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My Team

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Worried. Terrified. Frightened. Those were some of many emotions and thoughts racing through my head. Will I need surgery? What's going to happen to me? What am I going to do?

If you don't know volleyball, here is a quick run through. You must score 25 points to win a set and must always win by two points. At the junior varsity level, a team must win two of three sets in order to be the victor of the match. If you reach the third set, the first team to acquire 15 points is deemed the winner.

Fantastic weather, melting snow, and flowers blooming are all signs indicating the arrival of Spring. When Spring comes, it is time to buckle down and get serious because it also marks the start of boys volleyball season.

The last bell rang on an extensive and dull day in March. Soon afterward my school's boys volleyball team was in the gymnasium of our opponent school, Saint Mark's High School. It was enormous. I would guess that over 1500 people could fit in the bleachers. There was a multitude of sports banners hung up around the wall and the school colors of alternating green and yellow were eye catching. I was certainly not lethargic anymore. I was beaming with energy and excitement. It was game time and I was ready to rock and roll. The previous week my team had lost to the Saint Mark's Spartans in the third set. It was neck and neck but they pulled ahead. The score was 16-14 resulting in a Spartan victory two sets to one. So this time we were determined to get revenge and we were not going to lose.

The game starts and it is very difficult to predict who the victor will be. The Dickinson Rams and Spartans were evenly matched. The other team would have the lead then we would have the lead. There was no stability which made it more chaotic and worrisome. I was getting nervous. We fought tough that first set but lost 25-22. The team came together after that and found strength and confidence in each other. We got our heads together and were ready to dominate the court. We started off like a different team and held onto the lead. We were ahead 17-14 and then it happened. I was the setter on my team meaning I am supposed to be the second person to touch the ball. So Saint Mark's served the ball. Someone on my team had made a bad pass so I was running towards the ball to set it. At the same time, my teammate Deshawn had dove to get to the ball and he was sliding across the floor. Onlookers in the bleachers could tell a collision was about to occur. He had slid into my shins and knocked my feet out from under me causing me to tumble forward. During my fall I had hit my mouth against the rear of his head. We had started to reset for the next play then I felt a strange sensation within my mouth. I was still getting up and I felt as if I were to spit, a few teeth would come out. So I looked to my coaches and put my hand over my mouth. I had felt something start to ooze from my gums. It was blood and lots of it.

I immediately ran over to the bench and Coach Lee had already been asking where the trainer's office was and he guided me there swiftly. Thankfully the trainer was there and he knew he had to do something quick. He told me to he had to push my right front tooth back in place and said “This will hurt a little.” He held my tooth in place for a minute and the effect of this was a lot more blood and pain. My other teeth were loose but not as bad. Coach Lee had called my mom by this point and instructed her to arrive quickly. There was nothing further to do. The trainer said I need to go to the emergency room right away. In the midst, of all this, I had completely forgotten about the game. I raced up the stairs into the gymnasium and had discovered my team had lost.

At this point I didn't know what was worse. The fact that I could lose my tooth and be dangerously injured or that my team had lost. This made me realize that I must really be dedicated to my teammates because I was more upset we had lost than being hurt. My team means more to me than my own health. I wasn't even mad at Deshawn, although I did find it rather humorous that he would apologize every day and feel terrible about the incident. I had already forgiven him. I will admit that I was aggravated when I had to miss some practices and games because of the resulting injury but nonetheless I could never stay angry at either a single person or the entire team. I have never experienced such a feeling and love for something before until now. Volleyball has forever changed my life.

I had to spend a large quantity of time at the orthodontist's and dentist's office in the following weeks because I had fractured my tooth and cut up the inside of my mouth badly. I had to deal with a lot of pain and difficulty eating, but the rest of the story doesn't really matter. All that matters is I am healthy now and able to play again. I cannot wait for boys volleyball to start up. I am ready to get on the court with my boys. I have a good feeling about this year. There's just one last thing...I can't help but think that if I didn't get injured we would have beaten Saint Mark's. Let's go Rams!



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