Dropback | Teen Ink


June 12, 2017
By daytonchristenson, Exeter, New Hampshire
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daytonchristenson, Exeter, New Hampshire
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Author's note:

The author Kwame Alexander.

The Warriors have it,
1 minute left in the game.
Stakes are high tonight at
Exeter High School.

Im dropping back
My eyes locked on the quarterback
Ain’t nothing stopping me
This man thinks he has a chance

His arm launches this ball
I reach up like obj
Catching it like no one else
I’m dropping these defenders
FlipFlip in the endzone
Im calling game.

Who I Am
Nice to meet you
my name is Cole Cruz
I’m a Junior at Exeter
You could say I’m a star
I mean look at me! Oh wait you can’t…
Well you get the point, so yeah I’m a stud.
I’m a rb/cb for Exeter Varsity Football
They call me the miracle worker
Since I carry this team
Many say I’m too arogant
But I like to think I’m too Keen
I am they’re dream.
I’m constantly gettin’ better everyday
Leavin’ the team in the dust
As I stay picking up the ladies
So yeah, call me a G.

One in a Million

So I was born in Minnesota

I got an old Sista

Named Ally

She was doing drugs all up the wazoo

So I came over here and showed her what to do

After overdosing twice, I eventually convinced her to be a nun

So after talkin’ for an hour she said “I ain’t havin’ nun of that”

So I said to her “there’s gotta be something that you want in life”

She realized then she wants to go back to school

Even though her friends didn’t think it’s cool

Cause all her friends are grade A tools.

So got her degree
And got a job

Then she moved Cali
And made hella cash

So overall, not many people will save a life

I guess I’m just that kind of type

I’m just one in a million, one in a million

An Ending...
It’s August 15th, the first day of hitting.
My temptations to shatter everyone’s ankles
having them beg for mercy.
This day feels strange although…
All my peers are looking angry.
Are they after me?
AHHA too bad they ain’t touching this king
I’m cutting through the C-hole
snapping ankles like twigs.
  down goes 1,2,3...4
SPINNING off Zach Evans, leaving him in the dust.
I’m on the ground, with a fumble of confusion
in complete and utter pain.
Zach standing over me with a filthy smirk on his face.
OHHH he’s gonna regret this one.
I try to stand but I crumble to the ground like a building
The rest is all a blur…

I’m layin’ here in this rigid bed
Overwhelming brightness of egg shell white,
The usual phlegmatic feel isn’t here
All but that actually.
I’m feeling empty and lonely
So much going through my head
my brain is practically gonna be mush by the end of this
But, one thing is standing out and it’s why would my teammates wanna hurt me?
I didn’t do anything wrong, I don’t think...
A little teasing now and there doesn’t hurt them, does it?
Zach Evans, what the heck though, all I did was pour water on him like once or twice.
So I get this in return? Bullshit, I’m better than all these jack asses anyway.
Just get me out of this place, where’s the Doc!
Someone knocks on the dull brown door asking, “May I come in?”
I sit up slowly with my back straight, ready.
The door cracks open like a horror scene.
The Doctor has an uncanny expression placed on his pale kind face
He does the usual, do you want the bad or good news first, I say bad of course.
His dry lips move in slow motion with the words “you have torn your ACL in the left knee, but for good news you’ll be back in six months with PT instead of nine months…”

2 weeks later.
The past 2 weeks have been the longest of my life
I’ve had so much time to think about everything that’s happened.
I haven’t even showed up to football once.
Does that mean I’m a bad teammate?
I don’t like to think so but it haunts me.
Am I the reason this happened to me?
Everything happens for a reason,
maybe God was just trying to teach me a lesson.
All I’ve done for the past two weeks is lay on my tempur pedic bed,
and grind out all the office episodes.
So you could say I’ve been quite productive.
If I really think about it, I have been a s***ty teammate
Everything single one of my teammates have all came to see me
I haven’t done one thing in our whole career together to have them come see.
I’m beyond confused, but maybe it’s for the good
Maybe this injury is telling me something.

Ally to the Rescue
It’s now been 3 weeks since I’ve showed up to practice.
Ally’s home and she seems more motivated then me now.
Suddenly, I hear a knock on my door...guess who? Ally.
Time for a lecture. She sits on the edge of my bed looking at me with disappointment.
“Cole you can’t just hide in your room for the rest of your life. S*** happens and you just gotta keep pushing through whatever obstacles hit you. You just gotta think of this as another obstacle that YOUR gonna beat. Okay?” She says.
“Ally, how am I supposed to just get up and acted like this didn’t happen? I'm out for the whole season!” I say.
“This whole year, everyday I worked my ass off in the summer, it’s all for nothing…”
She looks at me with disappointment,
she starts to open her mouth, but turns and walks out.
Right before she leaves she turns to me, and says,
“It’s not always about you, It’s about your teammates and how they need you. Just like I needed you, and you stepped up, I believe in you Cole, you can do this.”

First Practice Back.
I’m hobbling to the XC90 with these crutches spiking at my armpits.
My mom opens the door for me, asking “Are you ready?”
I nod my head in nervousness,
afraid of what’s to come.
I haven’t reached out to a single teammate in two weeks.
It hurts to say that but it’s the truth,
and I’m ready to own up to my mistakes.
I’m done being a puss, they need me.
This 15 minute drive is the longest of my life.
Are they gonna accept me?
Our record is 3-2.
We play our big rival this week against Winna.
Wow did I just say we?
I’m surprised I didn't say I…
I guess I've changed that much.
I wobble out of the car, to see my teammates doing the Oklahoma drill.
I step onto the beat up wet grass, with my head down trying to avoid eye contact with anyone. All of a sudden everybody starts clapping.
Even Zach Evans does.
I hobble over to Zach and ask, “Why is everyone clapping for me? All i’ve been is a dick to all of you.”
He says to me, “Through all the s*** you've done, you're still our brother. Just don't leave us again.”

The Big Game
It’s the championship.
It's October 26, 2017
We’re down by 6 with 20 seconds left in the 4th.
We need a big stop.
Everything is on the line. Everything we’ve worked for.
It's a Friday Night under the lights.
Every football player's dream.
I’m losing my voice.
Oh s***, Zach just crunched the quarterback.
Oh my their QB fumbled!
Zack picks it up with one hand on
He spins off their OL
He's going all the way!!
I'm screaming my head off
“LET'S GO BOYS!” I'm screaming repeatedly.
Zach flips into the end zone.
Fans from the stands storm the field.
With passion and love for our team.
I hustle over at the pace of a snail.
Everything is going crazy.
But I know one thing for sure and that's this feeling was better than any before.
I'm proud of what I’ve become now.

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