Playing Time Struggles

Akshay Gaddamanugu, Grade 9

Finally, I run onto the turf 

Getting to play for the first time today  

Sitting on the bench was getting tough 


The ball comes to me for the first time 

I see my teammate open and calling for the ball 

I try to pass but the pass was terribly offline 


All my confidence lost over the last few weeks  

My lack of that leading to drop in performance 

I struggle to do even the simplest of passes with confidence 


I play for the next 10 minutes, trying my best 

I do not get the ball again in that time 

I just run around knowing I haven’t impressed 


I see a player about to enter the game 

My number is on the board in red 

I jog over and sit back down with shame 


I do not even drink water, nor even sweat 

I just sit and see the other kids have fun 

I sit down on the bench and start to fret  


The game ends, and I have no self-esteem 

The team celebrates the dominating victory  

I just watch them, like I did nothing  

Head in the Game

Maya Davis, Grade 10

Sky High

Lizzie Maxey, Grade 11

Moment of Glory

Riley Pierce, Grade 10

The feeling of true athletic success, 

With pressure high and skill put to the test, 

When the countless hours of work pay off, 

In practice, regular season, or playoffs. 


I’ve never reached that peak, 

The feeling all athletes seek, 

After all the sacrifice, pain, and defeat, 

The taste of victory oh so sweet. 


I’ve always been a good athlete, 

But good is just good not elite, 

And not for lack of ability, 

The fear of mistakes haunts me. 


A season-ending injury paused my quest, 

A nearly shredded ACL left me depressed, 

Falling behind the people I passed, 

My leg in pain and confidence harassed. 


A step back from sports helped me to see more, 

Asking myself, “what do I do this for?” 

I play to have fun and to be with my team, 

Not for the idea of glory that is strangling me. 


1 ~Editor's Note~2The Dragon's Toe3George's 4Exotic Flavor5Paper Cutter 6Masked , Big Fish , A Plant , and Pass, Hit, Set 7The Stories of Colors 8The Lightning Monster9The Rainy Life of the Weather Named Stormy 10Tables, Reflection , Arachnid , and Distant Forest 11Discovery 12Etched Blossoms , Owl, City Scape , and Puppy 13Superior Species 14Those Butterfly Wings , Converse , Tunnel Vison, and A Cloud 15A Sea of Red 16Nebula Metro17Life of a Diary 18Flowers , Swan , Waves , and Grass 19The Dragon's Tooth 20The Girl in a Dress 21Burning Out , Blue Dot , A Southern Feminist's Manifesto , and Silhouette 22The Fire Kindling: Chapter 1 23The Perfect Student , Social Pressures , and The Perfect Student 2 24Patina Nightmare25Eventide26Creative Shutdown, Eye's Through A Looking Glass , Head on Collision , and Writer's Block 27The Road to the Championship 28Reconnecting With Nature , Eos , you were a summer thunderstorm , and Reconnecting With Self 29Senior Spotlight: Ava Muller, Photography, The Landing , Tranquil , One-eyed Flyer , Grief , Dreamer , Fractured , Breakin', Lost Lives , and Lilypads 30Senior Spotlight: Maggie Huffman, Digital Illustration , Nice to Meet You!, Exploration of "Circe", Surfs Up! , The Return of Morales , Companionship , Mandalorian , Ambush , Just Hangin', and The High Priestess 31Senior Spotlight: Jolie Stumpff, Poetry , Don't, Muse, Being a Boy , In Search of a Cosmos, Overstimulation , Wheels , and Final Moments32Playing Time Struggles, Head in the Game , Sky High , and Moment of Glory 33Pollination , Azure Afternoon , Creator of Color, and Elegant Emu 34One , Fido , Heart Handles , and Early Birds35Dedication: Katherine Berdy