By Matthew McCarthy
5th Class Ms. O’Connor
I looked down in pain at my grazed knee. I had tried to jump far, as we were doing a long jump competition in Athletics. I had jumped so badly I had almost completely missed the sand pit. My coach came over to help me up. I swept my black floppy fringe out of my eyes and got up. “Not your best jump ever Tom”, exclaimed my coach as if it wasn’t obvious enough. I slowly limped over to the side, nursing my grazed knee. I sat out for the rest of the hour watching the other kids do great jumps and sighed.
I felt overjoyed when I saw Dad. He had come to pick me up. “How did it go”, asked Dad. “Terrible”, I answered. “I wish I could be better at sports” I thought. “I don’t understand that no matter how much I love sports or no matter how much I practise, I’m just no good at it”, I told Dad. “Don’t give up – practice makes perfect”, he replied. We drove home in silence.
I woke up the next morning to my Dad shouting my name, “Tom!”, he called. “What!”, I shouted back. Dad handed me a note and this is what it says. Long Road Primary School (my school) had made it into the school soccer final (which was a surprise because we have the worst soccer team ever) because one of the competing schools had forfeit due to some of their players being injured. (There were only three teams in our tournament). I finished reading the letter. “And guess what?”, exclaimed Dad. “What?” I asked. “You’re picked for the team”. “Whaaaat?!!!!”, I said, trying to take it in. My vision went foggy and woozy and I almost blacked out.
I went to school the next day with a spring in my step. I went into class and our teacher brought us outside for P.E. We got ready to play some basketball. I walked over to the corner of the basketball court where I always stood because I never get passed the ball. I nearly had dozed off from boredom when my team got the ball. I was open and should be able to score a hoop from where I stood. “Pass, pass, I am open” I called. The ball came flying at me and landed in my open hands. I turned and threw the ball and it landed in a circular shape which I presumed was the hoop. “YES !!!”, I cried. I looked down at the ground to pick up the ball but it wasn’t there. It wasn’t stuck in the hoop either. “You’re so bad” hissed one of boys on my team. “Tom, you actually threw the ball in the bin”. I peered into the bin beside the basketball court and there was the ball at the bottom.
After school, Dad and I went to the golf course. “Do you think I will get the ball in the hole this time” I asked Dad. “Sure” said Dad unconvincingly trying to reassure me. I put the ball on the tee and got my driver out. The club house was behind me. I swung the driver and it missed the golf ball but then it swung back and hit the ball with the back of the club sending it flying the wrong way as it headed straight for the club house. “Smash!!!!???” went the club house window. The owner of the golf course came out of the club house rubbing a rather large bump on his head. “I would like you both to leave, you are banned from this golf course” he shouted trying to stay polite but failing. So, I walked out with Dad with my head hung in shame. I didn’t even get my ball back!
When I got home Mum was sitting on the couch watching TV and eating crisps (again!). “How did the golf and basketball go?” she asked, “Rubbish” I replied. “That’s great” said Mum, absentmindedly staring at the TV. “Can I have something to eat?” I asked her. “Get yourself a packet of crisps, I’m watching ‘Britain’s Got Talent’”, she replied. I got a packet of crisps and sat down and watched TV.
Finally, it was the day of the school soccer final. I walked into the small, foul-smelling dressing room where we were to get our pep talk. “Now I just want you boys to try your best out there”, said coach, “I can’t ask for more than that”, and that was it. I walked out onto the pitch with my heart in my mouth and my knees knocking. Instantly, I picked out Dad in the stands, he gave me the thumbs up. This is it, I thought, as we took our positions and the game began. I looked at our opposition, they were big, brutish and angry looking. We started off badly, as usual, and the opposition team took advantage of this and soon scored the opening goal. But then, surprisingly, we picked up speed and skill and no more goals were scored in the first half.
In the second half, we got the ball and went on the attack and scored!!! We managed to keep the score level until it was five minutes to go. Suddenly, my team mate passed me the ball and I kicked it as hard as I could …. and…… it hit the crossbar, hit me in the face, bounced off, and miraculously …… it somehow crossed the line… goal! I had scored the winner!!!!!! The final whistle blew. I was stunned and so were my team mates. I had never won anything before!!!!! Soon after I found Dad and we rushed home to celebrate. “Where’s Mum” I asked him. “Gym!- the TV is broken” he replied, “cool” I said. I thought about the match – I was excited about next years season. After all, I had scored a goal (at last!).