Despite working us all extra hard, Coach Richardson blew his whistle a few minutes earlier than usual. I thought about heading straight into school and changing. He wasn’t going to pick me, so I didn’t need to hear his announcement. I joined the group gathered around him though, because if I went up to the locker room, the other kids might call me a sore loser or something. Also, if I left now, I wouldn’t hear who was playing in the scrimmage tomorrow, and I wanted to know.
“First, I’d like to thank all of you for trying out. Everyone did a good job, and it was difficult to narrow it down. I encourage those of you in the sixth or seventh grade to try out again next year. Bryce Hurley will be one of the players in tomorrow’s game.” Some cheering and whistles followed the coach’s announcement, and not surprisingly Bryce received several slaps on the back from his friends.
Coach Richardson blew his whistle to get everyone’s attention again, and then he cleared his throat before continuing. “The second player will be Maddie White.” Silence fell over the players and the kids seated on the bleachers.
In ten years, I’d probably think back and find it funny, but I didn’t at the moment. Everyone stared at Coach Richardson as if he’d just announced he was from another planet. Maybe I did too. Not only that, but I also wanted to both laugh and cry. All day, I’d assumed today would be the end. It disappointed me a little that it wasn’t over. At the same time, I wanted to do some backflips. I’d showed all the guys that a girl could play just as well as them.
“I’ll see all of you here tomorrow.” Coach Richardson’s statement acted as a wake-up call, and conversations again started as everyone either went home or up to the school.
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