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Swinging Varsity

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The loud, annoying, and ear popping buzzer brought the junior varsity game to an end. With beads of sweat glistening from my forehead, I used my last bit of energy to jog and shake the opposing team’s hands. The vibe in the room was so good it made it impossible not to smile. My teammates and I came to well-deserved victory that night in the gym.

I smelt like a dirty sock that was thrown in the hamper, needing to be washed. My body was heavy and I had tinny heart beats in places heart beats shouldn’t be. Relief came upon me when I thought of plopping down and relaxing in the locker room. On my way coach Tim placed a cold varsity jersey in my hand. I looked up at him unsure, as if I was a freshman on the first day of high school. He looked at me with his eyebrows raised and a feeling less face. I was swinging varsity tonight.

I seemed as if the whole world froze but really I was the only thing frozen. When the thought returned to my mind, the breath returned to my lungs, and the beat returned to my heart I made a mad dash to the locker room. My five minutes till varsity warm-ups was terminating. On my way everyone saw the jersey in my hand and stopped to congratulate me. I, unknowingly, blocked them all out. It was like I was in a trance. This moment was the moment I had planted and dreamt about in my head since I started basketball. I couldn’t care less about other’s happiness for me because I did this for me and I was so proud of myself.

I ripped my less important junior varsity jersey off and changed into the prestigious varsity jersey. When done, I sprinted to warm-ups. It wasn’t until that moment that the nervous struck.

My body sweated, even though it had no reason to and my stomach knotted up as tight as a Boa Constrictor’s grip. My mind wanted to play varsity so bad, but my body did not. During the warm-ups I also relized how exhausted I was from my previous game. My legs wanted to detach from my body and my throat was screaming for water. Warm-ups were a hard challenge and I still had a whole game ahead of me.
By that time the announcer was blabbing away enjoying the sound of his own voice. There was only one sentence I managed to hear clearly.

“And now for your team,” echoed through the room.

My heart fell down a thousand foot cliff into my stomach and I could feel the pinch of the nerves run up my body. My name was going to be announced and I was going to get to run in front of the crowd.

“Number thirty, Darian,” the announcer shouted.

I bolted out of the tunnel made of arms into the bright, familiar, but lonely gym. Then it sprang upon me that my nerves were gone and I was as ready as an angry bull trapped in its pin.

The game had started. Minute after minute and quarter after quarter had passed and I was still on the bench. I wanted to go in so bad, but the heaping weight of messing up rested on my shoulders. My worry was irrelevant because the game came to an end and never once did I go in. Yet when lining up, for a second time that night, to shake the other team’s hands I felt very important. In my mind every single eye in that gym was on me, the freshman who swung varsity.

Everything that my coach had to say after the game was like gold to me. I soaked up as much of it as I could to better myself as a player. In the locker room I could see red faces and could taste the sweat. However, there was no place I would have rather been. I wasn’t able to say I played in a varsity game that night, but I could say I was the first freshmen to swing up to varsity.





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