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I went into my junior spring soccer season kind of sad, my past coach, wasn't going to be our team coach this year. I wasn't really depressed though, because I had tons of friends that were playing this year. One of the great things about soccer is that it is not a school-sanctioned sport. To me this said that I was able to play another season of soccer with my friends from Paonia and Hotchkiss without the normal High School rivalry between these schools. Year after year, the schools pulled pranks on each other, sometimes nothing big, but sometimes something big. I remember my freshman or sophomore year, when a few guys I knew went over to Paonia and painted their skylight in their commons. When the sun shined into the skylight, it reflected a big HHS onto the floor, talk about a cool prank, but hey they got a free vacation but the school had to pay a ton of money to clean it up.
This season wasn't just any season though. We had a new coach, and we were also playing competitive soccer. What was competitive soccer? Well it's a lot different than our normal soccer. Instead of playing the local teams, such as Delta, Cederedge, and Grand Junction, we got to play in huge tournaments and against teams far away from here. The game was also a lot more intense; I remember the first game, against Glenwood's team. It was totally different than anything I have seen, we were getting to play at a college, and against a soon-to-be known rough team. We had started the game, and man these guys were violent. We started to retaliate big time, and my friend's dad was the center referee, John is his name. I sure would have hated to be in his shoe, that's for sure. It didn't even phase me how crazy soccer was this year until one of the Glenwood players spit at our coach's feet, and got tossed from the game.
We soon learned to live with this violence, and we even participated in it more than anyone would probably admit to. But after all of the beat downs we had received from the other teams, we were finally going to go to a big tournament, the Durango Shootout.
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Well Cory and I decided we would make a road trip out of our upcoming tournament. No one else was leaving for like 5 hours until after we were, but we still got out of school. I remember seeing many of the other players still in class while we went around yelling in the halls before we left.
Luckily, we entertained ourselves somehow when until we got to Delta, and something struck us, we had to buy water guns. So there we are, in City Market in Delta buying the best water guns we can. We fill them up and just start driving around and shooting everything, the whole way to Durango, we had to stop at nearly every convenience store we saw for water. We pretty much just shot each other until we got into Montrose, when we pulled up to the second light, which happened to be red. There was a female across from us on my side that was about our age and her window was down. Cory and I just laughed, the light turned green, we both shot her and I stepped on it. Time after time things like this happened, we got a bus full of school kids, probably 10 bikers, and I think I was flipped off at least 5 times.
We ended up in Gunnison a little later than we expected, all those detours, about 30 minutes earlier than anyone else. We just pretty much crashed until everyone arrived, and then not long after they found out about our water guns, they went to Durango's City Market and got theirs. We must have really ticked off some of the people at that motel, I'm sure of that. I remember when Cory and I were standing on the top level of the motel, and we bombed Nathan Wood with two trash bags full of water.
We had a game that night and went to the local college, this team was pretty good, and we ended up tying them. With all the daytime activities finished, we all went back to the motel, and got some well needed rest, except for Cory and myself. We were at the motel, not roaming the streets and causing problems, or at least to the people out there. The motel had armed us with the most annoying weapon we could have, the telephone. Room after room, we kept calling and hanging up until about 12, when we went room to room when we found another weapon in our arsenal, the remote! We found out that all the TV's in the motel were the same, so we went window to window, peeking through the curtains, trying to turn on any TV's possible, man were some people ticked off at us. After many more hours of phone calls and TV fun, we eventually went to sleep.
The next day we had a game against Glenwood, the team we think we hated more than any other team. Oh boy were we ready or what, we had taken tons of shots on the goalie, and been running around crazy, I thought I was at my peak. Then we get to the sideline, and I found out that I don't get to start, man was I angry, but I contained it. Eventually I got in, within 2 minutes of when I entered, there was a Glenwood guy coming down the field on my side, I charged him as hard as I could. I pounded the ball away, we had a huge collision, and my shoulder was laying a few inches lower than it should. The referee stopped the game and I got up and went to the sideline. Joe's dad was there, he is a Doctor, and he told me that it was out of socket, but then it popped back in. So I was sitting on the sideline for a bit and my coach asked me how I felt, I said good and asked if I could get back in, she said, "Sure, but in a bit." So I started stretching, and moved my arm about parallel with my shoulder and heard a noise that sounded like thunder to me. My shoulder was out again, and then it popped back in, you want talk about pain, that was pretty painful. The rest of the game I didn't get to play, which I guess was better for that kid, because I would of slammed my metal cleats into his skull, some people could of called me angry.
Later that day, we had another game, of course, its a tournament. My arm was throbbing once and a while with quick jolts of pain, but I figured I could still drive. I had no clue how to get to where the next game was, so I had to follow our coach. Suddenly 2 more people cram into my truck, so we had 4 people in the front of a truck. Next thing I know, there are pedestrians trying to cross in front of me, but I kept going, ran 2 red lights, crammed into a truck, driving with my so weak feeling left arm. I am still confused on how I didn't get into a wreck.
After all that it was pretty kicked back and calm, except for us calling and turning on TV's that night, we had one game the next day, ended up loosing it, then we started heading home. On the way home we stopped at every little spring and convenience store possible when at one of them, I don't know how it started, we kept asking, "Where's the porn?" I am telling you, you stop in a small convenience store and just start shouting out porn, people look confused. We didn't stop just to ask for porn, but we had to fill up our water guns of course! I bet you on the way home I was flipped off twice as many times.
The next season came, and very few of the players returned, I tried to e-mail a few of them, but never seemed to come into contact with them. Suddenly a lot of the people I had became great friends with seemed to of disappeared. So what is the thing that changed my life? Well, I know to keep contacts with all my friends, and that it is better to tell your parents you got hurt before it happens again and you have to go to the ER and explain it there.