Half Time

Half Time

I held my The pressure was intense.
hockey stick ready, like a warrior with his battleaxe. Players were running everywhere, coaches were yelling and fans were cheering. The winning team would be the new State Hockey Champions.
My team, the City Rangers, had not started the season very well, losing our first three games. A lot had changed since then. The State Hockey Committee had donated a large sum of money to fund new hockey gear and improved training facilities
We were one goal down and the whistle blew signaling half time. Our coach Miss Sutherland called us in and spoke to us. “You’ve been playing well but it’s not enough to win. Since its half time we need to make one interchange “. Everyone looked at one person. Billy Smites. The coach looked at me and said-“At this point mate; it looks like you or Billy needs to go off.
Billy Smites was a bit strange and his unusual habits made him a target for school bullies. He wasn’t good at sport and only participated because he had to. People liked to make fun of him because he did not have any friends.
Time was running out and I had to make a decision. I could let Billy play and do a good deed, but there was a chance that we might lose the championship.
The pressure was intense.
I walked over to Billy and said-“Mate, I want you to play, it’s just that I want the Championship more. You’ll have to go off.”
I watched Billy slump off the field and the game started. Within four minutes, Tommy Shark, our team captain scored a goal and we all jumped up in delight. The scores were now even and we had a chance of winning.
I was running back to my position when I saw Billy’s dad came out of the car park with Billy’s brother behind him.
Billy’s brother was in a wheelchair. Billy’s father took the hockey stick and went to put it in the car. I saw Billy crying in disappointment and thought to myself-“What have I done?”
I walked over to him and said “Billy, I want you to play. Not just for our team, but for your brother. Finish off the game for us and make sure we take home that trophy!”
I thrust my hockey stick into his hand. He nodded at me gratefully and I nodded back. With seconds to go before the final whistle an opposition player got past Billy and scored a goal to win. Later, our players and Miss Sutherland yelled at me for giving away my place to Billy. Everyone seemed to have forgotten about the spirit of the game.
The pressure was intense.
I stood on the podium accepting my “runners up medal”, standing by my new best mate, Billy Smites. I didn’t get the winners trophy, but I got something better.
This was one game I would not forget.


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