Anna was short, boney, and in no way looked like any of the basketball players on her team. She loved the game. She was passionate about the game and practiced harder to be a part of the game.
She was so excited at the end of her sophomore year of high school when her varsity coach, Mr. Martin, all but promised her a spot on the team next year. He said he was very impressed by her dedication. This gave her hope for the next season.
Then, word came out that the Mr. Martin was to be fired because some of the parents of her teammates complained about unfair playing time. Anna was saddened by the news, but still hopeful that her varsity dreams weren’t going to be crushed.
The new coach that replaced Mr. Martin was none other than her mom’s arch nemesis, Mrs. Conley. Mrs. Conley was in the same class as Anna’s mom and she hated her mom for stealing away her boyfriend… and then later on marrying him.
When Anna was working her way up in the recreation league, Mrs. Conley refused to have her on her team. She was one of the good coaches in the league and Anna’s mom was royally pissed off that Mrs. Conley still held a grudge, so she started coaching herself, for Anna to be able to play.
Anna told her mom about Mrs. Conley’s new position at the school and relayed her fears that she won’t make the varsity team.
“It’s been over 20 years, I’m sure she’s over it by now. Don’t worry, your skills will show in tryouts and she’ll have to pick you to be on the team.”
Anna tried to agree with her mom, but she had her doubts. At tryouts, Anna couldn’t help but feel that she was being pushed more than the other girls. Mrs. Conley yelled at Anna more and criticized her for every single thing she did. At the end of the week, Anna was sure that she was going to be put on Junior Varsity again while the rest of her classmates went on to Varsity.
The day the team list was posted, Anna slowly made her way through the girls who were crying or high-fiving each other. When she read the Varsity list she nearly died.
Her name was posted as the last person: Anna Matthews – Guard. She quickly texted her mom the news and they celebrated that night.
But the season didn’t go as well as she thought. Despite being drilled hard at practice, Anna never got any playing time. Her mom took it to the Athletic Director, but he said it was out of his hands; no other complaints about Mrs. Conley were made so he didn’t see that it was a necessary issue.
Anna was frustrated towards the end of the season. How would she be able to get a college scholarship, if she couldn’t play a single game? During one of the practices she was being scolded for not running hard enough.
“What’s the point, coach? You’ll never put me in the game anyway!” Anna yelled back.
Mrs. Conley got red in the face and pulled Anna aside, “I will never put you in the game with that attitude! Don’t bother trying out next year, because I won’t even put you on the roster.”
Anna held back her tears and went back to the running drills with the rest of her teammates. One of her teammates, Melissa, ran up to her and asked if she was okay. Anna just shook her head in response but didn’t tell her what Mrs. Conley said.
At the end of the season, Anna had two minutes of total playing time. She was put in for the last thirty seconds of the last four games because they were losing anyway and weren’t going to make the playoffs. Three other freshmen girls had more playing time than she, a junior, did. This devastated Anna.
What was going to be her life now? All she had was basketball. She quit every other extra-curricular because they interfered with basketball; there was no way they’d take her back now.
Senior year was supposed to be her shining year. She’d play varsity and get to show off during Senior Night with the rest of her class. Anna dreamt of that night ever since she watched her cousins play theirs. All of that came crashing down when she saw the tryouts posting on the bulletin board.
Anna knew she wouldn’t make the team. The varsity coach was still Mrs. Conley. The rest of her teammates quickly wrote their names on the sign up sheet and when they saw Anna walk away, they bombarded her with questions.
“Why aren’t you trying out? It’s our senior year!”
“I know last year sucked, but you’ll still make the team!”
“Come on, Anna, we need you.”
Anna stopped in her steps and turned to her teammates who were all desperate to have her on their team. “Mrs. Conley said she wouldn’t put me on the team, anyway. I should just focus on my education.”
Their mouths agape, they didn’t follow Anna as she continued to her classroom.
Author’s Note: This one was a short one even as a full story, which is now available here.
You’ll need a password which you can get access to by subscribing to the Exclusive Access Tier on my patreon!