The day started out like any other day last year. It was the end of October and we had finished soccer practice, and were to have a team meeting. After talking about our next game, and what to do to win it, coach had another announcement. The voting on All-League was in. There had been four girls chosen from our team. My name was the first one to be read. I was overcome with excitement and tried to hold back my emotions, but a large smile made its way across my face. I was so excited I didn't even hear the other names. I was so proud; I had finally proven that I was a good soccer player. The joy I received was that people (other than my parents) believed I was good enough for this award. I was finally awakened to reality when I heard my name mentioned again. This time I almost felt like crying because I had achieved something that only happened in dreams: I was an All-State player. I, of all people, was chosen by all the girls' soccer coaches as good enough to be ranked with the best players in Connecti-cut. I could hardly hold back my emotions. A bigger smile was now shining on my face. Through the day I waited to wake up from this wonderful dream! I was so glad I didn't have to. My dream had finally become a reality.
If that wasn't enough, a dinner for the All-State players and their families was held. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I wore a brown jumper, with a long-sleeve off-white shirt and off-white tights. My parents, sister, grandmother and I drove to the Aqua Turf (a very nice restaurant), where the dinner was held. We met my aunt and cousin, whom we had invited. I was also proud to have the Wesleyan Varsity Soccer coach sitting at my table.
As people arrived, I recognized more faces from newspaper articles. I still couldn't believe that I had been invited too. After the dinner, each class was called up to receive their awards. Soon enough class "M" was called and we were all lined up in alphabetical order, ready to receive our certificates and medals. As each name was read, I could feel my pulse quicken. Soon I would have my moment of fame, when everyone's eyes would look at me. "Leanne Duncan, Mercy" rang in my ears. As I walked up the steps onto the stage, it seemed to take forever to reach the middle. Once there, I shook hands with all the council members, was given my certificate, and a medal was hung around my neck - a medal I had been waiting for my whole life, with "All-State 1995" on it. As I walked down the steps, I could hear the clapping. I was proud all these people were clapping for me, acknowledging my accomplishment. When every girl in class "M" had received their medals, we had our picture taken. I never had a bigger smile on my face than I did that day. -
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.