Last Game

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About two days ago Lee was talking about football and how has going to miss it. that got me thinking, you know what so will I. it always started out the same, spring ball rolls around in June and your all fired up and ready to play and hit some bodies to the ground. Then as time goes on you will be like, and your adrenaline finally settles down you think “Mann… I don’t think I want to play anymore” and get tired and bored. Then reality decides to smack you in the face when school starts. Your feelings begin to get worse and worse having to deal with the BS of school... and go to practice? It’s going to be a long ride the next two months. You finally get to at the point when you don’t care and don’t even want to go to practice and play anymore. My last game was on a Friday all varsity games are on Fridays. Going through that whole day I was unable to focus on anything I was just going through the motions, my mind kept wandering to the upcoming challenge.

After school we get on the bus and usually have two one for offense one for defense. I get on the defensive bus after putting my gear under the bus. And proceed to sit in seat number 27 I always sat there the whole season. After getting settled we start rolling. I was nervous scared and was practically puking butterflies this whole ordeal was not something I wanted to do anymore. As I sat in the silence broken by flucuations of music I was trying to figure out a way to get out of playing tonight. That was my situation I was in sitting looking out the window I thought to myself “this game doesn’t mean anything other than being sentimental towards all the senior, even if we won it would no doubt 100% be our last game what do we have to prove” my cloud of despair gets broken as we finally arrive at Centralia, as we start to get off the bus like livestock being herded to the slaughter house. Were off the bus and gathering our equipment then we trudges on the field making our way to the locker rooms. They were located under the bleachers. I stood at the doorway for a second to taker in my surroundings, debating more than anything if I wanted to play.

Finally making my choice I walk in and see that the room is very tiny, I sit on the closest bench to the door and unload my gear. Toy (Daniel) then plops himself next to me and begins to take out his navy game pants and looks over and notices the vacant expression on my face. He asks me “bro you ok”? I don’t have anything to lose anymore so I proceeded to half heartly tell him my feelings towards this game. “well man” he replies, “I can’t really tell you what to do you have to make your own resolve, but if it mean anything we really need you today and would be great if you play your best for us today” I think over his response and let him continue his task at hand of fitting his pads into the pants. I take off my jacket and hang it on the nearest hook then head to the restroom to do the quicker of the Two. On my way there I see Zach, hes filling his water bottle so he can put his Jack3D. The sound of heavy metal blasting from his headphones as his head bobs to the beat. He was getting in his zone, channeling all his attention to the game we are about to play. I had no doubt in my mind seeing him with his knee brace, his fingers and his wrist taped, and his shoulder brace which keeps his shoulder from popping out too much, that he was ready. At that moment I looked down at his knee brace, flashes of the Tumwater game comes, him getting hit, yelling in pain, getting sent to the hospital in the back of an ambulance, a night neither one of us will forget. I give him a fist bump as he passes me. I precede to the sink, splash some water in my face and take in myself. I see that I have similar injuries, weak wrist, jammed thumb, twisted and sprained ankles, and finally my worse one, a sprained MCL. I have to admit I have literally given my body to the team. 4 years with this program, is it really worth it. A thought broken suddenly lost for the time being by a teammate’s imprudence.

Jeremy had smacked my back and asked if I was ready “of course” I said an obvious lie. At that moment I made my final resolve as I returned back to my spot I took my school clothes off and start putting on the uniform that makes this group of teenagers a team. I put on my gear, the gear that has saved me from injury many times. It’s still a bit stinky because I had no time the day before to wash it. The smell of the sweat and blood that has ever come in contact with it fills my nose for a split second then gone just as quickly. As I finished up getting ready I looked up to see the faces of my brothers in arm filled with mixed emotions with the coming of our last battle. Every one of them has their own ritual before every game but for that split second we all look up and now come a mutual feeling we were all ready. They were all pumped with the same goal burnt into the back of their mind. WIN





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