Tuesday, January 19, 2016


“We are lined up in I formation, and it is a play action. They’re stacking the line with 7 men.  We’re lined up in the I. We are down by five, and there is one minute left on the clock in the fourth quarter. It is fourth down, and we only have one timeout left. Carson what do you do?”
“Call an audible and throw a screen to Ray.”
“Why didn’t you. You got sacked and we lost the state championship.”
“The play clock was at ten seconds, coach.”
“Then use the timeout and go no-huddle the rest of the drive. That’s what you would’ve done in a regular game. That is how you, the one, the only, Johnny Carson, play football. If you want to go play college football, you have to work on working under pressure.”
“It’s hard to think under pressure,” I whispered quietly.
“If you can’t think under pressure than I don’t know if I can play you this season. Your good, but there’s a lot of talent in those school hallways. To be an athlete in this sport you have to be able to do anything under pressure, and I mean anything from your school work to playing out on that field. Go home and some rest, we have practice tomorrow.”
I can’t believe coach just said that. There is no one else to put in. If he is benching me, he would have to play Gabbert. Coach Bryant knows he can’t do that because he had to start him last year when I broke my wrist, and his completion percentage was 30%. That’s not good at all.
On my way home he told himself, “I do not crack under pressure. I’m a junior in high school, and our school hasn’t had a state championship since the 80s.”
I didn’t get much sleep that night. I tossed back and forth thinking about what coach said. The words are still stuck in my head. I can still hear him saying those words.
“If you can’t think under pressure than I don’t know if I can play you this season.”
Those words haunted me. I don’t know what to do, and this isn’t exactly something that will be easy to fix. It will take time, so I will make time. I don’t do good in school, and I’m not good at any other sports, so football is all I got. Because I won’t get into college academically, I will have to go all the way in athletics, and I can’t even start on my high school team.
A few hours later I finally fell asleep, and I woke up ready for practice, but more importantly, I’m ready to prove coach wrong.
On the way to practice I went through what I have to do to get my starting spot back. First off, I have to work harder than anyone on the team, but more importantly, prove coach wrong. That’s just the basics. I have to be perfect at every aspect of the game.
Everything was going pretty good that practice. We had a scrimmage between our offense and our defense. We were down by five points with one  minute left in the 4th quarter. I saw Coach Bryant talking to Coach Johnson and Coach Taylor, our offensive and defensive coordinator. The defence stacked the line with seven guys and our offence was in the I formation. Deja vu. I knew coach was testing me, but he needs to do better than this. I called the audible and I threw the screen to Ray, but the cornerback charged up and took the ball back to the end zone. I threw a pick six, and that ended the scrimmage, and that was the end of practice.
Everyone headed to the locker room, and coach said he wants to talk to me after I’m done changing. Great. That is the last thing I want to do right now, but I have to do it.
I walked out of the locker room, and Coach was right there.
“You weren’t even paying attention to the corner creeping up on the receiver. You were going through the motions. When Ray is running the screen, what is Dex running?” asked coach.
“A fade route,” I answered.
“Why weren’t you watching the defense? More importantly, watching the other wide receivers?” asked coach again.
“I don’t know,” I replied.
To make things worse, school started the next day, and I’m stressed enough with football, but now school? Since I had nothing else to do, I went home, and I slept.
I woke up the next morning with no confidence in myself.
“What am I going to do?” I kept asking myself. “I can’t do this. I’m terrible in school, and now on the football field too. I decided to not go to school because there is no point. If I can’t play football then there is no point of going to school. If I can’t play football then there is no point of staying here. I won’t make it far in life, why not end it all now.
I went to my car, and I just started driving. I got to the highway, and I stomped on the pedal. I hit 120 as I sped past a police officer. I started to swerve into the ditch getting ready to end it all then it hit me. Why am I doing this? To be continued.

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