Friday, December 7, 2012

ah, high school, how I loathe you

As promised, my one regret about High School. I played sports all four years of high school. As a freshman, it was just soccer. As a sophomore it was soccer and swimming, junior year it was softball and soccer, and senior year, just soccer. As you can see, I liked soccer. I started playing soccer when I was probably 6 or 7 years old. My best friends dad was her soccer coach and I wanted in. I played on some sort of team from that age till my senior year of high school.

Now I know I was not the fasted, or had the best tricks, or the strongest kicks. I knew that. I was never the star player, nor was I the worst. I was kind of right in the middle. And because I knew that, I wasn’t a ball hog, or tried to be a superstar. I was one of those team players. I had my moments of brilliance, but most of the time I was passing to someone who was open or had a better advantage.

By the time I got into high school, I was comfortable as a mid fielder. Not a striker in the front or a defender in the back. In the middle. Mid fielders are to run back and help out the defenders and run forward to help out the strikers in the front. Hence there is a lot of running involved. Part of being a mid fielder is endurance. That I had. One particular coach I had saw that in me. He saw where best I would fit within his team and knew how to exploit my skills on the field.

All that to say, on the high school team, my skill set was not desired. I got to play quite a bit as a freshman. There was no jr. varsity team at the time and we were in a division that had very poor teams. The next year, my school was moved into a tough division, and the school allowed us to have a jr. varsity team. I was put on that team as a sophomore and as a junior. I didn’t mind to much, because I got to play in every game.

Senior year. Seniors aren’t allowed to play on jr. varsity. The coach was sympathetic to the few of us seniors that were on the team since our freshman days and gave us spots on the varsity team. She sat us down at the end of try-outs and said she would give us spots, but that we were going to be bench warmers. This was the first time I should have said thanks but no thanks and walked away.

That year was spent watching from the bench, maybe playing the last 5 minutes of a game we were either loosing horribly or winning greatly. The bench warmer seniors were looked at by the rest of the team with either distain (seeing that we replaced younger, better players) or sympathy in a bad way (as in, look how sad). I felt it, and I’m sure the others did too. There was one particular game I remember. I don’t remember who we were playing, but all the seniors got to start the game, as per tradition. Our coach would then slowly pull out the senior bench warmers one by one and replace us with her starters. We were loosing the game pretty bad, so our coach started putting us bench warmers back in to let us play. One of our players who was in the sweeper position behind the defenders was getting pissed off that us bench warmers were back in the game. She yelled something to the effect of, “why are you putting these stupid people in the game, they suck”. I happen to have been standing right next to her when she said it. She looked at me and said, “well not you, you’re okay”. The coach kept us in the game but moved her to the front to keep her away from us.

That was the moment I wish I could have changed. I wish that I had had the balls to yell back at her something, instead of taking it. And I wish I would have walked off the field, handed my jersey to my coach, and walked away from that season and that team. But I didn’t. I stayed. I finished the season, and put up with being dissatisfied.

I haven’t played ever since. There was one other time that year when a lot of the players, one in particular voiced their displeasure of me being on the team, and that was when the yearbooks came out. I got pictured in the yearbook. I overheard this one particular person get all in a hissy that someone like me got featured and not her who was a star player. I shrugged it off at the time, but it hurt. It's the picture at the top of this post.

So there it is. I wish I had not played on the team my senior year. I enjoyed playing the first three years. I liked my coach... I didn’t like the assistant coach. He may have been another reason why I didn’t get a chance to play much. He had his favorites. His players from his league team. The high school team was made up of so called stars. Mostly they were ball hogging, glory seeking, whiney bitches. And I didn’t fit that mold. So glad I didn’t fit that mold.

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