Jack, Age 13, Doylestown, PA

Music blasting, long ride, butterflies, I’ve arrived. Today is the day we will become the first team in Lenape Valley history to win an Eastern Regional championship for the Division 2 team.

“In the first two minutes of play the Irondequoit Screaming Eagles are up 7-0,” the announcer states. The butterflies are out of my system and I am ready to go in. “Let’s go! Let’s go!” The players’ encouraging words fill the sideline.

“Timeout, ref. Timeout, ref.” Pick up the tempo right now; don’t let this one game slip away. You’ve earned this game, so let’s show it! No Division 2 team has ever won an Eastern Regional Championship,” my coach blasts.

The kick is off and eleven of our fastest players sprint to the ball like a stampede. The kick is too hard to handle, and the returner drops the ball. Boom a tribe of Indians smash the returner as he tries to repossess the ball. Next series is a four and out because of a rock solid defense. Indians’ ball on their own forty yard line. The ball moves slowly but steadily and Lenape Valley is tied 7-7. The kick is off but OH! The returner drops it and the swarm of Indians snatches the ball out of the struggling player’s hands.

The Indians get the ball on the 1. Two plays later—touchdown. The Indians are up 14-7. The siren rings as halftime approaches with a score of Eagles 7, Indians 22, after a late touchdown in the second. Halftime is cold because our bodies aren’t in movement. I feel like a soldier sitting on a cold day not knowing what will happen, but knowing someone will come out victorious and the other won’t. The camaraderie will end today and there will be one known victor.

Screaming Eagles’ ball and they run out to the corner where I’m lurking. I won’t let him get passed. I’ll let him pay for running to my side. I hit the running back like a freight train and the ball goes sailing out. Indians’ ball with the score of 30-7. The ball is pounded at the Screaming Eagles who have lost it mentally and physically. 38-7 is the score with 20 seconds left. Everything is in slow mo as the clock ticks. 20… 19…18…This will be my last game as an Indian. 17…16…15…I will always be a member of this team. 14…13…12…We will be looked up to by a myriad of little kids. 11…10…9…This is one of the best days in my life. 8…7…6…We will be remembered forever. 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…Dog pile.

The Indians have done the impossible!! They won the championship! The trophy cart is rolling out and my heart is pounding out of my chest. The Eagles have been shot down, like a bird sniped by a hunter; they have lost all their hope, glory, and swagger. The Indians line up for their pictures and then snap…the memory is kept forever.

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