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The Big Game Against Freeburg

As I heard the sound of the first whistle, I remembered the sound of my dad’s deep voice telling me, “Leave It All On The Field Son.” Quickly running down the field on a cool Friday night with the lights ever so bright, I, number 42, started linebacker for the Columbia Eagles. When I reached the first line of blockers, I busted through them while my heart beat through my chest.

Before all of this, we had our pre-game meal. The hungry young men devoured their food in silence. I thought of the challenge ahead of us; in the quiet cafeteria, where anyone could hear a pin drop. Hot and juicy, Nancy’s cookies melted in my mouth. After I defeated three cookies, my sweet tooth fell in sweet tender love. Bang, throwing away our empty plates, once over flowing, now bare we got ready to go. As we all finished eating, we headed down to the middle of the field for the pre-game speech.

Coach Horner, the man who does wonders with his words, told us what we needed to hear. Our hearts beat so slowly as we listened to coach speak his words of wisdom. As we all took a knee in silence, coach Horner calmly began talking, “It’s another Friday night….there isn’t a whole lot I can say….I have said this enough…..you’re just going to have to show up ready to leave it all on the field.” Silent once again we got pumped up as we got up and ran back up to the locker room. Watching the other team come tumbling off the bus as we reached the locker room, we put on our blue uniforms and headed to the field. With our heads held high, we warmed up.

Telling us what we accomplish in the first series coach Horner yells, “Stretch it out boys.” The sun fell farther behind the scoreboard every second as we stretch on the slushy, slippery wet ground. Every step running I took flings dirty mud onto the back of my ever so tight blue uniform. My uniform, so small and barely stretches an inch. As we lined up in the back of the end zone, hearing the roar of the fans, everyone’s on their feet as the Columbia marching band gave us a drum roll. “Dada….Dada….Dada, bang,” we powerfully bursted out of the end zone with one thing on our minds, “Leave it all on the field,” Coach Horner shouted “let’s play some football boys.”

Helmets off as we are lined up on the side line, we put our hand over our thumping hearts as we listened the national anthem. We won the coin toss and elect to receive the ball. Brighty caught the short kick and sharply avoids going down to the ground and makes it to our 35-yard line. Miami, the next play we ran, and T-Hall runs in down the field for a gain of 20 yards. Then on their 45 yard line we let Clayton run up the middle, and he took it in for a 45 yard run. The seniors had their minds in the right place tonight. In the final seconds of the 4th quarter, us up by 7, they had the ball on our 25 yard line, now it’s all up to our defense. “Harry Harry get in at LB, hurry up” Coach Germain yells, I replied, “Right now Coach.” I quickly ran into the game as my heart beats through my chest again.

As I think back to little league football and I remembered my dad pushing me to be the best I can, I dug deep and gave it all I had to play smash mouth football. He never let me give up when the going got tough. I never missed practice, sick or not, I was there every day improving my skills in the sport. “Ready Go, Go, Go” number 13, their Quarterback, took the snap; as he tossed it to there running back, my heart beats through my chest as I notice him cut back , there to make the big stop, I took him down. “Columbia Wins, Columbia Wins” the announcer yelled at the top of his lungs. We all ran to the side line ever so fast, worn out from the hard hitting game. I was so happy that we had won the challenge that coach had put before us. All of the coaches couldn’t have been anymore proud of us that one Friday night.





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