In mid October, the sun was starting to set in northern Texas, and the lights of the football field were starting to flicker on. The top two teams in 5A Texas High School Football were playing, The Dallas Stars and The Houston Rockets. The two teams were in the locker room getting ready for the state championship. The quarterback for the Dallas Stars, Bryce Petty, was the number one rated quarterback in the country. He had scouts coming to look at him from Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Baylor and many other football oriented division one colleges. He had already been on the cover of October’s edition of Sports Illustrated and had interviews with reporters after each game.
Bryce was day dreaming, thinking about going back to the small town that he called his home after winning the state title. Then, he abruptly snapped out of the dream, and his best friend, Calvin Johnson, the all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards in the whole state of Texas, was asking him if he was ready to go to the field for pre-game warm-ups. Calvin Johnson was the sixth-rated ESPN Top 100 prospect for Wide Receivers in the country. Bryce flew threw warm-ups then realized there was only five minutes till kick-off. He started feeling the pre-game butterflies that seemed to float in his stomach right before a big game.
The score was tied 7-7 heading into the second quarter; then Bryce threw a bomb to Calvin for a 62-yard touchdown. Going into halftime the Dallas Stars were up 21-7. Coach Arnold told them to keep up the intensity and stick to your responsibility. It was the middle of the third quarter when Coach Arnold told Bryce to run a 38 Bootleg; Bryce snapped the ball and faked it to the fullback and rolled out to his right that’s when he saw the 320-pound lineman charging at him. He felt himself slam into the suddenly rock hard green turf. Then he felt a sharp pain in his right knee and next the force of the three hundred pounds that felt like an elephant crush his knee. The medical staff rushed toward Bryce now lying limp on the field. As soon as the medical staff checked out his knee, Bryce knew that his knee was in bad condition. The thoughts of his football career being over raced through his mind. They hauled him off the field on a bright yellow stretcher and headed straight to the hospital. Bryce looked back at his teammates faces and saw the white in their faces.
Bryce woke up in a white hospital room that smelled of chlorine and Band-Aids. He tried to remember what had happened and remembered bits and pieces. He tried to get out of bed and a surge of pain arose from his knee all the way to his thigh. His mom and dad rushed in with tears in their eyes and asked him if everything was okay. He said everything was fine and he was ready to go play football again. His mom instantly started crying and telling him that he tore his ACL and he might not even get to play ever again. Bryce felt a sudden wave of heat over his body and everything went black.
He woke up in his own bed with a set of chrome crutches leaning at his bedside. He felt his leg and found it wrapped in layers of medical tape. His mom was awaiting him at the dining room table with a plate of bacon and eggs sitting on the table. He scarfed down his bacon and eggs then went to his closet and grabbed his coat because his mom told him that they were going to the Myrtle Rehab Center in Texas. When he arrived at the Medical Center he was devastated, there was people with casts and braces everywhere and they all stared at him like he was the new kid at school. He walked into the Gym and met his personal trainer named Mr. Miyagi. He had black hair and very dark skin with blue eyes. His mom left to go to the grocery store while he stayed here and trained with Mr. Miyagi.
They started off by doing squats; Bryce could only do five before the pain in his knee was too much. They then started jumping rope, doing push-ups, sit-ups and jumping jacks. They did the same routine everyday for three months from nine to eleven. He went to the doctor for his three-month check-up, and the doctor told him that he didn’t have to use crutches anymore. Then he came back with a bulky black knee brace and carefully slid it on Bryce’s knee. Bryce had to wear it everywhere he went to the mall, the grocery store, even to the bathroom.
Six months later Bryce nervously paced the waiting room of Doctor Hurter’s office. This was the day that decided his future and the rest of his football career. Dr. Hurter slowly walked into Bryce’s waiting room and smiled as he said
“Ready to start playing football again Bryce”?
Bryce sighed in relief and felt the concrete bricks lift off his shoulders. He thanked Dr. Hurter and sprinted to his mom’s pearl white Chevy Tahoe. He then called the head coach of the Baylor Bears and asked when try outs were; Coach Briles said that they were looking forward to meeting with him and tryouts were tomorrow. Bryce went home and quickly went outside and started throwing a football with his little brother Bryan.
Bryce woke up to a blaring alarm and felt the butterflies start to float in his stomach again right before the most important day of his life. He got out of bed and ate some toast and drank some orange juice. Then he started doing his routine stretching and then jumped in the car and drove to The Baylor Football field. Coach Briles had him start throwing and taking snaps. He hit four throws right in a row and impressed the coaching staff with his work ethic. The next day Bryce woke up to his phone buzzing; he checked his phone and he had a text from Coach Briles Bryce read it aloud to himself, ”Welcome to the University of the Baylor”.