For the Love of the Game

December 14, 2010
I stand motionless on the white line that has been marked on the artificial green turf. I clutch the cold, smooth metallic blue metal shaft of my Warrior lacrosse stick. My blue metal goggles are fitted snuggly over my baby-blue eyes. The metal crisscrosses complicatedly across my eyes, so I won’t get injured if I take a ball, or a stick to the face, which happens more often than not. The elastic straps are tightly wrapped around my head. My short ponytail of auburn red hair is tucked into the tight elastic, securing the goggles to my face. I grin to reveal the clear blue mouth-guard that was molded over the braces on my teeth while at the center of the field, the ball was inserted into the two centers’ sticks, which were pressed up against each other.
Both girls, standing at mid-field, are dressed in uniforms. One is dressed in a white jersey with a thick navy stripe down each side and a yellow number twenty-five on her stomach and back with the letters “AC” printed on the left shoulder, a navy blue athletic wrap skirt that was made out of stretchy cotton and underneath her skirt, she wore navy blue Under Armor shorts made out of tight fitting spandex. On her feet, she wore white and navy Adidas cleats with plastic spikes on the bottom and blue and yellow tie-dyed athletic socks pulled up to her knees. In her hands, she clutches a lacrosse stick with a shining silver shaft and a light blue plastic head with white and blue netting. Silver goggles cover her green eyes and a blue and yellow mouth-guard covers her white teeth. The girl is my teammate, and a fellow Cougar. The other girl is wearing a hunter green jersey with the words “Matignon” printed across her chest in white and a bright white number three on her back, a pair of hunter green cotton athletic shorts also marked with the number three on the leg, and black and white Nike cleats with metal spikes sticking out of the bottom. She tightly gripped a pink-shafted lacrosse stick with a formerly white plastic head that was now brown with dirt, and bright magenta and white netting. Over her eyes, she wore the same goggles that I wore only in a bright pink, instead of blue, and a vibrant, obnoxious pink mouth-guard in her mouth. This girl is the opponent.
I watch as both girls stare into each other’s eyes with pure motivation because they both have the same goal in mind, and that is to get the ball. My eyes shift from the girls to the referee, who stood facing the girls, holding both of their sticks together with one hand and holding a whistle in the other. The gray-haired, wrinkly-faced ref, clad in a white and black horizontal striped referee’s shirt, black docker-style pants and black New Balance sneakers, put the small, silver whistle to his lips, and blew out a loud, shrill noise. Suddenly, he lifted his hand from the girls’ sticks and the orange rubber ball was launched high into the clear blue, late afternoon sky. Everyone, players, spectators, coaches, and refs, was watching the ball intently and I was one of them.

This happens at the start of every lacrosse game. The opponents, the fields, the refs change, every game, but this never does. As I watch this every single game, the feeling never gets old. Every time I step onto the field, wearing my uniform, representing my school, and being a part of a team, the feeling is unimaginable. Electricity runs through every vein in my body, and my heart is pounding in my chest, but not because I am nervous but because I am ready to play. When I stand on the field, in my position, I am at home. It doesn’t matter that I am not the best player on the team or the fastest. The only thing that matters is that I have the dedication to try my best every single time I am out there.
When I listen to my coach before a game, whether it was my coach in middle school when I first started playing or my coach now, I am itching to start the game, to run, to pass, to catch, to shoot, to score, to play. I’m ready to be out there with my team. I’m ready to do what I’ve loved since I picked up a stick for the first time in fifth grade. I’m ready to be one with the team, to be the Arlington Catholic Cougars. Because I am a lacrosse player and because I love the game.





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