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High School Football

Satisfactory Essays
I've never decided if I actually miss playing football. I played tight end and outside linebacker for one season, during my freshman year of high school. The previous winter I'd lifted weights often enough for a junior high kid, then I long jumped in track during the spring and kept in good condition all summer. I was no all-out beast, but for me it was decent dedication.

Our coach, Mr. Noble, was horrible. I respected him at the time, and so did everyone else--he was six five and had some serious guns. He'd contrive a good practice with the assistant coaches for ten minutes every day while we ran the perimeter of the practice field, a workout monotonous as recopying history notes. We were in better shape than any other team in the county, but we couldn't play football worth a lick.

I started in one or two games toward the end of the season after the first string tight end, Mitch, fractured his wrist, and before the second-string fullback, Eric, learned the position. Like all of the only-half-decent guys, I played special teams every game. Problem was, I sucked at blocking because I had no girth, and I couldn't catch very well because all we ever practiced was blocking. In games, we almost always ran the ball. Our tailback, Conor, kicked butt. He'd have been even better if our coach didn't make him run stupid plays all the time. We'd be fourth and eight at our own 35, and Coach Noble--he made us address him as "sir" all the time ("Yes, sir," "I don't understand, sir," "Sir, I have to leave practice early tomorrow, sir.")--would tell Hildebrand, the QB, to call a blast, an off-guard run right up the middle.

Conor would've been better, too, if the linemen, such as myself, had skill as well as endurance. There's a picture in the yearbook from that season that makes me feel like a loser every time I see it--Conor's charging through the line, and I'm on my feet with my knees bent and no one to block, my guy diving for the tackle. Man, I really handled him.

Maybe things will change after I graduate, but sometimes I feel like I never deserved to keep playing, that I never would have been good enough to have any real confidence in my ability. But then I go to a Friday night varsity game and the stands are on their feet as the team charges onto the field under lights blazing against a solid black sky and I think, that could be me out there jumping around, pulse racing, hollering.
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