This goes back to seventh-grade football. I was one of the smallest guys on the team, but our town revered the game. Even those of us who weren’t particularly well suited to be football players went out for a chance to play under the lights in front of thousands of people. Soccer was not even an afterthought in the region of New Jersey back in the lat sixties.
So I suited up with everybody else, worked my butt off every day, did the drills and took my hits and ran the sprints and came home exhausted and dehydrated every night.
In late August we have our first scrimmage. Hoboken comes to our grassless practice field. They’re good and they’re big. I don’t expect to play much, but I do expect to play.
Another half hour. Only two or three of us still have clean uniforms. I’m seething—glaring at the head coach through my facemask.
A few more plays. An assistant coach walks over, taps me on the helmet. “Next play, get in there at middle linebacker.”
I stand up and put in my mouth guard.
The play ends. I run onto the field. The quarterback does an end-around and I take off in pursuit, but I get cut down by a lineman and wind up eating dirt.
I get to my feet and look around. My teammates are already running toward the goalposts at the other end of the field. Five laps says the coach lets go. I stand there dumbfounded. One play? Man, was I pissed off.
So I start sprinting and quickly pass everybody else. They’re more tired than I am. They played. I keep sprinting and finish about a lap ahead of the next runner. The head coach looks at me and grins. “You should run cross country in high school,” he says.
“I’m not in high school,” I say, not bothering to hide my anger.
I think I made my point. The next day he put me on the kickoff team. I played a fair amount that season, even carried the ball a few times. The next year I did better.
In high school, I switched to cross country.
. In what ways does the story most help the reader?
a. It provides a way to discover your own true talents in athletics and become a pro athlete.
b. It provides a humorous insight into the way kids think when they’re young.
c. It provides excellent football playing tips.
. Which sentences does not support the focus or theme of this text:
a. In late August we have our first scrimmage.
b. I don’t expect to play much, but I do expect to play.
c. In high school, I switched to cross country.
. Which is the correct way to write the sentence, “five laps says the coach lets go”
a. “Five laps!” says the coach. “Let’s go!”
b. “Five laps?” says the coach. “Lets go.”
c. “Five laps,” says the coach, “lets go.”
. Which text would be most useful as a source of information for this text: