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PRIZE WINNING STORY tif
, by .
P ernelle Samson I,
The last day for practice had arrived, Tomorrow the big game was on. Tomorrow at two-
thirty, Weston's players would go on the field to battle for the gridiron championship. For four l'L
long years they had worked, fought, and prayed, this year piling up the highest score in the state, EQ
with their goal line crossed only once. Todayis practice and tomorrow-the agony, the suspense- jf,
all would be over. For several of the fellows this was the last game, and they were determined 53"
to win. lndeed, they must carry .the blue and gold to victoryl
The team came early to this last practice. An eager team it was, and in splendid condition- lf,
seemingly. A swift succession of punts and downsg then a puzzled frown darkened the face of
Coach as he watched a tall player across the field-Stanley Garside, wonder right halfback and 1
captain of the team, affectionately dubbed g'Stan,' by his friends and admirers. ln truth, though ,.
still a boy of eighteen, he had scores of ardent admirers and some hero worshippers. "Stan can
do it,', they would say. He could-at least he always had. A bad play from the right halfbackl 4
Another and then another! All during practice Stan had made bad plays. Was he so worried ,'
about tomorrow's game? lt was not like Stan, this nervousness, softness, and the lag in his light- it
ning run. Coach frowned again. What was wrong? Q
There was a whistle, and the players gathered about Coach. He spoke in quiet tones of 41
'Alf every man goes into the game with his mind made up to win, we CAN'T lose."
He glanced sharply at Stan. and his lips set in a hard line. Those tired eyes and that worn- ffffffg
out look spoke of orders disregarded, late hours. Coach stepped closer and detected a faint 'lqfff
odor of cigarette. He started to speak, then checked himself, The boys were watching him, their jlffffi
Coach-a little fellow-the greatest, the best, the cleanest high-school coach in the state. 1117
"Stan, you may turn in your suit!" he snapped,his brown eyes blazing. "You're not fit to play.
Wleive no place for youf,
Practice started again, leaving Stan on the sidelines in a daze. He made his way blindly
to the hllule Burn." Later. the boys came, but there was not the laughter, yelling, whistling, and
singing that always accompanied the showers and dressing after practice. Instead a strained
silence pervadcd all. f
- In front of Weston High stood Stan's gray roadster, and toward this he directed his steps. I
He crawled in, slumped down in the seat, and set his foot heavily upon the gas. The car shot
out into the lake road at a more than necessary speed and wound through the foothills at an
insane pace, making the last turn towards the big lake, on two wheels. Stan had forgotten the
treacherous sand beds. Mechanically he applied the brakes, the car swerved, plowing headlong
into a roadside bank. Stan stepped out, still dazed, and strode the remaining distance to the lake.
Completely exhausted, he sank down by the wateris edge and buried his bead in his hands. C,
Hours and hours he sat thus. a mocking in his ears:
i'You're not fit to play. We've no place for you."
The fellows stood about him, with a look in their eyes, questioning, almost pitying. Coachl
Coachl He could not face the accusing eyes even in thoughtg yet they were there-blazing.
"Stanley," called a soft voice. Why. nobody now ever called him that. "Stanley,,' it came ,,f
again. He looked up into the face of his beautiful mother. That she should see him there-he X,
shuddered. She knelt down by him and placed her arm about his shoulder. What a relief!
"Look, son," she said after a time, pointing out across the water. There before him lay Wes-
ton. She told him of its hopes, its possibilities, its future-an educational center unequaled, a city if
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