, maybe twice a week. These are the things we can’t normally do with our hectic lives, with the activities and sports, so it’s been great to do those things with the family.”

Young mothers with toddlers and infants are getting more time with their kids, too. For Director of Baseball Operations and Merchandise Ashley Schutt that means watching her 18-month old obsessing over Frozen and spin-dancing “around in a circle until she gets dizzy.” Honestly, who hasn’t?

Rachel Hansen, Partner Services Manager, has extra time to watch her 7-month-old keep growing. Her daughter is trying to communicate now, growling with “a raspy rawr” and treating the remote like a chew toy. Both of these young members of our Cheney Stadium family have made appearances on all-staff video calls.

And then there are the times when all of us need to feel like a kid again. Party Deck Manager Claire P. hunted for Easter Eggs.

“My elderly next door neighbors, who have never had kids, hid Easter eggs in their yard for me to find (as a 24 year old).”

If there’s a way to smile through all of this, we can look to the youth of the South Sound for inspiration. They’re making signs of encouragement for us all. They’re dancing the days away and joining us on calls. These kids, they’re alright and they’re making our time at home better.

We’ve got some kids activities if you need to keep them busy. Check out R Kids Activities Page and our Stay Home, Stay Healthy page for educational items, coloring projects, word games, and more.


Always Together, We R Tacoma

About the Tacoma Rainiers

The Tacoma Rainiers, Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Tacoma has been a member of the Pacific Coast League since Cheney Stadium opened in 1960, and has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.

The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.

About Tacoma Defiance

Tacoma Defiance is the USL Championship affiliate of reigning MLS Cup Champion Seattle Sounders FC. You can follow The Future of Champions on Twitter (@TACDefiance)Facebook, and Instagram (@tacdefiance). We are #DefiantlyTacoma.

Tacoma Team Store

The Tacoma Team Store is open, online. Grab your Rainiers gear, your Defiance ‘fit, and follow the team store on Instagram and Twitter.

COVID-19 Information

More information on social distancing and how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 can be found at Tacoma-Pierce County Health. The most up-to-date information on how COVID-19 is affecting events at Cheney Stadium can be found here.

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