Football. A season of love, teamwork, and school spirit. Hard hits, complete team effort, intense determination. These things are what it takes to win a football game. I've seen it all. The injuries, the pain, the sweat, and most of all the blood. But that doesn't even touch them, and that's why our Lakeview Otters, are unstoppable.
Football. A season of love, teamwork, and school spirit. Hard hits, complete team effort, intense determination. These things are what it takes to win a football game. I would know that now, after seeing many football games, and tagging along everywhere they go. I've seen it all. The injuries, the pain, the sweat, and most of all the blood. But that doesn't even touch them, and that's why our Lakeview Otters, are unstoppable.
Being the Athletic Trainer, and an alumni of Lakeview, I know the pride that is put into football. This whole one horse town revolves around sports, and loves putting on the old blue and orange! We have fans like no other school, or town. You will not be put down, or even talked badly about if you are an athlete. You are on the top of the food chain in high school, and the athletes in this town are the ones who are the smartest, and have the best grades, because it is demanded. They are the ones who rule this town.
Dylan Hayes is a legend in Lakeview, graduating in 2004, he helped the team win four state tiles, and that number is still growing. He was a powerhouse, a tank, solid muscle. At 6'3 and 250 pounds of pure muscle he demolished people, and of course the records for most tackle and sacks. Crippler was the name given to him by opponents. I feel bad for the trainer that I just replaced because he probably broke at least 10 bones from his freshman to senior years. We all call him still to this day Big D.
Big D was my best friend in high school, and still is. To me he's a big teddy bear, people called him the crippler because they didn't know the real D. He only comes home every 2 weeks and it's only for three days, so I don't see him much anymore. He is working in a bunch of different towns for the gas companies, but he's making good money. He's a volunteer for the football team, so that's when we get to be together.
They say that I am a legend, but I don't take all the credit, I had a lot of help from my team. My name is Alex Cook, and I myself was described as a 'beast'. 5'11, and only about 130 pounds, I was a home run hitter, power pitcher, and volleyball smasher. I was the starting weakside hitter from freshman to senior. I was the starting pitcher as a freshman and was pitching 60 mph. By my senior year we had our schools first four state titles, and I broke the record for strikeouts, and most strike outs in one season. My final count at the end of my senior year was at 1,000 exactly, and the most in a single season was 278. After going to college at the University of Alabama, and pitching for them, I've been back for four years. I'm coming up on my fifth season in football as the athletic trainer.
Everyone called D and I the 'Power Couple' when we never dated. We were always together, and I was at every football game, and he was at every softball game. We really looked out for each other when it came to dating, we probably scared off everyone for each other. I didn't like his taste, and he didn't like my taste. We still have each other's backs, no matter what.
When Dylan got into fights with a Mid Valley kid trying to instigate him, I'd be the only one who'd ever be able to get D off of them. I was only a 130 pounds, and him and his friends were twice my size and they couldn't even get D off of kids. A couple of the guys told me that Dylan even told them that I was the only one who had the power to. I guess, he was so afraid of hurting me, and that I was the only one who could ever calm him down when it came to everything else. They said he told them, just the sound of my voice was calming to him.
Tonight is the last home football game of the regular season, and we are playing the Mid Valley Owls. No one in this towns owns anything green or yellow, those are two colors that are hated in Lakeview. Those are always the games with the most injuries. It's also Senior Night so of course the seniors are going to give it their all, without a doubt, no looking back.
I sat in my office at 5 o'clock making sure I had enough stuff for all the injuries that could possibly happen. I was double, and triple checking everything. I didn't have time during an injury to ride down to my office, which was inside the school. I talked Coach Good into letting me use an empty room in the field house for my office for the game in case of a major injury. I loaded up my stuff in my golf cart, and headed towards the field house.
Once I got there I knocked on the door, because I had learned the hard way why you do not just walk into the field house. I waited until someone opened the door. It was Mason Davis, the quarterback, and captain of the team.
"Oh, hey Miss Alex. What do you need?" He asked
"Well Davis, I need in, so I can set up my temporary office for tonight's game!"
"Wait one second Miss Alex." He closed the door slightly, "Hey! Miss Alex is here! Get some damn clothes on or hide!"
I laughed, because that was the exact reason why I didn't walk right in.
Davis reopened the door, "Ok, no one is naked you can come in."
"Is Goody here yet?"
"Nope, that would explain why I was swearing." He replied helping me carry stuff into my temporary office.
After Davis and I unloaded the whole golf cart, I started to set up everything I was going to need. The room was actually bigger than my office, it was perfect. I cleaned off my table, and filled the bottom with tape, and pre-wrap. I was now ready for anyone that needed tapped.
"Whoever needs taped can come in!"
"I'm first! Seniority freshy!" Davis said to Freshman Dan Moore.
Davis sat up on my bed, and I started wrapping his ankles, "So are you exited, nervous, what?" I asked
"I'm pretty nervous, but also sad cause this will be the last time I play on this field."
"You should have seen had nervous Big D was on his Senior Night! He was shaking."
"Now Lex, you didn't even tell him how you bawled…that's not fair!" D said walking into the room.
"Hey there Big D!" I replied ripping off a piece of tape before going to hug him.
"It's alright to be nervous, just don't let it show on the field." D said to Davis, before sitting down in my wheelie chair.
"Aren't you just sounding all coachy! Davis I hugged him and he was shaking so bad that he made me shake!" I told him slapping his chest as he got closer.
I finished tapping both of Davis' ankles, then Moore jumped on on the bed.
"How's the knee feeling?"
"Hurts, I'll go to the doctors as soon as the seasons over, I promise!"
"Alright, I understand that. But let me know if it gets real bad, you here?"
"Yes miss Alex."
I taped up his knee and I had a break with D for awhile. I sat down on the desk, and looked at D who looked half dead. I could tell he was tired. He looked up at me and smiled. That was D for you, hiding all weakness, and emotion. We were both too good at it. We were so used to having to hide our emotions, that we do it all the time. Even though we were both hiding how we were feeling there was always something in the air, like tension between us. Almost like at any moment one of us could just climb on top of the other and make out right then and there.
"So what the hell's up with the whole Miss Alex thing? It's weird right?" I asked breaking the silent stare.
"Do you want to get drink later?"
"Um, sure? What's the occasion?" I asked
"Just something for us both to do together." He replied with his million dollar smile.
"Would the Power Couple cut the shit!" Coach Good said walking in to the room.
"We're back to that again, it's like high school all over again. I thought Lex and I escaped that shit eight years ago!"
"You'll never escape it! Especially when you are both legends! Plus I remember two newspaper articles on the front page of the sport section. I believe the first one was 'Power Couple' and 'Power Couple Strikes Again'."
Goody was right. Our senior year there were two articles about us together. There was a picture of D picking me up hugging me, both of with our arms in the air, after beating Mid Valley. The sports writer even said how all the fans were at the fence, and as the game ended D pointed to me, and I jumped the fence to go see him.
The second one came, when our softball team beat Mid Valley. I had just hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 10th, to win the game. As soon as I hit it I pointed right to Dylan who was at the fence. Once we shook hands I ran to D who put me on his shoulders, and that was the next picture in the paper.
Once Goody left, Dylan and I started talking again. I loved our conversations! Most of the time we were making fun of someone. But that's how we've always been, not matter what age, we've been doing it forever.
"Lex, will you rub my back? It's killin me…please!" He asked giving me a face I just couldn't say no to.
"Get on the damn table!"
He climbed on the bed, and laid on his stomach. I then climbed up, and sat on his butt. I started finding knots and pressing as gently as I could, because I knew that they hurt. Especially for how big D's were. Aaron White walked into the room, and looked at me real weird.
"Miss Alex, Coach Hayes, why don't you two just date already?" Aaron asked
"White? Is that you?"
"Coach you can't even deny that you are attracted to her, for one I mean look at her, and I see it in your eyes. And Miss Alex it's just written all over you're face!" He said to us both as he leaned up against the door frame.
I looked at Aaron and smiled. "What do you mean it's written all over my face?"
"I found this old picture of you Miss Alex pointing to Coach, and it's written on your face that you're in love." He replied handing me the picture. "Coach I found this one of you pointing to Miss Alex and I can see in how you reacted." He finished handing the second picture to D.
"What are you? Some love expert? Go away White!" D replied laying back down.
"But Miss Alex didn't give me a kiss yet!"
D whipped around, knocking me off of him, but he caught me. He gave me a weird look, I just climbed down, and went towards White.
"You're not really gonna kiss him are you?"
"D, shush!" I replied
I reached into my pocket and threw him a hershey kiss.
"Thanks Miss Alex!" He replied walking out of the room.
"Hi, bye!" Jonathan Jackson called walking past the room.
"Hi, bye!" I replied sitting in my wheelie chair.
"I really thought you were gonna kiss him!" He replied setting the picture on my desk.
"I don't even kiss you! Why would I kiss him?" I said stating the obvious.
"Well you know you can?" He said with a wink.
I replied by chucking a roll of tape at him.
"Can I at least have a good luck hug before I go do my job?"
"Sure my Big D Teddy Bear!" I replied squeezing him tight.
"Teddy Bear? If people hear you I'll loose the crippler for teddy bear!" He laughed smacking my butt.
"D! I know you only smack my ass to watch it jiggle! So knock it off!"
"Lex, you have a beautiful butt!" He replied giving me another hug, but not before smacking it again.
"I might kill you!"
When we finished messing with each other, I grabbed the two pictures of us and tapped them to the wall, then grabbed my bags that I was going to need. I threw the huge bag on my back, tucked the backboard (like a stretcher) on top of the bag, then grabbed my ice cooler. I started walking out of the room, when D decided he'd grab something. I handed him the cooler, he gave me his looked and then grabbed the huge bag. I smiled and grabbed the handle of the cooler and drug it behind me to my golf cart. We loaded it up and headed over to the sidelines.
Close to game time, I made D go to my Jeep and get my letterman jacket because I was getting cold. He tried giving me his, but I told him we both should be wearing them for school spirit. When he came back he helped me slip it on. We saw Goody from other side of the field waving to the guy in the press box and nodded his head and was mouthing 'now'.
"I guess it's time for Senior Night to start." I said to D.
"Alright, we're going to start by having some Alumni come out on the field." The announcer started
I looked at D, and he looked at me. Here comes more Power Couple shit. It happens every year somewhere. We're always together so everyone figures we're dating, but we aren't, and never have been.
"There are two Alumni here tonight that everyone knows. In 2000, we had a complete turn around in two sports. That year we had two state titles, one in football, and one in softball. These two athletes lead their teams for the next three years to three more state titles. Their senior year they were given a nickname, that really stuck. I'm sure everyone can remember the 2004 alumni. The Power Couple, Alex Cook, and Dylan Hayes."
"Let's give them what they want." D said to grabbing my hand.
We held hands as everyone cheered. We made our way out to the middle of the field. And stood there smiling.
"Hello, my name is William James. I am the head of the District 6 ICC Hall of Fame. It take eight years after you graduated for the board to nominate someone into the hall of fame. This is the Power Couples first year to be nominated, and I'd be very proud to say that Alex Cook, and Dylan Hayes have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, not only as individuals, but as the Power Couple. Thank you."
I looked at D and just laughed. We sat there laughing as a board member from the hall of fame came to us with three plaques. One had our names on it, with the expression picture of when we both one the state titles. The other was a big plaque titled 'The Power Couple', it had both pictures that were in the paper of us together. He gave us our plaques and we made our way off the field.
"I really hate when they do stuff like this." D said to me as we put our plaques in the golf cart.
"Well at least we'll be known as the Power Couple forever!" I replied sarcastically happy.
"I'm so ready for this drink."
They then introduced the seniors. After that was done, the band started playing, and the guys came ripping through the poster. After that, it started getting ugly. I mean in the first quarter there were two fights, thank god none were bad. In the second quarter we had our first injury that I had to go out on the field. When I got closer I upset to see Moore was the one who was hurt.
"Dan where does it hurt?"
"It's my knee, I heard something snap, It's killing me!"
I looked at D, and motioned him to come out. He ran out to us. Coach Good came with him. I continued examining him
"Dan, does it hurt when I touch it here."
"Yes!" He screeched. That confirmed my suspicions.
"Can he go back in?" Goody asked
I shook my head no, "I think he tore his ACL, he'll need to have surgery, and needs to go to the hospital to make sure I'm right."
"So I'm out for the season?" Dan asked holding back tears.
"I'm sorry Dan but if it's torn, yes. Let's get him out of here."
Goody got on one side of him, and Dylan on the other. They picked him up, and I held his knee up, because I know the pain he was in. Everyone clapped, and I saw Moore's parents coming to the fence to talk to me. We sat him down on the bench, and I got an ice bag ready and threw it to D who put it on his knee.
"What happened?" His mom frantically asked.
"I think he tore his ACL. I know he's probably told you that his knee's been bothering him?"
"Yes, what do we need to do?"
"I'll put an immobilizer on him, and give him a set of crutches, and I suggest you leave right now and go to the hospital."
"Ok, can you get him to our car?"
"Yes, I'll take him in the golf cart."
I went back to Moore who was trying to suck up the pain the best that he could. He was really holding back the tears in front of Dylan. D was trying to comfort him, and I think he didn't want a legend to see him cry.
"Alright Dan, let's go. Your parents are taking you to the hospital."
"Ok." he replied as I placed the immobilizer on his knee.
I handed him the crutches and I had him sit in the back of the golf cart. I made sure he was comfortable and rode down the sidelines. I took him to his car when I heard my phone going off.
"Lex, we got a Mid Valley kid down, it doesn't look good."
"Alright, I'm on my way up."
I raced back up the hill and parked the golf cart. I ran out to the field where I saw the kid laying there limp, and not moving. His coach was standing over him, trying to wake him up.
"What happened?" I asked making sure he was still alive and breathing.
"I don't know, he just won't wake up!"
I got my light out of my bag, and he started waking back up. "What's his name?"
"Hi, can you tell me your name?" I said shining my light in his eyes.
"Good, now can you tell me where you are?"
"No…where am I?" He said starting to panic.
"It's ok. Your at your football game. Can you tell what day it is?"
I looked at the ambulance and waved them over.
"How do you feel right now?"
"My neck really hurts. I can't feel anything. Why can't I feel anything?"
"It's ok, you're going to be ok." I said comforting him.
"Why can't he feel anything?"
"He's in shock, he has a pretty bad concision. And a possibly neck injury. He needs to go to the hospital now. Get his parents over here now."
The EMT's and I carefully loaded Tyler into the ambulance, and waited for his parents to come over.
"What's wrong with him?" His mom asked frantically and crying.
"He has a concussion and a possibly neck injury, he needs to go to the hospital now. He'll be going to the Susquehanna Hospital about 20 miles away. One of you can ride with him, and they other will have to drive."
We finally got him loaded up, and he was heading for the hospital. I went back over to the sidelines, and went and leaned up against D, he put his arm around me, and kissed the top of my head. Finally was half time, D and I followed the guys into the field house. We both went into my new office and I plopped down on the bed.
"Ready for that drink yet?" Dylan asked laughing.
"So, so ready!"
We soon went back out to the field, and surprisingly the rest of the game flew by. There were no more injuries and only three more fights. With 10 seconds to go the score was 14-9 Mid Valley, but we had the ball. As the clock winded down, We watched Davis throw a hail mary pass into the end zone. I watch Aaron jumped for it, he almost dropped it, but caught it before hitting the ground! They had just won the game! D and I were jumping up and down along with everyone else. They had just won 16-14! D picked me up like old times!
After the boys talked into the field house, D and I went back to my office to put everything back. When we finished I turned out the lights, and we headed to our cars. I jumped into the jeep and put down the windows waiting for him to turn on his truck.
"Where are we going?" I asked
"Wherever your little butt desires!" He replied with a fake smile
"We both know that butt is not even close to being little!"
"True!" He winked
"You just want to go to the Moose?"
"Let's do it beautiful!" he winked
* * *