Champs

Champs

The smell of fresh cut grass radiated through the air as friends began our last trot onto the field as teammates. The season seemed like it would never end, but none of us would have traded it for anything in the world. Early mornings and upsettingly late nights had all culminated in this one moment. It had been four years since we had first taken the field together as one unit, but as “all good things,” it had to come to an end. A light summer breeze blew across the field, kicking up small dust tornados that danced with ferocity and then vanished. Notes from the National Anthem sang out sweetly and resounded in the ears of all present. The sun sank behind a hill, and the bright lights that had captivated us all as children clicked on, showering us all in that unnatural glow.  As the innings went on, time seemed to speed up. All of those hours practicing and sweating for each other seemed like seconds in the grand scheme of life. It seemed that every time I blinked another 10 minutes had passed by.  Between the emotions running high and the caliber of the team that we were playing, it was a dogfight. Each team fighting for every pitch, every hit, every run. Suddenly, I would be brought back to reality by the loud ding of a bat resounding like thunder off of the hills surrounding the field. After the last out had been recorded, we started the slow shuffle out to the huddle. Heads drooped as it started to sink in that this was the last time we were going to be together as one team. Nobody wanted to cry, but the emotions washed over us like a giant wave. We prepared to break out of the huddle for the final time and the words caught me in the stomach like a right hook. We stood there, shocked that such a big part of our lives had come to an end. The slow shuffle to the locker room went along like a funeral procession. We each took as much time as we needed to clean out our lockers. I was the last one out of the door. I turned and took one last look at the room that had been my second home for four years. I scanned the room where I had forged bonds, suffered losses and celebrated victories for the final time. I took one last deep breath before flipping off the lights and feeling the door close behind me, for the last time.

The End

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