Write This on Your Heart

The young man has his mission call—he will enter the missionary training center on October 27. He cannot return to school, so he is working at Pizza Hut and hanging around the house. His brother is a senior and is playing defensive tackle for the same head coach he had graduated under, Coach JH. CoachContinue reading “Write This on Your Heart”

Battle Flag

It rained the last two days, and the players are all standing around in shorts and shirts, their helmets on the ground. They’re all fifteen minutes early for practice. Their first game is Saturday, and today is walkthrough. Their tall, thin, black corner, KP, is standing with the young man and with Ted. “Yo, weContinue reading “Battle Flag”

Real Gangstas Don’t Flex Nuts

They are jv district champions, having curb-stomped Victoria 35-14 in the final game of the regular season. The young man played tight end in their wing T offense and safety in their 4-4 defense. He had a dozen tackles, a game full of blocking, and a punt return for a touchdown. To celebrate, Terry, Ted,Continue reading “Real Gangstas Don’t Flex Nuts”

Kickoff Return

The young man plays tight end on offense and goes with the linemen during offense. They are in position groups, but drills haven’t started. Coach Bubba Arledge is leaning on the sled nearby and sees Sean, Roger, and the young man together. Arledge was an all-state guard on a state championship team. “How you doing,Continue reading “Kickoff Return”

You’re Easy

Coach Slaughter left for Lufkin after the young man’s freshman year. He was replaced by Gary Davenport who was making the jump from 3A to 5A and who brought with him the old school wing-T offense. His hiring had been opposed by major boosters, and the players had all voted to have Coach Powers, Slaughter’sContinue reading “You’re Easy”

Most Teams Celebrate When They Win

The man’s oldest son started football for Silver Lake when he was ten. They went 0-8 that year. That same group of kids has never won a varsity game since mighty mites. The man and his friend are the new the Silver Lake seventh and eighth grade coaches this season. They have dumped the oldContinue reading “Most Teams Celebrate When They Win”

Dude, You’re in Zimbabwe

The game was close for two and a half quarters, but midway through the third, the Carroll High jv pulled away from Victoria Stroman to win, 49-28. The young man had played tight end on offense and free safety on defense, and now they are at a Golden Corral in Victoria, Texas, feasting before theContinue reading “Dude, You’re in Zimbabwe”

That’s an Auspicious Beginning

They are playing the middle school city championship at Buc Stadium, which can hold fifteen thousand fans and is home to most of the city’s weekly high school football games on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. They are used to playing on dirt fields surrounded by a fence that parents stand behind. Most of theContinue reading “That’s an Auspicious Beginning”

I Will End You

The first team defense is pulled out, and he heads back to the group of players watching the second team. There’s Kevin John, wearing the jv white jersey. “Kevin, you were dicking my brother around in the bathroom yesterday. “Huh? Oh, Stephen said something funny and we were laughing. “No. You had a group ofContinue reading “I Will End You”

Don’t Cut Yourself

The sun is high and hot. The young man is hanging around with the running backs and receivers. Brian is new to the team—tall, bulging biceps, and a tattoo, all as an eighth grader. “Dude, what’s up with your wrists?” says Javier. “Oh, I got a super sharp knife and I cut myself.” “On purpose?”Continue reading “Don’t Cut Yourself”