On their way up to the football field, Drew had to concentrate to keep from laughing. He couldn’t help it. If someone had told him a couple years ago that he might be playing tight end his senior year, he would have thought it was utterly ridiculous. But now . . . now it was his ray of hope. And it seemed so obvious. He was fast. He was elusive. He was strong. He could read a defense like nobody’s business. Why not be a lead blocker? Why not be the guy who had to evade the defense and tear down field, then batter his way for a few more yards? He couldn’t be more excited to get started.
Plus, he could not wait to see his father’s face when he told him. Drew had no idea whether his father would be excited or annoyed, but either way he’d be stunned. That was going to be fun.
Drew, Samson, and Coach Davidson crested the hill, and the field came into view. Drew paused. What he saw before him meant the complete erasure of all his happy thoughts. There were two distinct groups of guys on the field. To the left were the Washingtonville guys in their red and white practice uniforms. To the right were the Corinth guys, each and every one of them wearing a full Corinth uniform. Silver pants. Blue jerseys with gray numbers. Silver helmets with lions on them. Not even practice uniforms, but game unis. They were dingy and dated, with their big old lettering and baggy look, but they got their point across. The Corinth guys were mad as hell and they weren’t going to take it anymore.
Drew glanced at Samson from the corner of his eye, and Samson looked nauseated. He was wearing the red and white. Clearly, his Corinth buddies had not disclosed their plan of action to him. Drew wondered how that made Samson feel. His guess was not good.
“You didn’t know about this, huh?” Drew whispered.
Samson shook his head. “I don’t even know how they acquired the helmets and pants. School only let us keep the jerseys at the end of the year. Jackasses must’ve busted into the old locker room.”
Drew looked at the Corinth guys in awe. To do something like that, they must have been really serious about making this statement.
“What’s going on here?” Coach Davidson shouted.
As they drew closer to the field, Drew could hear both sides grumbling as a couple of the coaches put their heads together to try to figure out what to do.
Adam, Tank, and Lance stepped forward and approached Coach Davidson. Instantly, Clay, Jason, Dirk, and a few others emerged from the Washingtonville side, as if ready to defend Coach from an attack. Drew half expected to see them brandishing weapons. His heartbeat pounded in his ears as he broke out in a cold sweat. This was not going to be pretty.
“Coach, our school may have been dissolved, but our team is extant,” Adam said to Coach Davidson. Clearly he had emerged as the dominant voice for his cause over the last twenty-four hours, and from the look of the Corinth guys, his determination was contagious. “As a team, we’ve decided that we’re not going to wear another team’s colors anymore. The memory of our school deserves a little dignity.”
Coach turned to Samson. “Were you a collaborator on this, Hill?” he asked.
“No, sir,” Samson said bitterly, eyeing his crafty friends.
Coach took a deep breath and blew it out audibly, looking at the grass. “Kids, I don’t know what to tell you, except that this type of showboating isn’t going to help this team. It’s nothing but divisive.”
The Washingtonville guys muttered their assent.