Head Coach Skip Stare chats with his wife, Emily Anderson-Stare, on the field at University of Phownix Stadium before a baseball game between the Oberon College Mallards and the University of Phoenix Golden Foxes. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
With the 2011 football season inching towards us ever so slowly, I saw this week as an apt opportunity to spend some time with my novel. Oh, you didn't know I was working on a novel? Yeah, I'm totes working on a novel. If you missed Chapter 1, you can find it HERE. In today's installment, we find Skip Stare, head baseball coach of the Oberon College Mallards, at a moral crossroads. He has been through a tumultuous off-season, juggling the needs of his players with the expectations of the national press. I must stress that this is 100% fiction, and any resemblance to any actual people or events is purely coincidental.
Coach Skip Stare took a look at the clock. Its hands ticked with a heavy, plodding obedience. Another sleepless night, filled with indecision. He found himself, once again, at the apex of an offseason to forget. It began with centerfielder Kiki Alejandro's drunken run-in with an old lady, in her own backyard. His indefinite suspension still looming, Coach Stare wavered back and forth with the idea of reinstating him for the Mallards' opening game against Baton Rouge College. Kiki, a tremendous athlete and an asset to the program, had given his coach no reason to question his remorse and dedication. But what was a suspension that did not include any game time? Coach Stare was not one for ceremony, and the media had begun to question his ethics some time ago, after his handling of power hitter LeGregory Batch.
In addition to Alejandro, there was the matter of speedster Chris "Moolah" Harrison. Harrison, a dirigible enthusiast, had decided to use the offseason as a means of pursuing a lifelong dream: to set a world speed record in a custom-built zeppelin. His venture was a near-success, but upon landing after his third attempt, he was grounded and detained by the Canadian Mounted Police after plowing through a flock of endangered geese mid-flight, killing seven.
As the sun rose higher over the Wilhelmina Valley, he shuffled papers on his desk, his thumbs tinged gray from copier toner and pencil lead. The opening day depth chart has been written and rewritten, and one more edit was still to be made to account for the sudden transfer of utility infielder Rivers Ciznak, a highly touted recruit who had come under scrutiny for his connection to Texas crime tycoon Wild Billy Giles. Giles was a gun runner and scam artist, the most classic of con men who cared for no one, and was revered for it amongst the besmirched and forgotten.
Time for my run, Coach Stare thought to himself. He began every day the same way, artfully gliding through the trees and past the bubbling creek. The exercise was therapeutic, a chance to chase away yesterday and begin anew. Coach's motto was "Achieve Victory Daily", and dwelling is a luxury that the driven can not afford. As he dashed into the mist, he imagined a sunnier future on the other side...