Sunday, March 27, 2011

March Madness (by Jessica)

Hey, Jessica here! Sorry we haven't posted lately! March has come and brought a way more hectic schedule. Between orchestra recitals, spring cleaning, shopping, homework, and more we haven't had time to do much anything! March has also brought warmer weather and basketball season! March 10th marks the day of the our school's basketball try-outs. So, during the first weeks of March I led a training club open to all AG Gossip dolls who wanted to be on the team. Felicity and Julie energetically signed up for my training club. Every day leading up to March 10th we exercised. I led the group in morning jogs, shooting hoops, and playing practice games. By the time try-outs came around, we were all well prepared. On the day of the try-outs, I packed a gym bag with a pair of gym shorts, a t-shirt, sneakers, and a bottle of water. The school day whizzed by and I raced to the gym as soon as the dismissal bell rang. Coach Mavis ordered the students to make a single file line in front of the hoop to show her our free throw skills. She would jot down notes while tightly clutching her clipboard, her face twisted in a scowl. After a little more than an hour, Coach Mavis dismissed the athletes. We were all sweaty, exhausted, and nervous. We all really wanted to make the team! On Friday, as soon as I got to school I dashed to the gym door, where the results were posted. A large group of students had already formed around the two lists. There were squeals of joy and teary sniffles. I hoped I made it. As I stood on my tiptoes to try and get a better  look of the list, I spotted Julie. She bounded towards me and shouted "We made it! All three of us!" I screeched with joy and hugged Julie tightly. Felicity was also excited but we didn't have much time to celebrate, practice started today! I was the first one in the gym, after school. Slowly, more students trickled in and joined me on the bleachers. Julie quickly located me and took a seat next to me. We wondered where Felicity was. Coach Mavis congratulated us on making the team. But she quickly warned us that we were in for a lot of work. The dark creases in her forehead suggested that she was not going to tolerate any nonsense. Coach Mavis had started to hand out neatly typed practice schedules when all of a sudden Felicity burst through the gym doors. "I'm so sorry I'm late!" she said out of breath. Coach Mavis scowled and said, "Let this girl be an example to everyone. I will not tolerate tardiness, if you are a minute late or miss a practice do not bother coming back because you will no longer have a spot on this  team." Felicity's face turned white and she opened her mouth in protest. Her eyes started to fill with tears, you could tell she was fighting an urge to cry. Before Coach Mavis could say anything I stood up and said, "It's not Felicity's fault! I asked her to turn in my composition for English because I had forgot to."  Coach Mavis narrowed her eyes skeptically and shifted her gaze to Felicity. "Is this true?" she snapped. Felicity quickly shook her head yes. "Fine. You can stay. Now go sit." Coach Mavis growled. Felicity scampered up the bleachers and slid next to us. Her eyes thanked me a million times. Coach Mavis droned on about rules, rules, and more rules. It was the longest hour of my entire life. We ran out of the gym when she dismissed us, it was extremely hard to listen to her that long! For that week we trained hard. Julie, Felicity, and I got to practice 10 minutes early everyday to avoid being late. Coach Mavis lead us through grueling workouts yelling at until we were at our very best. Our first game was on the 19th and Coach Mavis was NOT going to let us lose. After 5 days of running laps around the gym, shooting hoops, and other demanding workouts it was the day of our first game. Felicity, Jessica, and I had to be at the school earlier than the rest of the dolls, who were coming to cheer us on. We slipped into our red and white uniforms, laced up our tennis shoes, and put up our hair and we were ready to go. We arrived at school 30 minutes before the game, right on time. That extra time was spent by receiving a very uninspiring pep talk from Coach Mavis. She told us that we had to win this game and that we better play well because she was not afraid of cutting a few players. When it was game time the team looked very nervous and unconfident. Our opposing team had arrived which did not help our team's confidence. They looked like professionals in their navy and gold uniforms. I felt beads of sweat form on my forehead, even though I had not even begun to play. I spotted the rest of the AG Gossip dolls in the second row, they were all wearing our school colors. Kit even painted her face! They smiled and waved, making me feel a little better. The national anthem played and everyone sat back down.The game didn't start off too bad. Julie scored a 3 point shot right off the bat. But, things only got worse. By halftime the score was 18-31 and we were losing. The other team just kept scoring points, and our defense just couldn't catch up. Coach Mavis was surely making a scene! She was screaming and yelling at us and blaming the other team for cheating! Our school cheerleaders didn't raise our spirits. Even seeing Molly bounding around in the mascot didn't make me smile, like usual. After the third quarter, things weren't so bad. We had started to make a comeback. The score was 37-42. Even with Coach Mavis's screaming and threats, our team had never been more determined. Everyone ran faster, jumped higher, aimed better, and kept up good defense. The score was 52-53 and we were down by one point. There were 16 seconds left on the clock. Felicity stole the ball and was dribbling down the court with a member of the opposing team right behind her. It looked good for us! But then when she approached the net she collapsed on the ground clutching her ankle and yowling in pain. The audience gasped and all the players froze in shock. Then in an instant Felicity smiled, got up, and made a winning slam dunk! No one could believe their eyes. The crowd went wild and we cheered in victory. And for the first time ever I saw Coach Mavis smile. I couldn't believe my eyes! We all celebrated by going out for ice cream. All everyone could talk about was about Felicity's big stunt! She was a really good actress! Hooray for Felicity, the Hoop Hero!