Not that the girls' game is entirely genteel. People who attribute competitiveness to testosterone alone have never played against girls. One of them slugged George. It was a few games after the trash-talking episode. His reputation had spread to other schools, and one opponent came out ragging him. He kept his mouth shut, as the athletic director had advised, but Bridget Corey stuck up for him. "Why don't you all shut up!" she said.
Unfortunately this heightened the tension. When shoving started, and Bridget was outnumbered, George ran over to help his teammate. He got socked.
"Whoa, what are you doing?" George said, backing away from the player who had popped him. ("It didn't hurt," he says. "She just, like, threw her arm at me.")
George Zameska made history on Central's hockey pitch, but not the way he had hoped. He was the first boy to crash the all-girl world of Philly field hockey. Coach Evans and other officials at Central were not happy and ducked some questions.
"I think they're embarrassed about the skirt," George's mom, Diane, said this fall. "They should be."
Coach Evans admitted that George had been a trial. "That boy has shown me something, though," she said. "I have a new respect for George. After the first season, I was hoping he wouldn't come back. But there he was. At first I thought he was just showboating. But he stuck with it despite the ridicule. And he got better about playing with the team. I think this season he finally caught on."
With just a few games left before the playoffs, Coach Evans decided that whether the other coaches liked it or not, George was going to play. He was on the team. And in the final two games he got a lot of minutes, helping Central make it to the postseason, where the squad lost 2-1 in the first round to the Philadelphia High School for Girls, fittingly enough. Now he just has to wait till spring to find out if any colleges were impressed.