The nerves are raging, mainly in his stomach as the butterflies flutter till no end. "Is everything ok? Will everything go as planned?" He couldn't stop thinking about what might happen. Images were racing wild as he thought about his teammates going to battle without him. He couldn't comprehend why he had to let them handle it on their own. He has played with them since they were in eighth grade, and when they need him the most, all he can do is sit and cheer. He hates this feeling of helplessness, but at the same time he knows he has to do what little he can do, well.
It was two days until the first game of my last high school football season. My team and I were going to play Bayfield, a battle we had persistently prepared for since the last game of our junior year. The sun was beating on my pads, radiating the heat to make practice seem even worse. I was exhausted and looking forward to the end of my last sweat poring practice for the week. Our team was repetitively executing plays to make sure they were like second nature to us on Friday.
Then, creating an unknown peace, Coach Nelson yells, "Last Play!"
The play was "Red 334"which is a run to our halfback, me, out of our dive series. I crouched over the ball as I jetted past the quarterback and ran the play so we could observe the changes we needed to make. I let out a sigh of relief because we were finished with the most dreaded part of practice; well, only until someone complained about not knowing their job on one of our pass plays. Coach Nelson undoubtedly decided we needed to run through the final pass play before we perfected our defense. The play was quietly called in the huddle with intentions of getting it right. I ran the play through my mind while I tried to remember what the snap count was and what I was supposed to do for that play. The ball was snapped and I jolted to the left of our team's quarterback to set up his backside protection. Out of my peripheral vision, I noticed the defensive end raging toward the quarterback. I intensely stepped into him while lowering my body and exploded through his shoulder pads sending him stumbling into the line's pass protection. My shoulder was thrashed in reverse, leaving the rest of my body driving forward persisting with my block. I jerked back as if the inertia would spring my arm back into place. Gravity took over my knees leaving them no choice but to hit the ground. My arm was left dangling with no initial support; my only support now was my hand holding it closely to my side as if I could protect it from further harm.
Adrenaline took over my body like a natural anesthetic, momentarily taking my mind off of the pain. I didn't even bother getting up as the other players frantically scattered to the huddle.All that ran through my mind was, "My season is over, my senior year is ruined, and I won't be able to accomplish the goals I set for my last football season ever."
I staggered to my feet with my arm limp by my side and walked to the sideline like a confused drunk looking for some spare change. I had to get off the field; I had to calm myself down and gain control of my thoughts.
Coach Duncan and Coach Smith rushed to me frantically questioning, "What happened, are you ok?"
I tried to gain enough composure to release a few words saying, "I hurt my shoulder."
At this point, I got nauseous and light headed, so I had to walk around taking deep breaths to resist whatever it was in my stomach from exiting out my mouth. The pain was starting to stir, making me very anxious to fix whatever was wrong with my shoulder.
Coach Smith told me, "You have to calm down! You are going to go into shock!"
I needed relax if I was going to get rid of this tearing sensation in my shoulder. I filled my lungs with as much air as possible, wrapped my right arm around Coach Smith's arm, and screamed in agony as Coach Duncan tried to put my arm back in the socket. He tried numerous