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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Ohhh…. (02/04/10)

TITLE: The Coach's Conundrum
By Dana McReynolds


“Pick up the phone, pick up the phone….”


“Laura, the worst thing has happened, I need your help.”

“David, are you ok? What on earth is wrong?”

“Well, you know James McDaniel hurt his back at practice yesterday and you know the championship game is tonight.”


“James went to the doctor this morning. He left me a voice mail while I was in my noon meeting. The doctor told him he had to take a leave! I guess he won’t be playing tonight.”

“Oh, for goodness’ sake, Dave, is that all? Is that really the worst thing that could happen?”

“Yes! We’re up against Broadway Baptist. There’s no way we can win without our star center.”

“David, you are a marvelous coach and you’ve worked wonders with the sports ministry, but winning isn’t everything. You can’t let your competitiveness take over and loose sight of the opportunity to bring the true Message to these kids.”

“Oh, I know you’re right, Laura, but they’ve worked so hard. Please do me a favor and try to think of anyone in the church who could fill in.”

“Ok, I’ll let you know if I come up with anything. For now, take a deep breath and try not to overreact.”

“Talk to you later,” Dave sighed as he hung up the phone. He knows his wife is right. Dave Taylor has always been the most competitive player on the court, field, track, even the Monopoly board. A love for God and sports led him directly to sports ministry. While it is a rewarding job, he has to keep a close guard on his heart and his motives for winning.

“I’ve got it!” Dave was thrilled with his revelation as he dialed the phone.


“Laura, what about the Nealey family, don’t they have an exchange student from Lithuania?”

“Yes, Dave, but she’s a female,” sighed Laura.

“Well, how tall is she?”

“Dave! Listen to yourself.”

“Ok, ok, thanks honey, I’ll see you later.”

Dave decided to finish up at the office and shoot some hoops. Some of his most intimate conversations with God occur in a quiet gym. The comforting sound of a bouncing ball allows him to relax and truly meditate on the Word of God. The scripture that weighs heavily on his heart is from Philippians. “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Dave is humbled as he is reminded of the only Trophy he should be striving to win.

The gym is no longer quiet as the championship game draws near. Dave is going lead his players in a time of prayer and devotion before the first muscle is stretched. Just as they are ready to start, James McDaniel appears. Dave welcomes him to the group, “Hey, James, glad you came to support us tonight. I know it’ll be hard for you to watch from the sidelines.”

“What? Coach, have I been benched?”

“Well, your back and all, the doctor said to take a leave.”

“Sure I took one this morning,” explained James as he pulled a bottle of pills out of his pocket, “Doc said I could take another if I needed to.”

“Ohhh…., Aleve , of course,” Dave laughs, “hey, never mind, let’s get ready to play.”

“Uh, Coach? Who’s the tall girl?”

Philippians 3:14, NIV
Aleve is an over-the-counter pain reliever produced by Bayer Healthcare

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This article has been read 336 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Delores McCarter02/11/10
Cute story!
Sharon Laughter02/11/10
This was great fun. You caught the reader up in the "madness" I could feel him rushing around - loved the "do you hear yourself?" You'll be leaving beginners SOON!
Micheline Murray02/12/10
LOVE this!!! Love the play on words--I found myself saying--"OOH--I get it!" Really nice!
Virgil Youngblood 02/12/10
Well written with a great ending. Good job. I enjoyed this.
Lisha Hunnicutt02/13/10
This was a great read! I loved the twist at the end. Well done!
Michael Joshua02/15/10
Great play on words, and the twist at the end is priceless! Keep writing, this is very well done!
Jan Ackerson 02/16/10
Excellent twist--I never saw it coming.

Be careful to stay in one tense. You switched from past to present and back a few times. For this type of story, past tense would work best.

Your ending--not just the twist, but the whole thing--was priceless.
Sarah Elisabeth 02/18/10
Hey Dana, congrats on placing 13th in the Level 1 with this entry! There are so many talented writers here, so great job! If you haven't already, be sure to check out the Highest Rankings on the boards: