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Hidden Opportunities Erik Bissell

Three minutes left in the game... Kreg used all of his energy to jump to get a head on a beautiful cross put in by his teammate. His opponent had no intention of letting him score. As a matter of fact, he had no intention of even going for the ball. He wanted to take Kreg out hard and fast, making sure he couldn’t get up afterwards. They both went up, soon Kreg was put on the ground. “Ah, you’re finally awake,” spoke a man in a white lab coat. Kreg was so groggy that he could barely keep his eyes open. It didn't help that the light in the room felt like the devil burning out his retinas, and someone playing drums on his head. Soon enough Kreg’s eyes slipped close; he fell into a deep slumber. Kreg’s eyes opened once more because his bladder was about to explode with more force than the atom bomb on Nagasaki. Kreg swung his legs around and placed them on the floor. As hopped off of the bed, he collapsed. Kreg thought to himself, Why can’t I hold my own body weight. Within moments there were three nurses helping Kreg back up. “ What do you think you are doing trying to walking with a torn ACL?” asked one of the nurses sternly. “What do you mean by torn ACL, I thought I thought I was here for a concussion”. “Well that too, you tore it at your soccer game a couple hours ago” In that moment, Kreg knew that his bladder was the least of his problems.

“Here I have your MRI results,” proclaimed the orthopedist as he opened up a manilla folder,”I am sorry to inform you that you have torn your ACL and PCL, that is why you can’t walk at all. Normally, when someone tears their ACL they can still walk because their PCL holds their knee in place. I haven’t seen such a large tear in someone your age in a long, long time. Your recovery may take up to a year.” A single tear rolled down Kreg’s cheek. What will I do if I can’t play soccer. It has always taken up all my time. I guess the bright side is I will always get a good night’s sleep. “MOM,” Kreg shouted as he bursted through the door sweating,” I just ran a mile in 10 minutes!” “That’s great honey. Soon you will be able to play soccer ag-” Her sentence was interrupted by a beep coming from the computer indicating an email. I regret to inform you all that we will not be having a team this spring as many people have left the team to go to national teams and that we have multiple injuries. We wish the best of luck to those who have already found new teams, and to those who need to find teams now. -Aviv Kreg was unable to talk. Once he was almost fully recovered his team broke up. Just my luck. Now I can’t even be recruited to a national team because I haven’t played in 5 months, so my touch is awful. Kreg spent a restless,sleepless night trying to figure out what he would do about this situation.

“ Hey bro, wanna come to my lax game tonight at seven?” “Sure, not like I have anything better to do”. “C’mon man, you can’t keep dwelling on this soccer thing forever. You’ll figure it out eventually.” “ Yeah, I guess. Aight, man, See ya’ at 7. Gotta go”. After the lacrosse game, Kreg wandered onto the field and picked up a stick. He started messing around with some friends, throwing the ball back and forth. “Hey, you aren’t that bad at lacrosse” concluded Kreg’s friend, Jon,” Why don’t you play” Kreg gave Jon the same look he had the last time this came up.”Right, Soccer. Go take a shot” “Aight,man.” Kreg took the ball and fired a shot from 15 yards out, and it landed top right corner. “You sure you have never played lacrosse before. That was a sick shot”. Jon’s coach walked over. “ Hey, Kreg, is it? I’m having try-outs in a couple weeks. You should come by. You could go far in this sport. Here is my number. Gimme a call if you are interested” “Ok, I’ll talk to my mom about it” . “Mom, I don’t need an Under Armour”. “Yes you do. It’s cold outside”. “No, I’ll be fine” Kreg stated. “Ahhh, glad you could make it, Kreg,” announced the coach.

“I’m glad I could be here, Coach,” spoke Kreg as he firmly shook the coach’s hand. Kreg then shuffled over to the sideline. He chatted with Jon as they put on their gear. “Everyone bring it in,” stated the coach, indicating the start of the tryout. At the end of the session, the coach congratulated Kreg on a very impressive tryout. Kreg had exceeded Jon’s, the coach’s, and even his own expectations. Assuming he made the team, this was going to be a great season for Kreg. 19-0. Number 1 in the state. Kreg took his team from being number nine in the county to one in the state. It was the State Finals. The winner would go to regionals then onto nationals. Kreg is now the starting center midfielder on one of the best teams in the country after playing for less than one season. With three minutes left in the 4th quarter, Kreg knew he had to put it upon himself to win this game. Two minutes to score two goals to tie it at three to go to a braveheart, easy. Kreg won the ball in his half, and quickly brought it up the field. He faked to his left mid, and passed to Jon on the right. Jon knew exactly what Kreg was thinking, He charged right at the goal. He drew 2 defenders to him, then immediately passed it to the X-man, James. James received it and quickly released it, giving it back to Kreg. The ball went over the net into Kreg’s stick. Kreg stepped into it and fired it. The same way he did on that first day with Jon. Top right corner. 2-2

One minute left. Just stop them from scoring. Just stop them from scoring. That’s all you need to do. You can beat anyone in a braveheart. Kreg realized that #17 was walking through his defense. Well can’t let that happen. Kreg went all out towards him. He was about to unload. Kreg reached out as far as he could with his stick and took out 17’s legs. Kreg got sent off. Kreg’s coach started to rage at him for taking someone out so dirty. Kreg just laughed under his helmet. He knew his coach was just doing this to make it seem like he was mad, and that it was wrong for Kreg to do that. Underneath they both knew that it was a good foul, and knew it was the right play. The final whistle blew. Kreg prepared himself for the braveheart. Kreg won the faceoff. He was shoulder to shoulder with none other than number 17. He was out to get Kreg because of the play at the end of regulation. Kreg stopped running. Number 17 collapsed. He was leaning so far into Kreg that when he stopped number 17 just fell. Now Kreg only had to beat the keeper. Kreg took a deep breath. Let’s do this. Kreg let his shot fly. Kreg never even saw the ball enter the net. To him as soon as he shot his teammates were on top him. Kreg and his team were off to nationals, all because Kreg tore his ACL just 9 short months ago.

Hidden opportunities  
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