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Football: All or Nothing

It’s the first day of school. Your eyes dart through the hallways recognizing kids you haven't seen all summer. You hear your name shouted by familiar voices, people who don’t look at you timidly. Throughout the day you uncontrollably shake your leg. Visions of laying someone out or catching a nice pass are racing through your mind. Practice is the only thing that matters; it allows me to take out pent up aggression without hurting anyone or myself. The school bell rings its familiar tone. It's time.


You dart down to the locker room, where you are hit by that musty stench that you recognize as football pads. These have been passed down and worn in by your favorite high schoolers who don't even know you exist. As coach puts it, they are your life guards, the things that save you from injury on the field. Everyone puts them on excitedly waiting for coach to tell us when we can head out. When you get to the bottom of that dirt hill you are hit by the scent of fresh cut grass. This is when I start to realize that it’s real and I'm not dreaming. I got so excited that I nearly passed out. Luckily I didn’t or I would have been stuck at the trainers trying to explain that I’m fine. This was finally my chance to prove that I shouldn’t be stuck on B team with all of the other 7th graders.


Coach role calls and splits us into two groups, 7th grade, and 8th grade. He says that we are going to have a scrimmage to see where everyone is placed. In my head I’m thinking “Great how am I supposed to show what I’ve got when I'm stuck with these goons?“ Little did I know this would be the day I was brought up to A team. The scrimmage starts and I'm stoked. I start off on the line, the position I use to play in Pop Warner. The first play I get blindsided. Getting up dazed everyone asks if I’m ok. Now I’m mad, the next play they didn’t know what hit them. I ripped off a block and sacked the Quarterback; I hit him so hard he fumbled the ball and I recovered it. It's time for offense, and I'm not letting anyone pass me.


The scrimmage ends the 8th graders won, but not how they expected. It was close they only beat us by a last minute trick play touchdown. At the end of after some conditioning, we head down to the locker room to change. On our way there, coach pulls me and a few guys into his office. He told us that he was impressed with how we played today and that we would practice with A team. We tried to play it off as if it wasn’t news but once we left and coach shut  his door we freaked out. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my parents the news, I basically sprinted all of the way there. I open the door and my dogs are there to greet me. I smell my dad's sloppy joes my favorite thing he makes. My family sits down at the table and my dad asks how practice went. I talked about the fumble and how I did blockin. He asks what coach thought and I told him I was starting. You could tell he was proud but he didn’t want to show too much with my sisters being there. The next day I woke up to a present on the table: a new pair of cleats. That is when I realized that if I didn’t get a chance I would have been stuck on B Team. This brings me back to what my dad told me the morning before  “When you get your shot make the most of it” and I did.




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