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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: End Times (02/27/14)

TITLE: Game Over
By lynn gipson
03/03/14


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Kevin Jordan stood on the forty yard line of the football field, trying to gauge precisely how hard to kick the ball. This was it, his moment in time! A miss could send him into the depths of despair and humiliation for the rest of his days. The score was 14 to 12, with three seconds left in the game. The opposing team was ahead, and the end of the season championship rested on Kevin's slight shoulders. A good play could give his team the three extra points it needed to win. He had already missed two field goals that night. He took a deep breath, prayed, and kicked.

Kevin was the second string field goal kicker for his high school football team. He showed up for practice every day and was the most eager of all the players on the field. He had wanted to be a quarterback, but his passing skills were not that great. The first string goal kicker was Gary Jensen, and he had already won a football scholarship from Alabama. He was that good. Kevin seldom got to play in an actual game.

Kevin wanted nothing more than to be a football hero. This was his senior year in high school, and his last chance to prove he could be a winner. He loved football more than anything, and he was elated when he made the football team in his freshman year. He was a good kicker during practice, as good as Gary. But something always seized him when he tried to make a field goal during a game. He froze.

Kevin's father left home when he was five years old. His mother remarried, and his stepfather was a verbally abusive man who constantly told Kevin he would never amount to anything. Kevin desperately needed to prove him wrong.

He found solace in Church. He had turned his life over to God three years before, and tried his best to live a good life. It was hard sometimes, when he faced such adversarial conditions at home. Somehow, he could never feel quite good enough.

A few days before his big game night, Kevin was called to the Coach Sanders' office during history class.

“Kevin, I've got some bad news." Coach Sanders looked deadly serious, and for a moment Kevin thought he might be off the team for some reason. He knew his grades were good, but the scowl on Coach's face was alarming.

"What's wrong, Coach? Am I off the team?" Kevin's voice shook.

"No, just the opposite. Gary has injured his foot in an automobile accident. He won't be able to play Friday night. It's up to you now. You're a good kicker, Kevin. Don't let me down."

Kevin's heart jumped. He would play in the championship game! He felt a mixture of pleasure and excitement until he remembered that his teammate had been hurt.

"Is Gary all right, Coach?"

“Just a small broken bone in his left ankle. He should be fine after the cast comes off. Shouldn't affect his career at all. Practice well this week, Kevin. We need this championship!"

"Yes, Sir, I'll give it my best shot, Coach!"

Friday night, Kevin had his shot. As readied himself for the kick, images of his two previously missed field goals of the night flashed before his eyes. Tension filled the air, and the entire stadium became eerily quiet. He could feel all eyes were on him, especially those of Coach Sanders.

“God, please, if it is your will, let this be a win, and I promise to do something good with my life."

It was surely God's will because Kevin kicked that ball for forty yards through the air and straight down the middle of the goal posts. The final score was 15 to 14, and the championship was won. Kevin heard thunderous applause, and suddenly his team members were carrying him across the field. He was laughing and crying at the same time. His dream had come true. He was a football hero!

That was the end of Kevin's time as a football player. One might think he would have wanted to pursue the sport as a career. But no, he went on to become a high school football coach instead, and his teams won more than a few championships. Although he loved regaling his players with his own football story, he spent his entire life as a coach teaching them self-confidence and the power of prayer.


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This article has been read 135 times
Member Comments
Member Date
CD (Camille) Swanson 03/06/14
Oh my kind of story...conflict forms within, tension builds, and confidence soars ultimately goodness wins and the power of God victorous.

I loved this well written and tender story, it had my attention and I was rooting for the MC from the moment I began reading.

Powerful ending...I liked he went on to coach and be a role model for the team in terms of Christian behavior.

Excellent!

God bless~
Sheldon Bass 03/06/14
This story instantly drew me in and held me captive to the very end. Excellent. I love happy endings. I think you'll make every single reader root for Kevin and cheer for him. When he made the goal I cheered and almost threw my arms up like goal posts. I could feel the tension and elation. Keep the wonderful stories coming!
Stephanie Eckenroad03/06/14
I enjoyed this story so much. It kept my attention the whole way through and I wanted to read more.
Toni Hammer 03/08/14
Yay Kevin!!! What a super fun read! You're such a gifted storyteller.

Two very small red ink comments. One, I believe you omitted the word "he" in this: "As [he] readied himself for the kick..." Two, you may want to lose "the" in this line: "A few days before his big game night, Kevin was called to the Coach Sanders' office during history class." Or change it to "the office of Coach..."

This line right here is the best line I've read this challenge: "Kevin desperately needed to prove him wrong." Here's why. You said that Kevin NEEDED to prove him wrong--not wanted to prove him wrong. Something about that fantastic word choice really struck me.

This is a fantastic story. I could just gush and gush for days.
Lillian Rhoades 03/08/14
Whether you intended to or not, I like your veiled reference to spiritual end times with your title, "Game Over." How true, someday Satan's game will be over!

Opinion:-) After your first paragraph, you interrupted the action to flashback to a description of Kevin and what took place prior to the big moment. In doing so, you lost the momentum built up by your first paragraph. Perhaps a rearranging of events/action and background/flashback information would help to maintain the reader's initial focus/interest on the main event/story. You might want to give the reader a "heads-up" that you're going back in time. For ex: "He had waited for this moment ever since he had become the second string..."

I like the end lesson. Not only was the game over, but so were his childhood insecurities.
Judith Gayle Smith03/08/14
You wrote this better than most sports writers would or could. Wouldn't it be wonderful if stories such as this delightful one ran on all the sports pages. Great job sweetheart!
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/09/14
Good job of playing with the theme and presenting a very interesting story!
Maura J. Merrigan03/11/14
Very interesting read! Clever take on "end times" using this creative story! Blessings!