They say everyone has a double, a doppelganger, someone who’s their mirror image. What if you just met your double? What if you were a thirteen-year-old kid who’s gay and you just met your double?
We didn’t have early practice on Thursday because of the scrimmage Wednesday afternoon. That meant that I got an extra hour and a half of sleep. Despite what Todd had said, I didn’t feel sore at all. I had a couple scrapes and one cut, but they were minor.
When we got to school Heather attacked me and Todd as soon as we got to the campus. She’d been waiting for us at the main entrance on Eastgate.
“You guys aren’t putting in enough time on the election. Let me rephrase that. You guys aren’t putting in any time on the election. I might be your campaign manager, but that doesn’t mean I do all the work. You two are going to spend the weekend — that’s the entire weekend, both days — working with me on your election campaign. Capiche?”
I looked at Todd. He shrugged his shoulders and nodded.
“Okay. When and where?” I asked.
“My house, nine o’clock in a.m. Saturday morning. Snacks, sodas, and lunch will be provided.”
“Nine o’clock? In the morning?” Todd said. “You gotta be kidding. Tony has his first game Friday after school. He’s going to be totally worn out and sore. Give him a break. Make it… what?” He looked at me.
“Eleven,” I said.
“Eleven o’clock, in the morning,” Todd said.
“If it’s eleven in the morning you’re going to have to come back after you eat dinner and we’ll work for two hours.”
“Okay,” I said. “You realize that you’re not giving us any time to do our homework.”
“You’ll have Sunday evening to do that. Or Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening. Or even all day Sunday. It all depends on how much we get done on Saturday. I have a list of everything we need to do. Here are two copies, one for each of you. Let’s talk about it at lunch. Now I’ve got to get to an election committee meeting.” She left us standing there, looking at a three page list of things that had to be done for our election campaign.
“Woof! That’s a lot of stuff to finish in one day,” I said.
The rest of the morning went by in a blur until Chorus. In Chorus we practiced the chorals we would perform in our Christmas Concert. I realized that I’d been tense all morning, and I found singing very relaxing. I came away smiling.
David bumped my shoulder on the way out of the classroom.
“You seem pretty happy, Tony.”
“I am. We have our first game tomorrow and I guess I started getting stressed about it. Singing relaxed me.”
“It does the same for me, even though I haven’t been stressed. So where is your game?”
“Here, in the football stadium. It’s after school, and starts at three thirty. We’re playing Campo.”
“Do you think you’ll win?”
“I don’t know. This is our first game. And Campo’s, too. So it’s gotta be called a toss-up. You going to come to see the freshman team play?”
“Yeah. Why not? I don’t have anything to do after school tomorrow. You get much of a crowd… hey, forget that. How would you know? It’s your first game. Anyway, I will be there to cheer you guys. And I’ll sing the national anthem along with you guys at the start of the game.”
“I forgot about that. I guess we would sing the national anthem, wouldn’t we. Cool.”
“Do you know the words?”
“Yup. We had to memorize it when I was in elementary school, and we sang it every morning when we lined up to go into the building. Unless it was raining.”
“Geez, I forgot about that. The each class lining up thing in elementary school.” David started laughing.
“When I was in the first and second grades we were good little kids and did what we were told. When we got to the third grade we weren’t very cooperative about lining up. So they said for every minute we were late they’d take that time off of recess. We became very cooperative after a few days of that rule taking effect.” He grinned.
“We were always good about lining up. We had monitors making sure we lined up and did it right. Where’d you go to elementary school?” I asked.
“We lived in Sacramento. I went to Two Rivers Elementary School. Then when I was in the fifth grade we moved here. I like it here a lot better. Cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.”
We got to the cafeteria and got in line. I asked for the football team lunch; David got the taco salad.
“What’s the football team lunch,” he asked.
“Lots of high quality protein, healthy fats like olive oil, lots of veggies, less sugar and fewer carbs, and no junk food.”
David looked at his lunch. “Guess this doesn’t fit your diet, does it?”
“No. But it sure looks good!” I replied, and we laughed.
“See you in chorus tomorrow,” he said.
“See you,” I responded. I walked back to our regular table.
At lunch there were several topics of conversation. First, the election. Heather, of course, started that one.
“You guys have to help Todd and Tony win the election for Freshman Class President and Vice President. Most important is for you to get kids in your homerooms to vote for them. And vote yourselves, too.”
Scott smirked. “Vote early and vote often!” he said.
Heather got real upset. “This isn’t a silly game, Scott. This is an important election. We need to have a president and vice president who will help our class accomplish things that are important for Wilson High School.”
“Like what?” Gary asked.
“First, adequate funding for clubs and organizations for the freshman class. Second, planning and scheduling the freshman class dances. Third, participating in the planning for pep rallies with the sophomore, junior, and senior class officers. Fourth, supporting freshman class teams, like the freshman football team and the freshman basketball team, in addition to supporting the varsity teams. Fifth, attending all of the student body officers’ meetings and reporting back to the freshman class about what has been decided and what’s important for the freshman class. Sixth, provide a Helping Hand Team for current students and newbies. Seventh….”
Gary interrupted. “Enough! You should give that to us in writing. It’s way too much to try to remember.”
“Okay, okay,” Heather said. “Next week we’ll have a manifesto with the things our class should accomplish, should support, and should change. We’ll had those out to all of you to give out in your homeroom classes.”
Frank sat next to me, so he leaned over and whispered, “Should I mention the freshman class prank?”
“No!” I whispered back. “We gotta plan that just among ourselves. Heather would have a fit if we suggested doing something like that.”
“How do we support the freshman teams?” Linda asked.
“Good question,” Heather said. “Go to the pep rallies, go to as many freshman games as you can and cheer for our team.”
“When’s the election?” Brian asked.
“September nineteenth. That’s a Friday.”
“When do we learn who’s won?”
“The following Monday. That’s the twenty-second.”
“How come it took so long after school started before we’re having the election?” Parker asked.
“It’s so everyone can get to know who the candidates are. The officers are elected for the full school year, not just for the semester.”
“Who are running against Todd and Tony?”
Heather pulled a binder out of her book bag, opened it, and read off the list of names. There were three other candidates for Freshman Class President, and two other candidates for Freshman Class Vice President.
“I’ve never heard of any of them,” Brian said.
“I know Raymond Petrie,” Gary said. “He’s an okay guy. He’s in a couple of my classes. Thing is, I’m not sure how much time he could put into being president. He’s into a lot of extracurricular stuff like Junior Statesmen and a bunch of clubs. Anyway, Todd and Tony have my votes.”
Several others knew the candidates. The other two candidates for president and one of the candidates for vice president were girls. The one they talked about the most was Loren Ellerbe, one of my competitors for vice president.
“Loren’s on the pep squad,” Bethany said. “She’s a real bobble head, if you ask me. She’s in my World Geography and English classes, and how she’s going to pass without having to take them over in summer school I have no idea.”
“Yeah, she’s in my Spanish 1 class and she never has her homework, always has an excuse that she’s been too busy with the pep squad. Ms. Markham told her that if she didn’t post her homework on the Blackboard system by midnight last night she would get a zero for that assignment. She told her that right in class, in front of the rest of us. Loren was really embarrassed, so I assume she got it turned in.”
We heard the first bell and dropped off our trays and several of us headed to our Spanish 3 class. I realized that we hadn’t talked to Heather about her list of election activities during lunch. I found it funny that she forgot, and I was chuckling about it.
She looked at me. “So, what’s so funny?”
“You forgot about talking to us about that election task list you gave us this morning.”
“I didn’t forget. I decided that now that we’re all big-time high school students, you should be able to take responsibility for things without me nagging you. If either you or Todd have questions, call me tonight and ask. But don’t call after ten.”
“Sounds like a plan,” I said.
“I agree,” Todd said.
“Hey, Heather, you coming to our Campo game tomorrow afternoon?” I asked.
“If by ‘our Campo game’ you mean the freshman game, yes. If you mean the varsity game Friday night, yes to that too.”
“That’s great. I’ll wave to you when I see you in the stands.”
Heather laughed. “As if you’ll be able to pick me out of the crowd.”
“I’m not sure there’ll be a crowd,” I said. “I think the freshman games don’t get a very big crowd.”
“Well, I’ll be there and if I see you waving at me I’ll wave back. Are you going to the varsity game Friday night?”
“Yeah, Todd and I’ll be there. Coach Kavanaugh wants us to go to all of the varsity games as part of our learning strategies the teams use on both offense and defense.”
“That sounds like a good idea. Did you go to the San Ramon Valley and Valley Christian games?”
“No. They were both away games and I had other things to do. That’s around the time when Todd and I found out we were cousins. The last thing on my mind was finding a ride to a football game in San Ramon or Livermore. Did you go to those games?”
“Yes, both of them. They were exciting games, and we won both of them.”
“Yeah, that’s why the varsity is in fifth place in the North Coast Section rating.”
“Do they rank the freshman teams?”
“That’s a good question. I don’t know. I’ll try to remember to ask Coach.”
Spanish 3 and Biology were — well, they were Spanish 3 and Biology. In other words, same-as, same-as.
In PE we put on our practice uniforms, and then Coach ran us through some drills, especially things he saw in the scrimmage where we needed to improve. I concentrated on my spin moves to get away from being tackled.
I came away from the practice with the impression that Coach Kavanaugh was happy with our performance. I hoped that would help us in the game against Campo Friday afternoon.
We were in the poetry segment in my Creative Writing class. I struggled with the assignment she had us work on in class. Ms. Porzio wrote a list of forms of poetry on the board. We were to pick two of them and write a short poem in one form, then the same poem in the other. She gave us some examples. I am so not into poetry. I’ll never be a poet. But this was the exercise so I picked prose form and pantoum. I picked pantoum because it can be short, it doesn’t have to rhyme but it can, and she said it could have as few as four four-line stanzas. The second and fourth lines of each stanza are used as the first and third lines of the next stanza, but they can be changed a little.
Because it’s more complicated I decided to write the pantoum first. Sort of like this example I scribbled in my notebook:
I like boys
When they are short or tall
And are cute
Wandering in the mall
When they are short or tall
I can look at them all day
Wandering in the mall
And wonder if they are gay
I can look at them all day
Wishing they’d smile at me
And wonder if I am gay
Hoping that I would be
Wishing they’d smile at me
They keep their poise
Hoping that I would see
They too like boys
I decided it was pretty bad, but hey, it was my first poem and it was a pantoum which is very hard to write. Then I wondered what Ms. Porzio would think about a poem written about a gay boy, written in first person. She’d probably assume it was about me.
I remembered a story I read by an English author. There was this phrase: ‘in for a penny, in for a pound.’ I think it applied to my poem and whether I’d be outing myself. There was another phrase, ‘Go for it!’ So that’s what I decided to do.
Now I needed to write the prose form. That was easier to write now that I had my pantoum written:
I like boys when they are short or tall and are cute, and wonder if they are gay.
I can look at them wandering in the mall all day, wishing they would smile at me
and wonder if I am gay, hoping that I would be, hoping that I would see, they too like boys.
Okay, I wasn’t satisfied with either poem. But I’m so not a poet, so these are what I decided to turn in. I titled the pantoum “I like Boys One” and the the prose form “I Like Boys Too” and my titles made me laugh. As the class ended I worried about turning them in. On the way out I added my paper to the stack on her desk. That made it a done deal; no going back. “Stop thinking about it, Tony!” I thought to myself, and thinking about thinking about it also made me laugh.
I waited for Todd at the main entrance to Wilson High. He and Brian showed up, and we walked to Todd’s house — which was now going to be my house too, if only temporarily.
Aunt Nora asked if we wanted a snack.
“Sure,” Todd said. “I can get it. What do we have?”
“Chips and salsa, peanut butter, cheese and crackers, fruit, baby carrots, and celery. Sodas, juice, and milk. Pick whatever you’d like.”
“Thanks, mom,” Todd said. He asked us what we wanted. Brian and I told him and I helped him get it organized. I picked the carrots and celery with a diet ginger ale.
“So Tony, you excited about your first football game tomorrow afternoon?” Brian asked.
“Yeah, I am. Should be fun. And interesting.”
“Interesting?” Aunt Nora asked.
“Sure. It’s my first game and it’ll be interesting to see if I can remember everything I’ve been taught when I’m on the field actually facing an opponent.”
“You’ll also learn things about football that you didn’t know before,” Todd said.
“Yeah, that makes sense,” I said.
“How can you eat that stuff?” Brian asked.
I opened my mouth and took a bite of celery and chewed it with my eyes closed.
“Mmm… delicious!” I said.
“Yuck!” Brian said.
Todd and Aunt Nora laughed.
“These are wholesome vegetables. Good carbs come from eating this instead of junk food and sweets. This is part of the football team training diet,” I said.
“How do you stick to a healthy diet eating in the cafeteria?” Aunt Nora asked.
“We have a special football team lunch each day. I always get it. It’s real good with lots of protein and veggies. Lots better than the usual cafeteria food. The booster club gives money to the school to pay for the extra cost of the diet. Anyone on a sports team can order it.”
“Are they required to have that special lunch?” she asked.
“No, but as far as I know the guys on the football teams all pick the team lunch. Like today, we had tri-tip which is like a steak, broccoli and green beans, a salad with lettuce, tomatoes, and lots of raw vegetables, and bread pudding for dessert.”
“Bread pudding doesn’t sound like a diet food,” Todd said.
“This was. The menu said it had multi-grain whole wheat bread, eggs, yogurt, fresh cranberries, and it was sweetened with real maple syrup.”
“That sounds good, Tony,” Aunt Nora said.
“Yeah, it was,” I said. “The recipes they use are on the school website. You can print it and fix it yourself.”
“I think I will. Where do I go when I get on the school website?”
“Put ‘sports team menus’ in the search box, and when you get to the page you can pick what you want to go to, like desserts.”
I looked at Brian. “So what do you think now?”
“It sounds good, especially the steak and the bread pudding. Can I get that in the cafeteria?”
“I’m not sure. You can ask when you have lunch tomorrow. It might cost more if you don’t have a sports team ID because yours wouldn’t be subsidized by the booster club.”
“It’s probably worth it,” Todd said. “The regular food isn’t that good.”
“Yeah,” Brian agreed, “the taco salad today was real greasy and it wasn’t spicy enough for me. I didn’t finish it.”
“Well, we’d better get going on our homework and reviewing Heather’s list of chores,” Todd said.
So that’s what we did.
I woke up Friday morning a couple minutes before Todd. Since it was a game day, the team didn’t have morning practice. Todd and I showered, dressed, and had breakfast, then walked to school.
I didn’t pay attention in my morning classes, but none of my teachers caught on. In English I asked Frank to tell everyone at our regular table that since we were having a game today I’d have lunch with the team. Frank said he thought that was a good idea.
During lunch we talked about how little we knew about Campo’s freshman team.
“Guys,” Jacob Rummel said, “we should remember that Campo doesn’t know anything about us, either. All we can do is go out there and do our best.” Jacob is our team captain, and he always says motivational stuff like that.
“Does anyone here have relatives or friends who go to any of the schools that we play?” Darryl Chiu asked.
“I have friends from middle school who are at Lehman now. But I’ve sort of lost contact with them. Why, do you want us to dig up information about their freshman football teams?” I asked.
“Exactly,” Darryl replied.
“Don’t bother,” Jacob said. “By the time we play these other teams we’ll know about them. Coach York is scheduled to scout each of our next opponents’ games. So this week he’s going to the freshman game between Del Rio and College Park. Then next week he’ll go to Lehman’s game with Frontier. And so on. He writes up a scouting report on our opponents so we know what their playing style is like. We get two for one unless our opponent is playing a non-league game.”
“What about us? Are we being scouted by the other teams?” Parker asked.
“I don’t know. I suppose so. Ask Coach Kavanaugh, maybe he knows.”
Seventh and eighth periods Coach Kavanaugh held a team meeting. He went over our game plan, the voice and motion codes for the plays, and confirming the starting lineup. Then he opened it up for questions. I raised my hand.
“Coach, Jacob told us that Coach York is scouting our opponents. Are they scouting us?”
“Yes, we expect that they will scout the freshman, JV, and, of course, the varsity games the week prior to our game with their team. That’s what we do, and it’s pretty standard in the NCS.”
Parker raised his hand.
“Does Coach York do all the scouting by himself?”
“No, he has a group of volunteers from the booster club and some Wilson students who aren’t on the football team to assist him.”
I raised my hand again.
“Coach, my uncle is here and will be making a video of the game. He got your okay to do that. Some of the guys already know about it. I wanted to be sure the rest of the team was clued in.”
“I’m almost sorry you said anything about it. I don’t want any prima donnas to be on the field trying to impress a video camera instead of paying attention to the game. This video isn’t going to end up on YouTube, it’s not going to be on TV, and it’s not going to be in any movie theaters. We will get a copy which we’ll show at our seventh period practice on Monday. We’re going to use it to see if it can be an effective teaching tool. I’m sure it’s going to show all of the screwups you guys do on the field, and all of the good plays too. We’ll be showing both good and bad plays and good and bad performances. Then we’ll be able to talk about how to improve our plays and improve our performances.”
Jacob got up from where he sat in the first row and turned to look at us.
“Okay, guys, let’s get to the locker room, get your uniforms and equipment, and get suited up. Now how about a big Wilson High cheer!”
We did the cheer, three times, then ran out of the classroom to the locker room. We got into our game pads and uniforms, went out on the field and did our pregame stretching and exercises. Then we prepped for the game, trying out some of our plays and making sure we knew what we were supposed to do.
The Campo team ran out onto the field and began their stretches and prepping for the game. They looked to be about the same size guys as on our team. No six foot four, two hundred fifty pound players on their team. Or ours. Of course, we had our secret weapon. Ryan Wong was five foot ten and weighed two hundred fifteen pounds. Working with the Coaches he’d lost a lot of flab and built up his muscles, and that resulted in an impressive set of pecs. Ryan alternated between tackle on defense and guard or center on offense. Coach Kavanaugh planned on using him about half of the playing time in each game so he’d always be fresh. I noticed that he had excess padding around his waist. That padding made me laugh. It made him look fat around the middle, and seeing him in the showers the past few days I knew he wasn’t fat. I think Campo was being lured into thinking he was just a big flabby guy. They were in for a big surprise.
The game started at three thirty. There were three officials, two who looked like college students. Later I found out they were taking the Sports Officiating course at the community college. The other official was from the CIF North Coast Section.
The school pep band played and the chorale singers sang the national anthem and we all sang along. Then they played and sang our school song. I felt embarrassed that I didn’t know the tune or the words. Whatever.
We lost the coin toss and Campo selected to receive. Marjory Stakker was our kicker. Yes, a girl. She was from Australia and had played soccer and Australian Rules football, which was sort of like a mix of soccer and rugby but in my opinion a lot more violent. Since Wilson didn’t have either Australian Rules football or rugby teams, she showed up at practice one day and showed us how she could kick.
She ran out onto the field. Campo didn’t notice that she was a girl at first, but someone caught on and their fans started hooting and making derisive comments. She just smiled and waved to the crowd.
Her kickoff was one of the longest I’d ever seen. It actually went through the uprights. It gave Campo the ball on the 20 yard line, but if it had been an attempted field goal we would have gotten 3 points.
On Campo’s first play from scrimmage I watched their quarterback to see where he was looking and where his feet were pointed when he got set to pass. Then I looked where their receivers were going. As he released the ball I ran in front of the receiver, set and jumped at just the right time and was able to intercept the pass. I secured the ball and as I came down I jigged around one of their defensive backs and was able to get to the 7 yard line before I was tackled by their left end.
I came off the field with the rest of our defense and our offense took over. Ryan Wong played center, and he opened up a huge hole in the middle of the Campo defensive line allowing Cameron, who was the starting quarterback, to go through to the end zone. Marjory kicked the point after touchdown and we led 7 to 0.
Coach Kavanaugh wanted me in on defense for a while, and that was fine with me. I made one other interception and recovered a fumble and ran it back for a touchdown. Campo only got two first downs; most of their possessions were three-and-outs where they couldn’t get at least ten yards and a first down in three plays, so they had to punt. By halftime the score was 28 to 0 and we ran to our locker room for a few minutes of R&R and to hear what Coach Kavanaugh’s plan was for the second half.
“We receive the kickoff to open the second half,” he said. “We’re going to have Jiago in at quarterback and Ricardo at fullback. Tony and Cameron will be our wingbacks, Tony on the left and Cameron on the right. DeMarcus and Parker will be our tight ends, DeMarcus on the left and Parker on the right. We’ve practiced this setup and saw how it could work during our scrimmage with the JV’s. Jiago, you’re going to decide which way to toss or handoff the ball. You’re also going to decide whether you want to pass or not. Use play set gamma. If I think you should change the play set, I’ll let you know by having a substitute come in and he’ll tell you.
“If we’re ahead by 35 points or more at the end of the third quarter, the mercy rule will apply and the clock will go to non-stop mode. Then we can end the game sooner. I’d like to rest before I go watch the varsity teams play their games. So what do you guys think?”
“35 points or more!” we shouted.
We shouted “No!” and then did our team cheer three times and ran out onto the field.
I’d been so focused on the game that I hadn’t looked at our stands. When we got back on the field I saw Heather and David. They were sitting together, which surprised me. They were waving, so I waved back.
The Campo kickoff, which was the first time they’d kicked the ball in a game against another team, only made it as far as our 45 yard line. I wondered if they were trying to get us to muff the reception, sort of like an onside kick, but we didn’t. DeMarcus fielded the ball and ran to the Campo 32 yard line. Then it took four plays to get into the end zone. Marjory kicked the PAT and the score was 35 to 0. But third period had just started and the non-stop rule wouldn’t apply until fourth period started.
We scored once more. I went out on a pass play and Cameron found me with a perfectly thrown pass right to my chest. I was too fast for the Campo defenders and made it to the end zone untouched. The score was 41 to 0. Marjorie kicked the PAT and made it 42 to 0. Coach called a timeout and we got together at the sideline.
“We have enough points, guys. I’m going to let the second and third stringers play the rest of the game along with a few of the starters. Treat this like it’s an extended scrimmage and a learning experience.”
Jacob turned to face the rest of us. “We don’t need to score against these guys. They put up a good fight but we’re better prepared and better players. We won’t fake it, but we’re not going to press to score again.”
We all shouted and clapped our hands together three times to show we agreed, and the guys picked to play went out on the field. That didn’t include me or Cameron or Parker or Jiago. It was obvious that we could move the ball at will, and we did but we sort of forced a few three-and-outs so Marjory could practice her punting.
Campo scored a touchdown, and we didn’t let them do it. They did it with great running. Their receiver took one of Marjory’s punts at the 22 yard line and ran it back for a TD. They made the PAT and the score was 42 to 7.
At the end of the third quarter the official blew his whistle and announced that the clock would now go to non-stop because we were 35 points ahead. That gave Campo an incentive to score so the clock could go back to regular timing. We had an incentive to prevent that from happening.
I was in for three plays during the fourth quarter. Coach wanted Mark Wicks, the third team quarterback, to get practice passing. He was good. He put the ball right in the receiver’s stomach on every one of his five tries, including two I caught. Coach pulled me out and let a third stringer go in.
I walked up to Coach Kavanaugh. “Coach, when we need accurate passing, I say put Mark in. Jiago and Cameron are great quarterbacks for running plays and pitching the ball to us wing backs. But Mark is spot-on the best passer we’ve got.”
Jiago was standing there listening to what I said. “Coach, Tony’s right. I don’t like to pass. For one thing I’m too short. I like to set up and execute running plays. Mark is the man for passing plays.” He looked at Cameron. “I think Cam will say the same thing. Other than the being too short part.”
Cameron laughed. He was six feet tall and slender, more like a basketball player. “I might not be as short as Jiago, but I agree with him. I like the running plays. Jiago and I can pass to keep the defense honest, but if we run into a team that can defend the run, put Mark in because he’s the best when we need to switch to a passing offense.”
Coach looked at us. “Okay, I’ll consider your suggestion. Let’s see what Coach York tells us on Monday about Del Rio High’s freshman team and how our practice sessions go this week.”
With about 3 minutes to go we had Campo backed up to their own 2 yard line. Their quarterback stepped back to pass but we had all of their receivers covered, and he had no one to pass to and nowhere to run. Evan Carmody, our left tackle, could have sacked him for a safety. I guess Evan figured there would be no good reason to embarrass their team for 2 points, so he ‘slipped’ on the turf and fell down, and the Campo quarterback was able to run out of the end zone to the 3 yard line. They punted and we started a series of running plays, none of which gained much yardage, just enough to get a couple first downs so we wouldn’t have to punt.
With the non-stop clock the fourth quarter ended quickly and we came away with a 42-7 win. We were elated. What a great way to start our freshman football season!
Thanks to Cole Parker for editing A Time When It All Went Wrong
There are a lot of American football terms in this story. Not everyone, especially those of you who don’t live in North America, will understand them. Fortunately, the internet can come to your rescue.
There’s a quick introduction to American football with pictures at http://myfootballmentor.com/category/football-basics/.
Wikipedia has a glossary of American football terms at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_American_football and I recommend it as a source to reduce confusion.
There’s an image of a American high school football field with dimensions at http://www.sportsknowhow.com/football/field-dimensions/high-school-football-field-dimensions.html.
If you're not interested in football, you can skip these links. Tony would understand, and Todd might even agree with you.
To return to Chapter 10, Football 1A, if necessary to see this link press your browser's Back button, then follow this link: https://www.codeysworld.com/colinian/atwiaww/atwiaww-10.php.
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This story and the included images are Copyright © 2015 by Colin Kelly (colinian). They cannot be reproduced without express written consent. Codey's World web site has written permission to publish this story. No other rights are granted. Original image is Copyright © stock.xchng. 'I Dreamed a Dream' lyrics from Les Misérables are Copyright © 2012 Cameron Mackintosh Overseas Limited.
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This story may contain occasional references to minors who are or may be gay. If it were a movie, it would be rated PG (in a more enlightened time it would be rated G). If reading this type of material is illegal where you live, or if you are too young to read this type of material based on the laws where you live, or if your parents don't want you to read this type of material, or if you find this type of material morally or otherwise objectionable, or if you don’t want to be here, close your browser now. The author neither condones nor advocates the violation of any laws. If you want to be here, but aren’t supposed to be here, be careful and don't get caught!