The Day I Felt Like A Hero

November 11, 2011
By jhibb82 BRONZE, Defiance, Ohio
jhibb82 BRONZE, Defiance, Ohio
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Go big or go home" Eliza Dushku

The sound of cleats on concrete surrounded the room. There was no gossip, no humor. The only emotion felt was anxiety, which would be released after setting foot on the green grass. After preparing ourselves mentally and making sure all of our equipment was on correctly, we lined up at the door. Two lines of warriors made their way out of the crowded room. The dreams of one day playing under the hazy lights encouraged each and every player to try his best that day.

During the pregame stretches, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of butterflies in my stomach. The stands were flooded with orange and black as we huddled together. I already knew that I would be playing receiver on offense, but I never would have known that I would have to guard the opposing receiver on defense. The coach asked, “Jalen, do you think you can handle playing corner just for today.” I always wondered what it was like to be on the other side of the ball, and now I was going to get my chance. “Yeah, Coach, I can do it.”
My team won the coin toss, so we decided to kick first. Since we were playing our rival, Bath, we all were going to play with intense emotion. The returner, even though blocked by a swarm of blue and gold, was brought down very quickly around the 40-yard line. I nervously trotted onto the field to start my first game on defense.

Being on this side of the ball was very new for me, so I didn’t know how I was going to do. I lined up in front of the receiver but wasn’t in the right position. “Blue 20, Blue 20, set, go.” The ball was snapped, and my feet felt like cinder blocks as the receiver ran a slant route. The receiver, who was quite shorter than I, was brought down after a 12-yard gain. That play was one of the only times during the game that I didn’t do my job. As the fourth quarter came around, the receiver I was guarding only had two catches for a minimal gain. The scoreboard read 20-24 with my team on the lower end. We didn’t have any momentum, due in most part to the fumble the opposing team had just recovered. They drove almost the length of the field, and the defense really needed a stop.

The next play was just about to be run, but a timeout let us catch our breath. “Let’s go, guys,” exclaimed my coach. “We really need a stop here.” Everyone lined up for the next play, but I felt completely different this time. I felt like I knew where the receiver was going, and I was going to get there first. I dropped back into coverage, and the receiver looked very confused. He stopped and turned around, but I was already there. The ball landed in my chest, and I took off like a fireball exploding out of a cannon. I was going the other way with the ball, and nobody was going to catch me. I entered the end zone with the ball safely tucked under my arm. I looked up at the scoreboard: 26-24. I realized that I just won the game for my team. My teammates all celebrated, tackling and piling up in the end zone. That’s the day I felt like a hero.

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