Chapter 1: Steroids

Caution: This Coming of Age Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including mt/ft, mt/Fa, ft/ft, Mult, Teenagers, Sports, Group Sex, Oral Sex, Anal Sex, Slow, School, .

Desc: Coming of Age Sex Story: Chapter 1: Steroids - David Dawson is living the high school dream -- brilliant student, captain of the football team, beautiful girlfriends -- when his world is turned inside out when his best friends leave for college and a new football coach wants his son to now lead the team. Find out how David overcomes new challenges and makes new acquaintances as he strives to make it through his Sophomore Year. This is the third in the continuing award winning series Stupid Boy. Nominated for 2016 Clitoride Award.

Tuesday September 2

As I pulled into the school parking lot, I had a faint smile on my face as I remembered my first day of high school last year. Greg had given Tami and me a ride even though I wasn't sure if she was talking to me. We'd had a falling out the previous spring over my drug and alcohol use. Greg made it a point to give me a speech on how I wasn't supposed to embarrass him. When we reached the school he kissed Cindy Lewis, one of the hottest girls at Lincoln High, in the parking lot.

It had been the beginning of a wild year. As I looked around, none of the three people who had kicked off last year were around. I missed them all, but that was not going to slow me down. I had big plans for this year. The first was to win a State Championship for Lincoln High. I wasn't sure how I was going to accomplish that, since I was playing on the JV team, but I would make it happen somehow.

As I walked up to the front door I saw the freshmen cheerleaders trying to figure things out. I decided I would help them.

"Ladies, are you ready for your first day of high school?" I asked.

Standing before me were Emma, Piper, Kylie and Faith. Emma and Piper were fraternal twins. Emma was the tallest of the group at five-ten and had long straight brown hair. Her sister, Piper, was a couple of inches shorter and was a blonde. Kylie was the shortest of the group with curly brown hair and a perky personality. Faith was the most reserved. Her alabaster skin contrasted nicely by her raven black hair. They all gave me a big smile when I talked to them. Three more girls walked up and looked at me, hopefully. I guessed they were also cheerleaders. Kylie, being the outgoing one, spoke for the group.

"Yes, we're excited to get the year started. We didn't realize you would be the welcoming committee," she teased me.

"I do what I can," I told her. "I know Emma, Piper and Faith. Who are your cute friends?" I asked.

"Carmela and Sarita are cousins, and this is Ann. They will all be on the squad, this year," Kylie said.

Carmela and Sarita could have been twins. They were Hispanic, and about Kylie's height with black hair. Ann was a strawberry blond who had braces. The three new girls were rail thin. I shook all their hands, and welcomed them to Lincoln High.

We walked into chaos as everyone was excited to be back to school. I escorted the girls to where the freshman lockers were and looked at all their schedules, so I could point them to their first class. The bell rang, and I wished them luck.

My first class was PE. I'd signed up for fitness and conditioning. It was a required class, if you were playing football. I had Coach Diamond as my teacher. I skipped working out this morning so I needed to work hard during PE. Wolf was in the class with me, so he and I did our workout together. Wolf was one of my best friends on the football team. He played tight end and was six-five and 235 pounds. For his size he was deceptively quick. When we were done lifting, we did our speed workout. I had been sharing with the JV guys what I had learned over the summer.

I was proud of my guys. They were excelling at practice, both with conditioning and strength. I could see the spring and summer workouts had paid off. There were some guys who had not been part of our workouts who were in the class. They were struggling. I suspected the other teams on our schedule were also struggling right now. Being in such good shape was going to give us a leg up.

My next class was Geometry I, with Coach Stevens, who was in charge of the freshman team and special teams for varsity. Our first class was basically a preview of what we would be doing for the year. I then had American History II with Mr. Henley. He was as boring as ever. I would get a lot of studying done in this class. Fourth period was English II. I had Moose, our defensive coordinator, as my teacher. After that, I had lunch.

This year my schedule had a slight hitch. I was assigned second lunch while all my friends had first. I arrived early and found the freshmen cheerleaders all had second lunch, so not all was lost. They saw me sitting alone and I soon had seven freshmen girls sitting around me. It was amusing to see all the other freshman girls looking at them funny. I remembered last year when I asked Tina out. All her freshmen friends were envious she was going on a date the first week of school.

Kylie might be the outgoing one, but I soon found out Emma was their leader. The girls were on a mission ... I should have run when I had the chance!

"Soooo, David, why are all the other cheerleaders mad at you?" Emma asked.

I had to take a deep breath; because Tracy had not clued in the cheerleaders I was not really dating Lisa Felton. There had been some ugly rumors about her giving blowjobs to a lot of guys at a party. I was starting to doubt those rumors since the source seemed to be Bill Rogers, and his stoner friends. Bill was currently serving time for what he did to Tracy. I wouldn't put it past him to have had Lisa drugged before he took advantage of her. I could also imagine them making the whole thing up. It wouldn't be the first group of guys to make stuff up about a girl just so they could feel like big men. I couldn't fathom a fifteen-year-old would eagerly be doing what the rumor said she had done.

"I don't know if I should tell you. I don't know if you are all that trustworthy. Something like this could hurt people's reputations. It's a dirty little secret that is probably too much for you girls," I told them trying to keep a straight face.

I knew I had them when I'd said, dirty little secret. They would dig until they found out, now. It was as if I had thrown a scrap of red meat in the middle of a pack of hungry wolves.

"I know you just met me, but I can keep a confidence," Carmela told me.

I could tell she was sincere. I decided to test her. I looked at all of them.

"Do you guys think Carmela can keep my secret?" I asked.

"Yes, she's very reliable," Sarita, her cousin, told me.

"If I tell Carmela, and she decides you all should be mad at me too, I'm fine with that. If she decides you should be okay with what I did, will you abide by her decision?" I asked them.

"Yes. We would agree," Emma, their leader, said.

Carmela was a serious little girl. She was taking this as if I was going to explain some great mystery to her. We went out to my thinking tree, and I told her the whole story. I had to explain to her who Lisa was, and why the girls were so set against her and me hooking up. Then I explained about the diner and why I was there. I had volunteered at the cancer ward, and her little brother was a patient I spent time with. Kim Sun, who was waitressing, had made some assumptions when I took Lisa there for a break. When I was done, Carmela gave me a big smile.

"I hate you," she told me.

I just smiled at her. The girls would be bugging her for details, and she was sworn to secrecy.

"This is the best scoop. We could be one up on the varsity cheerleaders with this info. The other girls are going to bug me like crazy."

I decided to put her out of her misery.

"Tracy knows the real story. She will have the others in line before the week is out. I'm sure one of them will tell the girls what is up. This place is too small for word not to get out."

We walked back to the table so everyone could hear Carmela's verdict.

"David did nothing wrong. It's all a misunderstanding. He told me that since he can trust me, he will be taking me to the football game on Friday," she said shocking even me.

She dared me to contradict her. I had to give her credit for putting one over on me. I decided what the heck. She seemed like she would be fun to hang out with. I think she knew I was not interested in her more than as just a friend. That is when the ranks broke.

"That was not what we agreed to," Kylie said.

They all looked at her like she just farted in church. Kylie suddenly realized what she said. I realized the devious girls were up to something. That something sounded like no good.

"Let me guess, I was supposed to go out with someone else?" I asked.

"It's not like that... ," Faith started.

"It's exactly like that. We all agreed I got to take him out, first," Kylie said.

"Sorry, David, we thought maybe since you're not dating anyone you might go out with us," Emma told me.

I had been around Tracy long enough to know that image was a big deal for these girls. Snagging the quarterback would be a feather in their hats. I had to give it to them. They were working as a team.

I pulled out my cell phone and called Angie, my sister-in-law. I had bought her and Greg a minivan. I would just trade cars for Friday night. That way I could take all of them. She of course agreed. I would take it to Sullivan's car dealership to be cleaned. Who knew what my nephew Kyle had done in the back seat. I didn't need something staining someone's clothes.

They all looked at me, confused.

"You all can go with me to the game on Friday. I'll meet you here at the school and we can go to Washington High, together," I announced.

Our first game was away, this year. I was looking forward to seeing Ty and the guys from Washington. They should have a good team this year. I was a little sad I wasn't going to get to play.

The compromise seemed to make them all happy. I would have to keep an eye on these girls. They seemed to be little schemers. Actually, they would have made Tami proud.

After lunch I had Government with Coach Hope then Biology II with Mr. Dutton. Finally, I had Art – Landscapes with Ms. Saunders. I could have had study hall for last period, but I enjoyed art last semester, so I had signed up again.

After school I went to get ready for football practice. Coach Stevens was standing at the locker room door with someone I had never met.

"Hang on, David. Before you go to practice, you have to be tested," Coach Stevens said.

I was confused. The guy next to him explained.

"We have had a complaint of steroid use at Lincoln High. I've been hired by the High School Athletic Association to conduct a random test of football players."

Several things raced through my mind, the first was that Mom had been right. Something like this couldn't be kept a secret. The ass-hats had brought this on us all, because they needed a short cut. I was pissed, because I had put the work in. If I somehow tested positive, I could kiss my college career goodbye.

The upside was that they had selected me. If the ass-hats tested positive, me having a negative test would clear me of wrongdoing. This was a nightmare. I was sure the seniors would target us as the ones who turned them in. Brad and his boys would be out for blood.

I went with the guy and peed in the cup as he watched. I followed him to the training room where Mr. Hastings, our head trainer, logged in the specimen. I was sent to Coach Hope's office. I found Brad and several of the senior and junior ass-hats in his office. He made us wait until all the juniors and seniors were tested. Most of the guys looked nervous. Brad was glaring at me. He backed off some when Jim, Wolf, and Mike walked in also.

When we were all done taking the test, Coach Hope finally spoke.

"This morning we were informed by the High School Athletic Association that there was credible evidence that members of the Lincoln High football team have been using anabolic steroids. I've been in contact with our athletic director, and the School District's attorney. They have directed me to cooperate fully with the HSAA in conducting their investigation," Coach Hope told us.

He looked genuinely disturbed and bowed his head for a moment to gather his thoughts. I was sure he knew the accusation was true. He also had to know Brad was involved. He looked back up and continued.

"The HSAA tells me we will have the results of the test next Monday," Coach Hope said while looking right at Brad. "I'm troubled by this. My first reaction was to forfeit the game on Friday. The School District's attorney informed me people are innocent until proven guilty. I've been directed to act as if nobody has broken any rules until the results are back.

"I'm allowed to tell you the consequences if you flunk the drug test. If you're found to be using steroids you will be kicked off the team and won't be allowed to participate in athletics at Lincoln High for the rest of the year. That includes spring semester. If you come back next year, and wish to participate in athletics, you'll be subjected to random drug tests until you graduate.

"If between now, and the time we receive your test results back you decide to quit the team, your results will not be opened. If you take that approach, you're still finished at Lincoln High as far as athletics are concerned. However, Lincoln High will keep the document with your result sealed until you either leave or graduate. At that time, the document will be destroyed.

"Are there any questions?" Coach Hope asked.

"If a player participates in a game and is later found to be positive, what will happen?" Brad asked.

"We'll forfeit the game," Coach told us.

"What if a player quits after the game and their results are not known?" Brad asked.

"Same thing. We will forfeit the game," Coach said. "We will not job the system. If there is even a suspicion of steroid use, and someone plays, we will do the right thing."

My opinion of Coach Hope went way up. I was glad to see he was not going to mess around about this. I had one question, and I needed everyone to hear the answer.

"Coach, do we know where the accusation came from? Was it anyone associated with Lincoln High?" I asked.

He looked at me, and got it. He shook his head.

"This did not come from anyone at Lincoln. Let me repeat that. No one associated with Lincoln High made the accusation," he said, looking Brad and the ass-hats in the eye.

I saw Brad flinch when his dad's eyes locked on him. He left no doubt we were not involved. With that, the meeting was over. Coach Diamond and Coach Stevens grabbed the JV guys who were in the meeting and pulled us into a room.

"I had to have you guys tested," Coach Stevens told us.

Wolf and Jim looked pissed. I just nodded. Mike looked at his shoes.

"I did it to clear your names. You all have the talent to play in college. I suspect if this is pushed to the limit, it will be a big news story. You'll need the test results to help prove you weren't involved. Even with the test results, this may hurt your recruiting."

"The entire coaching staff believes none of you are involved. We'll do everything we can to help you," Coach Diamond assured us.

We then went to practice this kind of took the fun out of it.

When I got home, I told Mom and Dad. Dad called Tom to get advice. Tom said he would make some calls to see what we should do.

Wednesday September 3

Word got out quickly. Jeff Delahey was waiting for me after practice. He was the local sports reporter, with whom I had slowly built a relationship. To be honest, I didn't like him much last fall. In the spring he started to grow on me. I agreed to talk to him at my house, with my parents and Tom present. We arranged to meet after dinner.

He followed me home, and Dad called Tom. Mom served us dinner and Jeff joined us. We agreed not to talk about anything controversial, until Tom got there. That didn't mean we didn't talk football, we did. He wanted to compare notes on who I thought was good this year and players to look out for. When Tom arrived, we got down to business.

"Jeff, I won't make any quotes at this time. Everything will be off the record, until we see the results of the tests," I told him.

"Look, this is going to be a big deal. I'm going to take my reporter's hat off for a moment and give you some advice. Get out in front of this thing. If you look like you are on the defensive, you'll look guilty. I would also suggest you have me open your test results. I can then definitively say they were negative. If they come back positive, I'll have to do my job."

"May I ask what you plan to print?" Tom asked.

"I have confirmed that a booster from Eastside made the report to the HSAA. My source spoke to me only upon a guarantee of anonymity. He observed multiple members of Lincoln High's football team working out at a gym known for steroid use. I don't have outside verification, yet, so we are sitting on the story, for now," Jeff told us.

"Jeff, can we have a moment?" I asked.

I pulled everyone into the office.

"If he breaks this story before the game on Friday, there are going to be problems," Mom said.

"We need to see if we can get this delayed 'till Sunday," Tom said. "We still have freshman and JV games on Saturday."

"I have the proof he needs. Wolf and I saw the steroids," I said.

"You all stay here. Let me talk to him for a moment," Tom said.

We waited almost an hour. I was surprised when Coach Hope showed up and joined us. He came up to me and looked me in the eye.

"David, I need to know. Do you have proof that any of my players are taking steroids?" he asked me.

"Have I seen any of them actually take them? No."

"But... ?" he asked.

"I saw a bottle of steroid pills in one of the seniors' duffel bags."

"Thank you. Coach Stevens told me he recognized the signs of use in several of the players. He was a lineman in college after all. We couldn't do anything based on what he told us, because we had no proof. The coaching staff talked about simply benching whomever we suspected of using and having the JV play varsity on Friday. But Moose pointed out that to solve a short-term problem we would be creating a bigger problem for you and the other JV players. We want to keep you as far away from this mess for as long as possible."

Tom came back in.

"Jeff has agreed to hold off on the story until Sunday. David, he wants to talk to you off the record. In the meantime I'll put together an official statement for you. Once your parents and Coach approve it, we'll give it to Jeff."

We all agreed, and everyone went out to listen to me talk to Jeff. I told him what Wolf and I had seen. I told him what Wolf told us about his cousin's use. I then revealed what happened at our meeting at Monical's, and the decision to play JV ball. Coach Hope blanched when he heard that. I finally told Jeff about the model I ran into for the gladiator shoot. He told me the varsity was lifting there and offered to help me with steroids. There was no direct confirmation, but the implication was made.

"David, I'll deny this if you ever repeat it. I think you're a rare talent. I could have just run with this thing, but I have come to like and respect you. That is rare in my business. This is a one-time deal. If I suspect you are doing anything like this in the future, I'll just run it. But, I don't want to see someone else pull you down for something you're not involved in," Jeff told me.

I shook his hand.

"Jeff, if I ever do something like this, I'll give you the exclusive," I said with a smirk.

Mom whacked me on the back of the head and called me a 'stupid boy!'

Friday September 5

Through the grapevine we heard that Brad and the rest of the juniors and seniors had gotten together and decided to play tonight. Their rationale was they wanted to play at least one game. Coach Hope was not happy about any of this.

Of course our fantasy of news not leaking before Sunday was just that. Jeff called Coach Hope, and said they couldn't sit on the story, because too many sources had come forward. On Thursday, the story had been in the local paper. By Friday the press was all over Lincoln High when I pulled up in the parking lot. They saw me as I walked up to the front of the school.

The local TV station reporter got me to stop. Hey, she's cute...

"Can you tell us if steroid use is rampant at Lincoln High?" she asked.

They love to throw fire bombs, and step back and watch you burn. This was the exact situation Jeff had warned us about. Being defensive now would look like guilt.

"All I can talk about is myself. On Monday, the High School Athletic Association came in and tested me. They tell me the results will be available this coming Monday. If God is willing, I'll be playing football in college. I wouldn't do anything to jeopardize my opportunity to play, and I'm sure the test will show I'm drug free.

"In July, I went to the Elite Quarterback Camp held in Houston Texas. There I was also tested. If you would like the results of those tests, I have them posted on my website. You guys all know Jeff Delahey," I said as I pointed to him in the crowd. "He will open and report my results, on Monday. As soon as Jeff has verified that I am clean, we will post the results."

"What about the rumors that several members of the football team have used steroids?" she persisted.

"I honestly don't know. I would hope not, but you will need to talk to the school about that."

"Is there a reason you have been tested twice in two months?" she asked.

She was starting to irritate me. I took a moment to gather my thoughts.

"When you attend a high level camp, like the one I attended in July, they are vetting you to play at the next level. I was not singled out. Everyone took the test. Top programs want to know you aren't using performance enhancing drugs.

"According to my coaches, I was not originally scheduled to take the test. They requested, it so there would be no doubt I was clean," I answered.

"So they think other players are not?" said my new least favorite reporter.

"Again, I have no idea. You need to talk to the school about that," I said. "Thanks everyone, but I need to get to class."

I glanced at Jeff and he just nodded. I guess I did okay.

During first period, the whole football team was called to the gym. They had us sit in the bleachers. The coaching staff was joined by the Athletic Director, Mr. Hicks, and someone who I assumed was the School District's attorney. Coach Hope started the meeting.

"On Monday we were informed by the HSAA there had been allegations of steroid use. Later that day they came in and did testing. Until the tests come back next Monday, we have no proof of any wrong doing.

"As you may have noticed, there are a lot of press people wanting comments. I would suggest you allow us to talk to them. At this time, I would like to turn this meeting over to Mr. Hicks," Coach Hope said, and then sat down.

You could tell that what he was about to tell us was not good by his body language. He got a determined look and told us.

"We have been in close contact with Washington High, both last night and this morning. In the interest of player safety we have decided to forfeit tonight's game. Neither side wanted the risk of injury associated with possible steroid use. If we allowed players who we even suspected of using performance enhancing drugs to play, and there was an injury, the schools could be held liable.

"The freshman and JV games will be played tomorrow, as scheduled. If everyone's test comes back negative, Washington has agreed to a make-up game. We'll play that game Wednesday night," Mr. Hicks announced.

"What about Dawson? He took the test, too! Does he get to play, tomorrow?" Brad asked.

The attorney got up.

"I'll answer that. I'm Sam Jensen. I'm the attorney for the School District. This was discussed, and both Washington High and we agree there is no need for concern. The four non-varsity players were tested to help show they were not involved. The HSAA did not request us to test them, the coaching staff did. They are not under a cloud of suspicion. This was done to assure college recruiters they were not involved," Mr. Jensen told everyone.

We were sent back to class. By noon Brad and the majority of the varsity team had quit. I think Coach Hope explained the facts of life to them. I was told before lunch that I was not playing in the JV game, Saturday. Most of us would be playing Washington on Wednesday. Practice was scheduled for after school today.

At lunch the girls wanted to know what we were doing, tonight. At first I looked at them like they were crazy, but they were serious. The girls had been promised a group outing, and they expected me to come through.

"Ahh ... I have practice tonight. I don't know how late we'll be," I tried to reason.

"Why don't we go to the University High game? We play them next Friday," Emma suggested.

I thought about it for a moment. That actually wasn't a bad idea. U-High was a non-conference game. With the short week, anything I could learn would be a help. I sent Angie a text to let her know I would need her minivan, after all. I told her I had practice after school and she agreed to get it cleaned for me. She would swing by the high school and trade with me while I practiced. My sister-in-law could be pretty great, sometimes. I was lucky she married my brother.

I also sent a text to Lily telling her of our plans. I thought it would be a good idea if the whole team went to the game, tonight. She sent a text back saying she would talk to Alan and get a message sent out to everyone. We would meet at the high school at six-thirty, and caravan to the game. By the end of lunch Alan had sent an email to all the team members.

At practice I was happy to see three seniors were there. They were the same three who played JV baseball, and had been on our seven-on-seven team with us. Bill Callaway was my favorite receiving target. Trevor Millsap also played receiver, and Lou Davis was a cornerback.

When the coaching staff came out they looked like new men. The stress seemed to be gone. They got right down to business since we only had a few days to get ready. Coach Hope had us gather around.

"Things can only get better from here," Coach told us. "Wednesday night will be a real test. Washington has twenty out of twenty-two starters returning. They are the conference favorites this year according to the paper. They know we'll give them a tough game and they will be ready for us. This game may decide who goes to State, this year. What do you think Dawson? Do we have a shot Wednesday?"

"Yes, sir. I plan on lighting them up, on offense. Defense will be dedicated to putting Ty and Isaac on their asses."

Ty Wilson was their star halfback, and Isaac Fellows was their quarterback. They had joined me on our trip to Kentucky during the summer. We could hold our own against these guys. We would be ready.

When I got to the school, a little before six-thirty, I was surprised to see nearly forty cars, there. It seems Alan sent the email to everybody. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. Our small town was football crazy, and on Friday nights everyone went to the game. Since we weren't playing, they all needed their football fix.

I got out of the minivan and waved at several people. Tracy found me and headed over. I winked at her when she got close.

"I hear you're taking care of the freshmen for me," she said with a smirk.

"Did you sic them on me? They seem to think I'm somehow responsible for them."

"No, that was their idea. I thought it was pretty funny when they told me. You better watch out, they have big plans for you."

I saw Mona come up and she wouldn't look me in the eye.

"Did you come to apologize to me?" I challenged her.

"Ah, yeah, I feel a little silly now. I'm sorry I didn't talk to you," Mona said.

Luckily the freshmen found me. They were sly little devils as they gently moved Tracy and Mona away from me. I saw Tracy's shoulders shaking as she tried not to laugh at me. They had effectively claimed me. I just headed to the van. They fell in line like I was their momma duck and they were my ducklings. I got in the van and saw that Carmela had claimed shotgun. I had almost forgotten this was her date.

I don't know if you have ever ridden in a car with seven teenage girls, but they can talk! I guess they were no longer shy around me. They acted like I wasn't even there. They were recording some vampire show they were all watching. When there was a momentary break, I asked them if it was the one with the girl I met at the birthday party in California.

"You met her?" Ann, the strawberry blond with braces, asked.

"Bree something ... Yeah, I have some pictures of her with me," I told them.

I had Carmela get my iPad out and I told her were to find the pictures. Carmela suddenly put her hand over her mouth and her eyes got big. I thought she was impressed I had a picture of Bree and myself. I forgot I had the picture of Adrienne and me nude in Miami in that folder.

Carmela slipped my iPad back to Kiley.

"Holy crap, can I have a copy of this?" Kiley shouted.

The van suddenly went quiet. I looked at Carmela and she looked really nervous. Then it dawned on me what they were looking at.

"Carmela, get it back, RIGHT NOW!" I ordered.

She unbuckled her seat belt and snatched it out of Emma's hands. She sat back down in her seat and turned my iPad off. I looked back in the rear view mirror. I suddenly knew how my mom felt when she was driving and Greg and I did something that did not make her happy.

"Did any of you download the pictures?" I asked, and they all just shook their heads. "That picture was private. If it ever gets out, or if there is even a hint of it, I could be in a lot of trouble. Adrienne makes her living with her image. She doesn't need nude pictures finding their way onto the internet. I also have a no nudity clause in my contract. I could lose a lot of money!" I explained to them.

Conversation in the van simply died. When I glanced back in the rear view mirror, they all looked pensive. I was sure it wouldn't last. I would need to take Tracy's advice. They all seemed too young to me. I really wasn't looking at them as anything other than friends. Kiley had already tried to make a move on me over the summer. Right now I missed Tami's advice. She had always been my sounding board concerning girls. I was feeling a little unsure of myself for some reason. It might have been because of how badly I had handled the whole Tami thing.

We decided to sit on the visitor side. University was playing Mt. Vernon, one of our conference rivals. Several Mt. Vernon fans knew who I was, and wanted to chat about the steroid scandal. I told them we had rescheduled the game with Washington for Wednesday.

"So why did you guys come to our game?" one of the players' dads asked.

"Mt. Vernon is in our conference, and we also play U-High next Friday. We wanted to support you guys and get to see our competition for the next game," I said. "Plus, I wanted to watch some football, tonight."

The game ended up being a good one. You could tell both teams were having first game jitters, and neither side seemed to want to take control. It was a nail biter right up to the end of the fourth quarter. We were all on our feet cheering for Mt. Vernon as they mounted a late drive with the score tied. They ended up winning with a last minute field goal. I took a lot of scouting notes about both teams. By the fourth quarter, I was able to recognize the defenses before the snap, and knew what should be done against them. I was confident we could beat both teams.

At the game, I found a good use for seven freshmen cheerleaders. They got me things. Okay, I'm a terrible guy, but they seemed to want to wait on me hand and foot. It could also have to do with the fact I handed Emma cash and told her to go get whatever the girls wanted. They were half watching the game and half socializing with everyone. I noticed they were also keeping an eye on me.

I found out the downside to seven freshman cheerleaders, too. They tended to discourage cute girls from talking to me. They also caused my guy friends to make fun of me. I found I went a little 'big brother' when Ed flirted with Faith. I was starting to look at them as my little sisters, which actually was a good thing, because I think they were looking at me as more than just a friend.

After dropping the frosh off, I came home to find my lights were on in my apartment. I went into the house to let Mom and Dad know I was home.

"Do you know who is in my apartment?" I asked.

"Tracy," Mom said.

"Do you know what she wants?" I asked.

"Gee, David, you want me to go and ask her?" Dad asked.

Mom raised her eyebrows at him and then the both of us caught the double meaning of what was said.

"Sure, Dad, go for it."

"On second thought, you're on your own," Dad said, and then grabbed my Mom's hand and led her to bed.

I could hear them giggling as they went upstairs. There are some things a teenage boy shouldn't be exposed to!

I went to my apartment and braced myself for what was to come. Knowing Tracy it could be anything. I walked in to find her eating my stash of cookies and drinking my milk. I kept cookies for when I had cravings. No one could stay on a diet forever, so this was my guilty pleasure. My mom knew where my treats were. I think she actually ate most of them. She was considerate, though. She would replace my cookies if she ate them all. To be honest, I didn't mind, because she liked a variety of different kinds. I saw Tracy was eating Ginger Snaps.

"I hope you don't mind," Tracy said.

"Mi casa es tu casa," I said waving my hands to indicate my house was her house.

"I didn't know you knew Spanish."

"Counting to four and ordering a beer is the extent of my knowledge."

I went and got myself a glass of milk. I noticed Tracy had changed clothes and there was a hint of perfume. She now had on a pair of tight shorts and t-shirt. When she leaned forward to grab another cookie I could tell she wasn't wearing a bra. I would have to be careful here.

I sat down next to her on the couch and got a cookie. Tracy just smiled at me. She was going to make me start the conversation.

"Not that I am not happy to see you, but why are you here?" I asked.

She gave me a cryptic smile. I was actually surprised when she didn't make a move on me.

"I wanted to talk to you about who you were planning on dating."

I knew Tracy too well. She had an agenda. I decided to play along and see what she had in mind, because quite frankly, I didn't have a clue.

"For right now, I don't plan on dating anyone. I'm too busy playing football."

"Would you consider going out with Mona?" she asked.

"I don't have to even think about it: no."

"Why not? You like each other."

"Do we? I'm not even sure we are friends after the way she treated me."

"But that was just a misunderstanding. Kim was sure she saw you on a date with Lisa."

"So what? If she was my friend it shouldn't matter who I date," I said starting to get irritated.

"You're right, we treated you terribly. All I can say is I'm sorry."

I kept my mouth shut. I didn't want to say anything I would regret.

"Would you consider going out with me?"

I actually snorted. It is one of those involuntary things you do which completely blows your cool.

"Sorry. I can see you're serious. Don't get me wrong, I love you as a friend, but we will never get together as more than that."

"How come?" she asked, obviously wanting me to say the words.

"Do you remember the last time we broke up?" I asked and she nodded. "I can forgive a lot. I can even understand why you weren't brave enough to tell me you were breaking up with me. I can even get past your dad doing what he did, because he loves you. What I can't get past is the fact that you had me call you, only to be told by your mother you were on a date with Luke. Not just some random guy, but the one guy I could not stand at the time. I honestly can't get past the betrayal I felt.

"You need to remember where I was right after that. I had a lot of time to think about it while I was trapped under that house. The good news was I was able to forgive you. I guess the bad news is I will never forget."

Tracy got up, mumbled she was sorry, and left.

I had never really told her before how much she hurt me. At the time I had bigger issues going on, like recovering from the accident, and my mom having cancer. I hadn't realized until just now how much resentment I'd been carrying around about what she'd done.

Monday September 8

During English, I was called to the office. I found Mom with Jeff Delahey waiting for me. When I got there Mr. Hicks, the athletic director, and Mr. Jensen, the School District's attorney, invited us into Mr. Hicks office. They had my steroid test results.

"David's results are the last to be opened. To this point, no one has tested positive for performance enhancing drugs," Mr. Jensen told us.

He handed the envelope to my Mom. She took her time not to mess up the envelope while opening it. I personally would have ripped it open, but not Mom. She pulled out the test results and read them. Her face fell and my stomach tightened up into a knot. Everyone in the room could tell it was bad news. She handed the report to Jeff to read. He read it and then folded it in half, and sighed. We were going to have to forfeit the game and I was out of football. I was stunned.

Coach Hope entered the office, and the look on everyone's faces caused his shoulders to sag. To hell with this ... I grabbed the test result out of Jeff's hand and read it.

It said I had passed with flying colors. I wadded the paper up and threw it at Jeff, who burst out laughing. It seems he and my mom pulled one over on me. Mr. Hicks was confused.

"Did you pass or not?" he asked.

"I passed. We play Washington on Wednesday," I told them.

I wasn't expecting Coach Hope to pick me up like a rag doll, and swing me around. He was happier than I was. I guess he needed some good news. I sent a text to Lily to tell her we had all tested clean.

I also sent a text to the Washington guys who went with us to the Kentucky camp. I still had their contact info. I sent them a blast: 'Game is on Boys'.

Lily had allowed me to have the password to my twitter account again. I was on probation after the tweets about Adrienne having my alien baby and the bad Photoshop picture of her with a baby bump. Lily told me if I tweeted anything like that again, she would lock me out until I graduated. I tell you, if she didn't work for free...

At lunch I found one of the freshmen football players sitting at our table with Kiley: Nick Rake. Nick was one of the guys who had some real potential. I worked with him to get him started learning how to play cornerback. He had plenty of speed. He just needed to get stronger. Receivers could wrestle the ball away from him. He looked pretty nervous. I would've been too, if I had been thrown into the deep end, the second week of high school.

"Hey, Nick. I see you guys put a beating on Washington, Saturday," I said.

Our freshman team had won 21 – 10. The JV squad had lost 7 – 0. Unfortunately, Nick had given up the touchdown in the freshman game.

"Yeah, but I had a bad game," he said.

"You did fine. Playing cornerback you're going to get burned, sometimes. Except for that one play, you did well."

"You came to our game?" he asked looking surprised.

"Of course I did."

He slumped into his seat.

"Then you saw it," he stated.

"Yep, you were peeking into the backfield, instead of keeping your eyes on the receiver. That's a hard habit to break once it gets started. Work on it, in practice. The other thing I wasn't hearing was your teammates calling ball when it was in the air. You guys need to help each other out," I coached him.

"Yes, sir," he said smirking at me.

The freshmen had started calling me that in practice, as if I was one of the coaches. They knew I hated it. I just glared at him. Emma came up when I was giving Nick the eye and thought I was being protective like I had been with Ed and Faith.

"David, you can't date all of us at once," she scolded me.

I looked at Kiley and Nick and they blushed. I got a mock scowl on my face.

"When were you going to tell me we were breaking up?" I asked Kiley.

Nick went pale. The rest of the cheerleaders showed up when I asked that question. They were all staring at Kiley. I thought she was going to cry so I winked at her. She slugged me in my arm.

"You are such a bully, sometimes."

I just reached over, put her in a headlock, and gave her a noogie. She had a lopsided grin on her face when I let her go. Nick wasn't quite sure if I was serious or not. I let him stew in his self-doubt.

I invited Alan, Jeff, Gina and Lily to my place after school. I had a project I wanted their help with.

"I have an idea for helping us with football. I think this could be big, if we do it right," I started as I pulled out a packet for each of them. It had the forms Kentucky used to evaluate film.

"When I went to Kentucky, they taught us a systematic way to view game film. This got me thinking that we could make this more dynamic. What if we automated this, and put a database behind it?" I asked.

I could see Alan and Jeff deep in thought. Then Gina shocked us all.

"You say you are using this to watch game film. What if you could link the video to each play so you could have the captured data and the video feed?"

"You know I saw on ESPN they had a touch screen TV where they could click on an icon like an arrow with a line. They would touch a player and then use the graphic to show where he would go. They also had icons to show how the blocking was done," Jeff added.

"Could we use the touch screen graphics, and turn a tablet into a playbook?" I asked.

From there the ideas started flying. We spent over an hour brainstorming. Lily brought us back to reality.

"Who is this for, and how do we make money doing this?"

"You know what? She is right. We could make money doing this, big money!" I said with a huge smile. "We need to do two things. The first is to figure out what the final product might end up being. Knowing that will dictate how we build it. The second thing is we need to break it into manageable parts. I would like to see the game film review basics worked on first. I could use that part now."

"This needs to be cloud based. We can make more money doing this as a subscription service, than we can selling it as a one-time package. Look at what they are doing with Word 365. Instead of spending several hundred dollars for software, you spend ten bucks a month and get automatic upgrades.

"We also need to take advantage of touch screen technology. I can see this having implications beyond football. We could do basketball, baseball and soccer, just off the top of my head," Jeff told us.

"Before we waste a lot of time, shouldn't we see if there's already software out there that does what we need?" Gina asked.

"I'll look into it," Alan offered.

I felt good that we had the start of an idea.

Wednesday September 10

I woke early and went for a long run. It was going to be a hot day as it was already warm out. As I ran through the neighborhood I saw signs of people starting to stir for their day. I heard someone yell Go Bulldogs! and turned to see one of my neighbors getting their paper. I just waved and kept running.

I was feeling good knowing the big day was finally here. After all the drama, it was nice to know it was behind us. I could just focus on what I loved: football. Coach Hope, Mike and I had shown the other coaches how to watch game film. We had learned a lot at the Kentucky Camp. I was reviewing Washington's formations as I ran. I was fixing my keys in my head, so I could recognize the defenses quicker. I then switched to when I played defense, and reviewed what they ran out of each formation.

When I thought back to where I was at this time last year, and what all I had learned this summer, it was amazing. I had no idea how much you had to know to play quarterback correctly. Last year had been all instinct and determination. I was sure my increased knowledge would make a big difference, this season.

I still had nightmares about our state playoff loss to Beverly. If I had known then what I knew now, we would have won the game handily. Instead I had kept forcing the deep pass right into the strength of their defensive formation. Well, I couldn't do any good by dwelling on the past.

My thought drifted to what was missing in my life, right now ... Tami. Mom had not been keeping me updated about her, other than to say she liked her host family. I caught myself reaching for my phone at odd times, wanting to share things with her. Just stupid everyday things we used to tell each other. Then I would realize she was gone. I really missed her.

I had also been avoiding Harper, Missy and Sarah. The Wesleyan girls all seemed to be tied to Tami. because of where they went to school. I needed to make it a point to call them. I really didn't want to lose their friendship. I liked them all too much to let it happen.

I had to chuckle. The reason they had popped into my head was because I was horny. I'd had regular sex for almost a year. I was finding masturbation, while enjoyable and necessary, wasn't the same thing. I missed the human contact and the joy of pleasuring a woman. The sharing of pleasure, and the intimacy, were what I missed the most.

Ever since Cindy, Suzanne and Beth left, I hadn't been with anyone. It was as if the Gods had conspired to make me celibate. First, Tracy and her friends had thought I was messing around with Lisa Felton. Then I was occupied with football. When school started, I was switched to second lunch. All the girls I would normally reach out to were in first lunch.

The final thing was the freshmen cheerleaders. They were all very cute, but seemed so young. They were all wide eyed and innocent. I didn't want to be the one to take that innocence from them. I had felt a twinge when Kiley had brought Nick to the lunch table, but I found it was more my protective side than the beast within who claimed her as mine.

That was one thing I needed to get under control. I needed to find a way to tame my beast. It was one of the major reasons Tami and I were taking a break. Maybe if I could get my group of frosh cheerleaders dating nice guys, and not get wigged out by it, I would be on my way to a first step towards being friends with Tami again.

I also needed to get them to stop riding herd over me. It was like I was allowing them to be a substitute Tami. They kept me insulated from every other potential girl. Part of what I needed to learn to do, was to stand on my own. What I really needed, was for them to be my wingmen; well, to be correct, wing-women. Was that even a word? Wingman just didn't sound right for them. If I could change the dynamic of our relationship, I might have something. I really liked this idea.

I got back to the house and showered and dressed. I went downstairs to find Mom and Dad talking. The house just felt quiet without Greg, Angie and Kyle. When I walked in, they both looked up and smiled at me. I felt the love they had for me. That love helped keep me grounded. I understood that with their help, and love, I could grow as a man and become what Tami envisioned. Not for her anymore, but for myself. That, in and of itself, was a huge step for me. I smiled back and hugged and kissed my parents good morning. I was ready to face the world.

I was going to need them to be more involved in my life, now, what with Tami being gone. I needed someone I could trust to talk about things. Dad had proven he had a good grasp on relationships. Mom ... well, she loved me. I could never doubt that.

I was minding my own business walking to class when I was hip checked. I turned to see Tracy's smiling face. She was in her cheerleading outfit. Being horny, I had a flash of taking her into one of the empty rooms and ... I snapped out of it, before we made my little fantasy a reality. I was glad to see she wasn't mad at me for what I had said about her and Luke. It looked like we could be friends, and only friends.

"I have good news, and I have bad news, which do you want first?" she asked me.

"Give me the bad news first."

"Most all the top programs are backing off of recruiting you. I talked to Joe Phips and he explained with the steroid scandal at Lincoln, everyone would take a step back and reevaluate. He said while they still had high interest, as you were only a sophomore, so there was plenty of time to recruit you," Tracy explained what the lead recruiter from Florida had told her.

"You know, that kind of pisses me off. I didn't back off of my interest in Florida when their season went into the tank, last year," I pointed out. "You said most. Who is still recruiting me?"

"That's the good news. Alabama and Notre Dame are both sending multiple coaches to the game. This being a rare Wednesday night game, they want to get a good look at you. I put the word out that, if possible, you would like to play with Bill, Ty, Wolf and Jim in college. They have started to be recruited, also. Because of your recommendation, USC has made a big push for Bill. He has scheduled a visit after the season is over.

"I also mentioned that several of the big names have backed off. Kentucky is sending almost everyone, tonight, as a show of support. Several new contenders are sending people. Northwestern, Missouri and Tennessee will be here. The one that surprises me is South Carolina. The others had been keeping tabs, but they came out of nowhere. I hadn't even made a request for them to send info."

"Tracy, I really appreciate you helping me out with this. Have you talked to Coach Crouch and let him know who is going to be at the game?" I asked.

Coach Crouch was Washington's head coach.

"Actually, Kendal called. She is working with both our and their booster clubs to put up a hospitality tent. The Sullivan's have a car dealership close to Washington High. Everything should be fine."

I just nodded. Tracy wanted to talk about something else.

"How are my freshmen treating you?" she asked with a smirk.

"Get those evil thoughts out of your head. They are too young for me. I look at them and think of them as middle school kids. Nothing is happening with them," I assured her.

"I don't think they think that. They have designs on you," she teased me.

"I'll make sure they know nothing is going to happen."

"I haven't heard any rumors about you dating anyone. The girls at Lincoln High are all holding their collective breath, wondering what you plan on doing. Several have asked me if you are really not dating anyone. What should I tell them?" Tracy asked.

What did I really want? Of course I was horny as hell. Mr. Happy reminded me he liked Tracy ... A LOT! Tracy giggled when she saw me get instantly hard. I just smirked.

"Don't laugh at me. I can't help it that you turn me on," I teased her.

Our eyes locked. What the hell was I thinking? I shook my head and closed my eyes to will Mr. Happy to stand down. He wasn't having any of it. I couldn't believe it. I was going to have to go to the restroom and take care of him, or I would be hard all day.

"Shit," I hissed. "Where is Suzanne when I need her?" I complained.

"You know I would help you," Tracy offered.

"Thanks, but we both know that is not a great idea. I need to simplify things, not make them more complicated."

"I know. I heard what you said the other night, and I understand. As for the freshmen, just know they aren't as innocent as you may think. They would be willing to help you out."

"Now there is a terrible idea. By the way, bite me for even suggesting it. I'll be thinking about it the rest of the day. If they all turn up pregnant, it's your fault."

She just kissed my cheek and left me to figure this out for myself. I ended up in a boy's room stall taking care of Mr. Happy. I could tell it just took the edge off a little. I needed to get laid.

At lunch the girls were all wrapped up with their vampire show. I guess the guys were just dreamy. Nick and I zoned out. When there was a break in the conversation, I became aware they had gone quiet. I snapped out of it and looked at Nick to find him staring at me, too. I must have missed something important.

"Huh... ?" I mumbled.

"Tracy told us you were a big game hunter, and only went after really hot girls. She said you have stupid skills when it comes to talking to girls. We were wondering if you could show us," Piper asked.

I got a gleam in my eye. This sounded like fun.

"Who do you want me to go after?" I asked.

They all raised their hands. Nick didn't seem pleased when Kiley was about to come out of her seat. I needed to have a talk with them.

"Okay, slow down. I need to talk to you all. First of all, I like you all a lot," I told them.

"Crap, he's breaking up with us," Emma moaned.

"Funny you should say that. I'm used to going out with older women. It would be a terrible idea for your first boyfriend to be me. Ask Gina Tasman, she'll tell you I'm a slut," I said to their chuckles. "I'll make you a deal. I'll help you all find boyfriends, if you'll find me women who are willing to put up with me," I said hopefully.

Emma kicked Nick and me out so they could talk. We dumped our trays and went outside. I needed his help because I didn't know the freshmen guys as well as he did. We went and sat under my favorite thinking tree.

"Who do you know who you'd let date one of the girls? Keep in mind, I think of them as little sisters, and would be pissed if they got taken advantage of," I told Nick.

"Wayne Turk and Ray Quinn are two of my friends. They would treat them right."

Wayne and Ray both played football and were freshmen. Wayne played cornerback and Ray was a linebacker. I knew who they were, but not well enough to recommend them. I believed Nick, but I needed to get to know them better before I allowed them to date my girls.

I mentally slapped myself. Where did my girls come from? This wasn't going to be as easy as I thought. I looked up and they had found us, and sat down next to us. I couldn't read them. I looked at Nick and I think he was a little scared. That made me chuckle.

"What are you laughing about?" Emma asked me.

"I think you're scaring Nick."

They all looked at him and smiled. He seemed to relax.

"So what did you ladies decide?" I asked.

"We're not ready to date yet, well everyone but Kiley," Emma told me. "We still want to do things with you, but we understand you want to date. We'll help you find someone. We just need to know what you are looking for."

"First of all, I'm not looking for a girlfriend. That doesn't mean I don't want to go out, I'm just not looking for a serious commitment," I started out.

I was still hurting over Tami leaving. I was finding that our breakup, for lack of a better word, was affecting me more than losing Tracy ever had. A big reason had been Tami. I always knew she and I would eventually get together. She had been my safety net. I was finding myself to be hesitant to putting myself into a position of getting hurt again. I was positive I didn't like it, because I was horny. I just couldn't seem to get past it, though. I think my survival instincts were kicking in. I couldn't allow anyone to get close to me again ... at least, not right now ... because Tami leaving hurt too much.

"If you ask me my type, I'm okay with just about anyone as long as they have a personality and are fun to be around. I also don't need bossy, clingy, needy ... I think you get my point."

"So Emma is out of the picture," Piper, her sister, teased me.

"Exactly!" I agreed.

Emma gave us both her teen girl look that told us we were idiots.

"So you don't care if they look like a regular girl," Faith asked.

I laughed.

"I'm not opposed to a good looking girl, I just want her to be smart enough to be able to have a conversation every once in a while," I leered.

"I assume you are looking for a good time also," Carmen stated.

I hated to admit it, but I wanted to get laid.

"Yes, I'm used to certain things. I would like them to not be a blushing virgin," I fessed up.

"So if I got more experience, you would consider me?" Kiley asked.

"NO!" I said before Nick could wrap his mind around what his girlfriend had just said.

"Two things. The first is I will not date someone who is dating someone else. That is a huge deal breaker for me. The second is I really will not date anyone younger than me," I told them and then turned to Kiley. "I would be very disappointed in you, if you tried to get experience just to go out with me. That goes for all of you. Looking back, I wish I had waited to have sex. I didn't even date the girl afterwards. Your first time should be special and with someone you care about. Don't rush to grow up. I'm a terrible role model as far as that is concerned."

"Are you still willing to teach us things?" Emma asked.

I gave her a curious look.

"Carmela, Ann, and Sarita would like to learn what you taught us this summer," she clarified.

Did I really want to do that? Crap, Mr. Happy was back. He voted yes. He had a one track mind though. I looked up and Nick was looking funny at me. I suddenly wished he wasn't here. I didn't want word of what we had done getting around. I gave him a hard look.

"Nick, I need to tell you something. My brother was a legend around here. He dated a lot of girls and never had one of them mad at him when they broke up. I'm going to give you some advice, and I hope you pay attention. If someone tells you something in confidence, or you do something with someone, you need to keep it to yourself. These ladies have entrusted you with information, which if it got out, would hurt them. Do you understand what I'm telling you?" I asked.

"Yes, sir."

"If I hear of anything they shared with us getting around school, I'll track you down," I said leaving no doubt what I was talking about.

"You don't have to worry about me," he assured me.

I then turned my attention to Carmela, Ann and Sarita.

"Do you know what they're talking about?" I asked.

They shook their heads no.

"Talk to Emma, in private. If you decide you want me to help, I will."

The bell rang, to my relief.

Our bus pulled up at Washington High. There were about twenty Washington fans there to greet us. This was new. They were rabid Washington supporters based on the comments we were hearing. I saw one sign with my picture on it with a circle and a slash through it. Under the picture it said D-Roid. It made me laugh. It was creative to try and pin the steroids on me. I think the poor girl holding the sign just about shit when I walked right up to her.

"Now that's funny. The guys will be giving me a new nick name, Droid," I told her good naturedly.

She started chanting, "DROID, DROID, DROID... !"

I smiled and walked into the locker room. I had no one to blame but myself, for that one.

I could see the guys were nervous. Most of them had never played varsity ball before. I had them gather around.

"Lighten up! This is what we have been working for. Let's go have fun," I said.

I could see that my attempt didn't work. I looked at Wolf.

"Tell them one of your jokes."

He thought for a moment.

"I have a cure for you if you have a bad cough that just won't stop. Take a laxative, then you'll be too scared to cough."

That did the trick. Next thing I knew, they were horsing around like usual. Coach Hope and Moose were both shaking their heads at Wolf and me.

When we ran out on the field to start the game, I suddenly felt nervous. The place was packed, and I saw several recruiters I recognized. I made a point to wave at the Kentucky contingent. They just smiled at me. I promptly went behind the bench and threw up.

Moose saw me and came over concerned.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, happens sometimes before a big game."

He just handed me a cup of Gatorade so I could wash my mouth out. I smiled at him.

"I'm ready."

Bill and Lou were captains today, because they were seniors. They went out and did the coin flip. I saw Cory Grant and Isaac Fellows from Washington join them at the center of the field. Washington won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. We took the ball.

Coach Stevens had the kickoff return team join him.

"Center return. Ed you try and catch it, and follow David."

We trotted out to return the kick. The Washington fans were being vocal by chanting Droid. I just waved at them and then tuned them out. The Washington kicker took his time setting up. When he was ready, the referee wound his arm to indicate the clock should start when the play started and blew his whistle. Their kicker hit a booming high floater that Ed tracked. I got about five yards in front of him and made sure he caught it.

I then spun around to see Washington flying down the field. There was a crack of pads as our wedge met their wedge busters. I saw a guy streak through a hole and start tracking Ed. I took three steps and exploded through him. Ed darted around us and tried to use the hole their guys used but it collapsed. We were first and ten at the twenty-two yard line.

It felt good to get my first hit in. It calmed me so I could focus. I got to where the huddle would be as my offensive team joined me. Kelly and Bert were our running backs. Bill, Jeff and Wolf were our wide outs and tight end. Kelly had the first play.

"Pop right," he told me.

Pop right was a quick hitting play where I lined up under center and handed off to the fullback who was lined up in the I-formation. It was meant for short yardage, but I saw the logic. If Washington was smart they would try and blitz me to keep me off balance. If we guessed right, Bert could break one with their aggressiveness.

"Bert, time to shine! Pop right on one, BREAK!"

As we lined up I looked for my keys. The safeties were in a two deep zone to prevent the long ball. The middle linebacker was creeping up into the hole where Bert was headed. I needed to change the play from right to left. I called the audible.


I then stepped under center.

"Down, Set ... Hut!" I called out.

I took the snap and turned to put the ball in Bert's gut. He took it and Tim, who was playing center, let the linebacker go. I wish he had at least slowed him down. He buried me and my head slammed on the turf. I heard the crowd get loud and I hoped it meant Bert was doing good things. I heard the whistles indicating the end of the play. Their linebacker got off of me and I took a moment to collect myself. I got up slowly. He had a grin on his face.

"I'm your worst nightmare. I will be putting you on your ass all game."

Bert had picked up fifteen yards. I jogged to the huddle acting more hurt than I was. I wanted Washington to think they had rattled me. When I got to the huddle Tim was worried.

"Sorry man. I should have bumped him."

"You think?" I said deadpan.

Everyone laughed at us. I looked over and got the play. I was surprised when I saw one of our goal line plays. What was coach thinking?

"Power I, Dive Right, on Two!"

This moved Wolf into the backfield so he was next to Bert, with Kelly lined up behind them. I looked at Washington's defense and saw they had five defensive backs. They would have trouble against our power running game. I guessed Coach knew what he was doing.

As we lined up, their middle linebacker was creeping into where the play was going. With Wolf and Bert leading the run I figured he needed a little payback.

"Down, Set ... Hut HUT!"

Wolf was first through the hole and nailed the much smaller linebacker. Wolf was six-five and weighed 235 pounds. I heard the satisfying crack of pads as I handed the ball to Kelly. Kelly was swarmed after an eight yard gain. We were now second and two on the forty-five yard line. I didn't say a word as I trotted by the prone linebacker. I reached down, and helped Wolf up.

Ed came in to replace Kelly. Ed was our speed guy, and Kelly our power runner. He gave me the play.

"Option Left."

I called the play in the huddle. Now we were lined up with me under center and a twins' backfield.

"Down, Set ... Hut!"

I put the ball in Bert's gut and saw the middle linebacker was going to close the hole, so I pulled the ball out and made my next read. The defensive end was in no man's land. I could either pitch the ball or take it myself. Coach Hope didn't like us pitching if we didn't have to. He said it increased the chances of a fumble, so I planted my outside foot and stepped up field.

I saw the outside linebacker had me dead to rights. He was closing hard so I stopped on a dime, and let him fly past me. This was where my speed training really helped. I quickly got back to full speed and scanned down field. I was going to get tackled. I decided to slide to avoid the hit. That was another thing Coach Hope had been hammering into me.

Washington had other ideas. Their safety and cornerback both led with their helmets. There were yellow flags everywhere. I jumped up and slammed the ball down.

"What the fuck!" I yelled.

I saw a hat fly, and cringed when I realized I had just messed up. I was pissed when I saw them place the ball back were we started. The referee made the call.

"Spearing on the defense. Unsportsmanlike conduct on the offense. Repeat second down."

I was even more pissed when Coach Hope called back-to-back dives that netted us zero yards. We had to punt. Our punter did a good job and pinned them inside their five yard line. I was ready to go. I wanted to make up for my mistake on offense.

During the punt, Moose took me aside.

"Get your emotions under control," Moose coached me. "This is how Coach Hope plays the game. It is about field position, and being patient. Washington is going to make a mistake. We just need to take advantage of them when they do."

Coach Hope had us in a five-two-four setup. We had a nose tackle, two defensive tackles, and two defensive ends making the front five. Jim and Wolf were playing tackle to give us size on the line. Tim and I were the linebackers. Then we had two cornerbacks and a strong and weak safety. Our strong safety was brought up to the strong side of the offense to help out with run support. This put eight men in the box, so we were strong against the run.

Washington was lined up in the I-formation. It looked like they wanted to get a little breathing room. On the snap of the ball I saw the guard double down on the nose tackle on my side. The other guard had pulled and was going to double on Wolf. They were running a trap, which meant their big fullback was going to be blocking me. I decided to ruin the play. I hit the guard and pushed him into the fullback creating a big pile right where the play was supposed to go. Tim read the play also and scraped off of my backside and was waiting for Ty as he took the hand-off. Ty, to his credit, was able to get back to the line of scrimmage.

That set the tone for the first half. Once we all settled down it turned into a defensive battle. The defensive line was dominating for each team causing the offenses to stumble. When we went into halftime everyone seemed to be down. I was about to go out of my mind, because they had not let me throw a single pass. They were wasting my talent.

When we got into the offensive coaching session at halftime, I found Bill was even more upset than I was.

"Coach, they're not even trying to cover me, anymore. The cornerbacks are cheating in to play run defense. Give me a chance," Bill pleaded.

Coach Diamond and Coach Hope just smiled at him.

"Son, we have been setting them up. Washington thinks that because we lost our varsity, we will play conservatively. We are going to change that next half," Coach Diamond assured us.

We went out with a bounce in our step for the second half. I watched helplessly as Ty took the second half kickoff and raced ninety-eight yards for the score. The Washington fans finally had something to cheer about. We were now down 7 – 0.

They kicked the ball out of bounds so we got it at our thirty-five yard line. We came out and lined up. Coach Diamond had called three plays for us. Our goal was to start to wear them out. We were confident we were in better shape than they were.

We ran a play action pass, where we faked the run. They bit on the fake big time. The only problem was that they blitzed their middle linebacker and I had to hit my hot receiver. If I had just a second more Bill would have been dancing in the end zone. Instead Wolf picked up seventeen yards and a first down.

I will give their linebacker credit. He did not miss an opportunity to hit me. I got up and ran to the line of scrimmage for the next play. Washington was taking their time. As soon as the ref placed the ball I had us in the shotgun and the ball snapped. Bill was wide open and I hit him in stride as he walked into the end zone. We were now tied 7 – 7.

It was game over. Coach Diamond let me run the hurry-up offense and the Washington defenders were gassed by the end of the third quarter. Ty kept them in the game as long as he could. He broke another long run early in the third quarter. We ended up winning 28 – 14 for the first win of the season.

Coach Crouch stopped me as we were shaking hands.

"I thought we had you at halftime," he shared.

"To be honest, I thought so, too. Then Coach Diamond told us of his plans for the second half."

"Good game, and good luck the rest of the year."

"You too, Coach."

Since it was a school night, we weren't going out after the game. I was a happy boy! We had just won a game I was sure we shouldn't have. Washington would bounce back from this loss. If we faltered at all they would be pushing us for the conference title.

Chief Editor: BlackIrish
Edited By: Askepot, and grisbuff
Proofreader: Malibu
Last One Through: Jim7

Chapter 2 »

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