- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
My teammates haven't done much better. It is as if we are all afflicted by the same disease. We are cursed and doomed. Coach watches the finish, turns and walks away by himself. He is disappointed and hurt. He drives home alone. We'll see him only once more.
We should stay for the awards banquet this afternoon, but we don't have the heart for it. We drive back to the motel, shower quickly and leave Lexington as soon as we can.
It is later now. Weeks? No, years. For professional reasons Coach moved out of town early in 1975 and I lost track of him. The university eventually hired a full-lime coach. Practices changed and new faces appeared. Les. Jeff and I were seniors the following year, but our final season wasn't what it should have been. The joy had gone out of it. We graduated in turn and went our own ways.
I don't know where the time has gone.
I wish I could find our coach and thank him for what he taught me. We were so young and unappreciative.
I'm running alone along the trails in the park we used to run in on Sunday mornings. I struggle slowly to the junction at the top of the three-mile hill and pause, surveying the wooded landscape. The day is very still. Behind me, 50 yards down the trail, I hear labored breathing and the clatter of loose rocks under heavy footsteps. I turn and watch a middle-aged man lead a pack of ragged adolescents, sweating and straining, up the hill. At the spot where I am standing they, too, pause. There is talking and laughter. The man stands in the middle of the group, distracted and strangely silent: but after a minute he looks at the boys around him and he seems to smile.
It is a dream I have often.