As I woke up to the smell of French Toast and bacon while my mom was yelling for me to get in the shower, all I could think about was that days’ game. The moment I got to school, I immediately had to rush to the team meeting before class. While every other team meeting was the usual, brief, “Y’all stay focused today now. We’ve got a ball game to play,” This one was different. It was homecoming, and we had to deal with all the distractions of the homecoming parade, pep-rally, and all of the alumni we had to meet during team warm-ups. During all of my classes, everyone, like usual, was asking, “Are y’all ready?”
and “You think we’ll win?”
Just like every game, I responded that we were ready, although that may have been far from true.
After school we all had to meet in the locker room to get all of our stuff together and meet with our position coaches. This included checking every strap and button on our pads, making sure we had our shoelaces, and making sure everyone’s minor injuries were taken care of with the trainer. Normally we would have time to sit outside the locker room and hang out with all of our friends and joke around, but Coach Owens stopped that quickly today and made everyone go inside. As I walked into the quarterback meeting, some of our key plays were drawn on the board. These seemed all to familiar for me, because I spent the whole night before with Sam, our other quarterback, going over our playbook and knowing where everyone is supposed to be on the field for each play. The next meeting I had to attend was the special teams meeting. I was used to these since I had been attending these since my freshman year as a starter on varsity as both the kicker and punter. Everything was the same. Making sure every hole was blocked for field goals and punts, making sure no one over-pursued on kick-off coverage, and just making sure we got the kick off without getting it blocked.
During warm-ups, the atmosphere was absolutely stunning. Music was blaring over the P.A. system and students had already filled the stands with their painted bodies and oversized posters. Since Dewitt (my closest friend and long-snapper) and I were the first ones on the field to warm-up we were greeted by all of the alumni and the cheer from the whole crowd. With this in mind, we knew we had to take this serious and do everything we could to win the game. Which is exactly what we did.
The game started off with a twelve-minute drive by the (0-8) Tate Aggies that ended up with a turnover on downs at our two yard line. When we got the ball everything started off great with a pass from Sam to one our receivers for a forty-yard gain. After a few short gains by running the ball we were stopped at the twenty-yard line and forced to kick a field goal. As Dewitt and I entered the line-up and ran onto the field we knew that our warm-up was going to pay off with three points. While I waited for the ball to be snapped I knew I had to make this to give us some momentum and help us win a game that was very important to a lot of people. As the ball left my foot, I knew I didn’t even have to look to see that it went in. After a series of stalled drives by both teams, the second quarter again came down to a kick that would put us up six points going into half-time. Once again the thirty-five yard field goal was good that ended in a celebration with Dewitt, Myself, and the rest of our team. Coming out of the half with not a very comfortable lead, I knew I was going to have to keep doing my part to help my team win. The very first drive of the second half yet again came down to a field goal. This kick of thirty-seven yards left my foot terribly. As the ball was in the air I was cringing hoping that it was going to hook left and sneak in the uprights. When it rattled off of the uprights and went though the other side, I could stop holding my breath and just relax. With just four minutes left in the game and the ball in our possession, I knew...
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