He Shoots. He Scores!

at 11:35 PM

"He shoots. He scores!"  

That's what you want to hear at basketball or soccer games. But no one has ever said that about me. In practices I've scored a couple goals, but never in a game.  

It was the last game of the season. We were down 2-1. Everything is happening on the other end of the field. The wind is blowing. But then I hear it. The kick. Loud and sharp. The ball is soaring right towards me. This is my chance. I have to take it. My couch. My dad. My teammates. They all say, "Run!" and run is what I do, straight towards the other goal.

I think how proud my dad will be if I make this goal. I have to make this goal. For him, for my team and mostly for me.  

Swerve right, swerve left. I'm getting there. I get past the forwards. The crowd is cheering. I have two more lines of defense to get through. I swerve left, then right. They don't know what to do. I run faster now. Instead of swerving, I run straight. I surprise even myself about what I am accomplishing.

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I hear my dad in the crowd: "Run, baby girl, run!"
      
All that is left between me and the goal is her. Number 72. Tall as a skyscraper, almost growling at me. I step back. My foot hits the ball. As the ball is flying through the air it seems as if the world has stopped. The wind has stopped. I have stopped. The ball is about to go in when I see the terror-filled eyes of this girl in the goal. It seems that if this ball could go in, it would make her cry. But there is no mercy in her. She reaches up and tips the ball. Now I'm going to cry as the ball goes over the goal and the game is over.  

When I left the field I was congratulated. I thought it was some sick joke that they were playing. But everyone was saying I did great. I didn't realize then what I know now. You'll never think you did well enough. But when you push yourself, it's the effort that counts, not the score. Even though I never got to hear "He shoots, he scores!" I can, and I will, try again soon.
      
With a Perspective, I'm Lily Walovich.

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Lily Walovich is 13 years old and an eighth grader at Alameda Community Learning Center, an East Bay charter school.
 

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