Author – Shoelessguy7
The game was maybe 60 seconds from starting. Coach Alan said with a raised voice “Dylan, there you are! Quick, get to your position.” Dylan didn’t want anything to prevent him from getting in the game, so in a spit second decision he decided not to say anything about his predicament and made his way over to his position. The Referee blew his whistle and the game began. After a few minutes of play, Dylan had been up and down the field several times. He could see the tape on his left Adidas cleat was starting to detach, but he knew there wasn’t anything he could do about it, so he did his best to ignore it. One of Dylan’s team mates passed the ball over to him, but immediately afterwards one of his opponents was right next to him. The opposing player stepped on Dylan’s right cleat tearing some of the tape from top it. As he did this, Dylan briefly lost his balance giving his opponent the chance to steal the ball. After regaining his balance he turned around to see his opponent was already 15 yards down the field. Just ahead however were 3 defenders ready to steal the ball back. Dylan knew his team mates abilities so he decided to take a chance and headed toward his opponents goal instead. His confidence in his team mates was rewarded as they were able to get it back and the ball was then passed to Cody who dribbled the ball up to mid-field. Dylan noticed a weak point in the opposing team’s defense and raised his hand to try and grab Cody’s attention. Right at that moment at almost the same time, the tape on Dylan’s left cleat came all the way off and the tape on his right cleat ripped completely. All the sudden Dylan felt his cleats become very loose again. He looked down at his cleats as a natural reaction, and then almost jumped when he looked up to see Cody passing the ball directly toward him. While moving up to receive the ball Dylan ran right out of his cleats. Even so he received the ball cleanly and pushed down the field in socks. He maneuvered around a defending opponent and kicked the ball aiming for the upper right corner of the goal. The ball hit the bottom of the cross bar and slammed down at the back of the goal. The crowd cheered and roared for 10 seconds straight. Cody ran up to Dylan and gave him a strong high five. “How did you do that” Cody questioned. “You just scored a shoeless goal!” With a big smile on his face Dylan said, “who needs cleats, right?” “Show off,” Cody responded and gave Dylan a friendly shove with his shoulder. Dylan ran back to pick up his cleats, one in each hand, then headed back to the sideline where his coach was motioning him to come over. “What goal Dylan,” Coach Alan praised, “but what happened to your cleats?” Dylan finally was able to explain what had happened. “It could have been one of those 3” Coach Alan agreed, “but the question is what to do now? I guess I’ll have to sit you out the rest of the game.” “Please don’t do that coach” Dylan begged while slipping on his cleats. “Not after I was made part of the first team. Maybe I can sub in at goalie instead. I’ve played there before and won’t have to run around as much.” “Well I know you earned your promotion; after all I gave it to you,” answered Coach Alan. “Hey Brandon, come over here.” The goalie Brandon jogged over and agreed to swap. “Sure,” he said. “It gives me the chance to play another position.” “Alright, then go,” Coach Alan instructed. “Yes,” Dylan said with a silent victory motion and jogged over to the goalie’s position with his cleats again flopping off his feet. The 2 teams once again began kicking the ball up and down the field. A few times his opponents got close, but his defenders pushed them back each time. As he moved around his cleats slid on and off feet. There’s no way I can keep these on he thought, and then glanced around to see if anyone was looking in his direction. With no one seemingly focused on him, Dylan turned to face his goal then flicked his cleats over to the side of the goal post. He turned back to refocus on the game now defending his goal in socks. The game continued with both teams struggling back and forth. Dylan saved a few goals here and there but finally the game concluded with a score of 1 – 0. He was proud that his shoeless goal was the only score of the game. Dylan and his team ran from one side of the field to the other celebrating. He almost forgot that his cleats were still at the back of the goal so he ran back over to collect them. As he was walking off the field with his cleats in his left hand one of the opposing team’s players came up to him. It was the same boy that had shot him the menacing glance outside the locker room. “I guess it was pointless to take these. You were the only one to score a goal and you didn’t even need them.” The boy reached into his pocket and pulled out Dylan’s missing shoelaces. He tossed them on the ground then ran off before Dylan could respond. Seeing what had happened Cody walked up behind Dylan and said, “It figures it would be Jason. My cousin goes to his school and she says he tries to play dirty and is a big cheater.” Dylan picked up his laces, walked over and placed them in Cody’s hand. Cody gave Dylan a confused look, “aren’t you going to put these back in” he asked. “I don’t know” Dylan replied. “I kind of had a lot of fun without them, and well, like Jason said. I was the only one to score a goal and I didn’t even need them.” “Show off” Cody said again. Giving his friend another shove they both ran off to continue celebrating with the team.