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Old August 3rd, 2010, 03:42 PM
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Andrew chapter 34: Celebration in miami

Once Andrew and his teammates had their showers and changed into their regular clothes, they all headed out to the field to see their families and friends in the stands. Andrew made a beeline straight for Coach Malcolm and Mark, who were standing beside Matt and Mike?s dad.

?Congratulations on your victory Andrew,? Coach Malcolm congratulated him.

?Your presence in the stands gave us the determination we needed to win; it?s you who should be congratulated Coach!? Andrew shouted in excitement. ?What are you doing here sir??

?Watching your team defeat the defending Provincial Champions,? Malcolm answered. ?But you calling me ?sir? provides the next part of my answer: I saw your rescue of a fellow recruit three weeks ago on the new video sharing website. So I decided to come up here and see your final game in person, and Mark insisted on joining me since he missed his little brother so much.?

?I?m not so little anymore!? Mike shouted in excitement.

?That?s true Mike; what do you weigh now?? Mark asked him, putting an arm around his shoulders.

?I weigh 175 pounds and I stand at 5 foot 8!? Mike replied. ?I can already bench-press over 200 pounds, for reps!?

"Yeah, Mike's going to be a really big and strong guy, just like you and Matt," Andrew said proudly to Mark.

"How long do you think it will take for you to reach the size of your big brother Mike?" Coach Malcolm asked him.

"Which one Coach?" Mike asked him. "I have two big brothers you know!"

"Let's start with Mark," Coach Malcolm suggested. "He's 200 pounds and six feet tall right now."

"Well, if I keep putting on ten pounds of muscle and one inch in height each month, I should be Mark's weight by February and his height by April," Mike predicted with a big grin.

"And how big do you think you'll be by the time you start school in Miami next fall?" Coach Malcolm asked him eagerly.

"I'd say about 6 foot 5 and 270 pounds of solid muscle Coach," Mike replied with a confident grin.

"You'll really be that big?" Coach Malcolm asked him, raising his eyebrows in astonishment. "You'll dwarf Mark by then if that's true and you'll be the perfect size to be a linebacker on the Hurricanes team just like Andrew will be!"

"Thanks for your faith in me Coach; I hope I can justify it by trying out for your team next fall," Mike said quietly.

"How'd you like to try out for the team sooner than that Mike?" Coach Malcolm asked him unexpectedly.

"You mean next month during Christmas Break?" Mike asked him in excitement.

"No, I mean this weekend Mike," Coach Malcolm corrected him.

"What?!" Andrew shouted in astonishment; a look of excitement creeping across his face.

"You guys deserve a reward for winning the Provincial Championship today, and I can't think of a better idea than bringing you guys down to Miami with me," Coach Malcolm explained.

"Since Mark and I need to get back to Miami for the game tomorrow afternoon anyway, we might as well bring a few future Hurricanes along with us. Anthony's dad loaned us his private jet for the trip up here and back, so you won't have to worry about lack of space or booking tickets."

"How many people do you intend to take back to Miami with you this weekend?" Andrew asked him.

"The jet seats 20, so we'll have plenty of room for a few football players, their parents, and some of their friends," Coach Malcolm replied. "Miami is hosting Florida State this weekend Steve and Darrel, so it would be the perfect opportunity for you to meet your future coaches and teammates."

"Yes it would be sir," Steve agreed, as he, Darrel and Phil walked up to the group. He looked at the big smiles on the faces of Carrie and his parents and added, "I think the Peterson family is up for a little trip to Miami this weekend Coach Malcolm."

"Yes, and if you play your cards right, you might be able to arrange a tour of the Florida State campus with your coaches for next weekend," Coach Malcolm informed him.

"How will playing cards help?" Steve asked him with a silly grin.

"You recently watched Star Trek 4, didn't you Steve?" Coach Malcolm asked him with a laugh. When Steve nodded, Malcolm waved a finger at him and said, "Always a comedian Steve; you'll fit in well with Coach Henderson and the Seminoles." He turned to the rest of the group and said, "So, we have four seats filled on the jet so far. Who's next?"

"Count me and Phil and my parents in," Darrel replied, after they all indicated their willingness to go to Miami that weekend. "That makes eight."

"My three sons and I will also make the trip," Mr. Stevenson replied. "After all, you originally extended this invitation to Mike, so it makes sense for him to come along, doesn't it?"

"It does indeed," Coach Malcolm agreed. "So, we're up to 12 now." He turned to Andrew and asked him, "So Andrew, are you up to showing Mike around the Miami campus, since you're one of the people in this group who's actually been there recently?"

"I sure am Coach," Andrew replied, as his parents and Sarah nodded enthusiastically. "And it looks like Sarah and my parents would also like to come."

"It makes sense for Sarah to come along if Coach Henderson is going to be there this weekend," Malcolm informed Andrew. "So, we're up to 16 now; who's next?" He turned to Ralph and Connor and asked, "How about you two?"

"Wouldn't we have 22 on the jet if we come along with our parents Coach?" Ralph asked him with a worried look.

"We'll manage Ralph," Coach Malcolm assured him. "I'd really like you two to come along and see the field you're going to be playing on for the next four years."

"Well, when you put it that way, we can't say no," Ralph said, after Connor nodded in agreement. "Count us in Coach."

"Good, then it's all settled," Malcolm said. "Now all we have to decide is when you want to leave."

"How about once we drop all our stuff off at our house and get packed," Andrew suggested. "Where is the private jet parked and where will we stay in Miami once we arrive?"

"One question at a time Andrew," Coach Malcolm urged him, raising his hands. When Andrew went to say something more, Malcolm cut him off by saying," No you don't Andrew! Don't even think about making a smart quip like "I asked one question after another Coach, so I did ask one question at a time.' We have no time to waste!"

"Does that mean you're not going to answer my questions Coach?" Andrew asked him with a worried look.

"I'll do it while we walk to your cars Andrew," Malcolm decided. "Let's go everyone."

As they walked to the parking lot, Malcolm said, "The private jet is parked on one of the runways at Lake Simcoe Regional Airport halfway to Barrie off Highway 11. As for where you're all staying tonight, Anthony's dad has graciously offered to let you use the two guesthouses on his property for the weekend. He'll be meeting us at the Miami International Airport with a couple of company limos."

"Thanks for answering my questions Coach," Andrew said, as they reached the parking lot. "So, how did you get here from the regional airport?"

"Matt picked me and Mark up, since he got a three day leave for this weekend," Malcolm replied.

"Yeah, once I told Lt. Mitchell that Andrew the Military Hero was playing in the Provincial Championship game today, he immediately signed my leave pass," Matt said. He patted Andrew on his broad shoulder and said, "Thanks for winning the game and not letting us down Andrew."

"It was Ralph's bonus kick that won the game actually, but I appreciate the sentiment," Andrew said, opening his car door.

"You're becoming very modest and humble Andrew," Matt said proudly. "Keep it up and we'll see you at the airport."

"See you Matt; text me if you get there first, and I'll do the same if I get there first," Andrew said.

Matt waved and headed to his car with Mark and Coach Malcolm following him. After a brief glance at Andrew, who nodded at him, Mike followed. Everyone else got into the cars they had come to the school in and headed home to pack.

Once the Pearson and Peterson families were all packed, they followed Andrew's car in a line out of the Hillside Drive subdivision and down Laclie Street to the parking lot of the Fittons Road IGA. There, they found the two cars with Connor's family and Ralph's family in them. From there, all the cars headed west up Fittons Road to Highway 11, which they took south to the airport.

Once everyone got to the airport, they got out of their cars to find Coach Malcolm and the Stevensons waiting for them beside Mr. Anderson's large corporate jet.

"That's a pretty big jet sir," Andrew said as he apporached the jet with his luggage.

"Yes it is Andrew; Mr. Anderson loaned me his biggest jet for this trip," Coach Malcolm informed him. "He knows that I like to take a lot of people back to Miami with me."

"Yeah, wasn't it 11 people last time?" Andrew asked him, showing his passport to the border guard at the foot of the plane steps.

"Yes it was Andrew, and I've exactly doubled that number for this trip," Coach Malcolm realized, leading the way up the steps into the jet. "Just stow your luggage in the overhead compartment and take a seat anywhere Andrew."

"This is quite a fancy jet sir," Andrew commented as he followed Malcolm's orders.

"Yes it is Andrew; Mr. Anderson was able to expand the jet budget of his company signifigantly over the past few years."

"I think it was over the last seven years to be exact," Andrew realized suddenly.

"How did you know that?" Coach Malcolm asked him with a shocked look.

"My father bought out his company about seven years ago and made Mr. Anderson the first Vice-President of International Operations," Andrew informed him. "My dad brought me along with him for that business trip over Thanksgiving Weekend in 1998, and we also saw a Hurricanes and a Dolphins game as well."

"Is that why Anthony got so jealous of you a month ago?" Malcolm whispered in his ear as everyone else began to board the plane.

"No, he's never mentioned any resentment about my dad being the boss of his dad," Andrew whispered back. "But Anthony did mention something about you constantly bragging about me to the whole team, and that really ticked him off."

"I'm sorry; I could stop talking about you if you really want me to," Malcolm teased him. "I could even cancel this whole trip right now and let you go home if that's what you really want."

"I never said that Coach; stop trying to put your words in my mouth," Andrew ordered him. "They'd still come out in your voice, not mine."

"Okay Andrew," Malcolm agreed. "Sorry about that, and sorry for embarrassing you by bragging so much about you to my team."

"Hey, it's not bragging if you can back it up, and after winning the Provincial Championship today, we definitely backed up our reputation," Andrew reminded him. "After you show the video of the game to the Admissions Office, I think that Ralph, Connor and myself will soon see our scholarship confirmation letters arrive."

"What video Andrew?" Malcolm asked him with a sneaky grin.

"The video Mark took during the game," Andrew replied, as Malcolm signalled the pilot to close the door and take off. "I saw the video camera he was holding while you watched us play."

"Pretty good eyes Andrew; I didn't think you could see a palm-sized camcorder from the field," Malcolm commented as the plane began to taxi down the runway. "Better put your seatbelts on everyone."

"I have really good eyes sir; that's why I won Top Shot in my graduating class," Andrew said proudly.

"You just gave away your military secret Andrew," Malcolm whispered in his ear.

"The secret came out about three weeks ago after my last reservist weekend," Andrew whispered back. "Didn't you see that clip I sent you on that video-sharing website? Matt even mentioned it today."

"Quite right, so he did, and yes I did get that clip, now that I think about it Andrew," Malcolm said. "Sorry about that Andrew; I guess I forgot."

"I didn't know I was so forgettable," Andrew teased him with a chuckle.

"I can assure you that you're not, especially after becoming a Provincial Champion today!" Malcolm informed him.

"Stop it sir, you're embarrassing me," Andrew said quietly.

"Okay Andrew; I'll talk about someone else for a while," Malcolm said abruptly. He turned to Ralph and asked him, "So Ralph, how does it feel to be a Provincial Football Champion?"

"It feels great sir," Ralph said hesitantly, a little surprised by how quickly Malcolm had turned to him.

"You don't have to call me sir; I think that you, Connor and Andrew have earned the right to call me Coach," Malcolm informed him with a big smile.

"Sure thing Coach," Ralph said, smiling at him. "But what if it makes Anthony jealous, since we're not on the team yet?"

"You've guaranteed your place on the team, but I see your point," Malcolm agreed. "Very well, I won't show my team the tape unless they ask to see it."

"But won't they know that we won a big game since you're bringing us all down to Miami with you?" Connor asked him.

"I think that our team will be too occupied with playing their first home game in three weeks to worry about that," Malcolm assured him. "But after the game, then they will have time to see the tape."

"Sounds good sir," Connor said.

Everyone chatted during the three hour flight down to Miami and Coach Malcolm informed them that the game would be played the next day in the Orange Bowl Stadium.

"Coach, are you upset by something I said?" Andrew asked him.

"No Andrew; but I went to a lot of trouble to get the Homestead Base to continue your training during College," Malcolm replied. "Then I found out from them, just this month in fact, that you have to finish your contract with the Canadian Forces before you can serve in the US Armed Forces!"

"Like my grandpa did in Vietnam," Andrew informed him.

"Yes, but don't mention Vietnam down there," Malcolm ordered him. "Much like the Iraq War, it was very unpopular in our country and obviously in Canada as well, since not many Canadians served in that war!"

"Okay sir, but what about bringing the Enhancement Project to the attention of the Homestead Base by way of Dad's partner Mr. Anderson?" Andrew asked.

"Already arranged during Christmas Break Andrew: when we have more time," Malcolm assured him. "You and I will be making a trip to the Homestead Base, where the med techs there will extract a sample of your blood and attempt to create a serum that can enhance their own soldiers."

"I guess that's a good idea since our military obviously won't want to let the serum cross the border," Andrew realized.

"Good point Andrew," Coach Malcolm said, nodding in agreement. He turned to look at the other football players on the plane and said, "So, I hope you're all ready for the reception you're going to get down in Miami." When Andrew's teammates looked at him with puzzled expressions, Malcolm clarified his earlier statement by saying, "Now that you five are Provincial Champions along with Andrew, the welcome you got on Thanksgiving Weekend will look mild compared to what you'll get tomorrow! And it won't be just the football team that will welcome you with open arms this time!"

Andrew and his teammates got shocked looks on their faces and Malcolm grinned; pleased that he had found a way to keep Andrew quiet for the rest of the trip. This allowed Malcolm to make the final arrangements for all his recruits down in Miami, thanks to his Blackberry and laptop.

When the private jet landed at Miami International Airport, everyone got out with their luggage and into the waiting limos.

"You never told us that Mr. Anderson would send his largest limos to pick us up sir," Andrew said to Coach Malcolm.

"He made an adjustment to the size of the limos he sent once he got the text I sent him about the size of this group," Malcolm informed Andrew. "Consider this Recruiting Visit Part 2, with Part 3 coming during Christmas Vacation."

"Understood sir," Andrew said as the limos pulled away from the jet. "I have another comment sir; about the jet this time."

"What is it now Andrew?" Malcolm sighed.

"I'll tell you later sir," Andrew suddenly decided. "I seem to be annoying you with all my questions and comments."

"I'm sorry Andrew; it's not your fault that I'm upset," Malcolm assured Andrew, patting him on his broad shoulder. "I'm just worried about our game tomorrow against Florida State; they're one of our biggest rivals and toughest opponents." When he saw Steve grinning, he added, "Yes Steve, they're the perfect team for you and Darrel to join, along with his brother Phil. And judging by how successful you guys played today, they'll be happy to have you!"

"Do you wish we'd joined your team instead of Florida State sir?" Steve asked him suddenly.

"Well yes, because you six guys have played so well as a team that it's a shame to have you split between two schools next fall," Malcolm replied. "But as I told you on Thanksgiving Weekend, I'm not about to stop you three from going to your chosen school, even if it's not Miami."

"Does Coach Henderson feel the same way, or will he try to lure me away from Miami?" Mike asked him suddenly.

"He'll try the latter, since you've only made a verbal commitment Mike," Malcolm replied. "But once the first Wednesday of February comes, which is known as National Signing Day, you guys can sign a Letter of Intent, which officially confirms which school you'll play for and get an athletic scholarship from. You probably won't get one for next year Mike, since you haven't played a game yet, but if your tryouts this weekend are successful, then you should be able to join the team as a redshirt or a walk-on player. I've already scheduled you for the Sunday morning practice on the Orange Bowl field, so Coach Henderson won't have a chance to snatch you away then."

"Why not; won't he be there?" Steve asked him with a worried look on his face.

"No, he'll be back at Florida State then, which is why you'll be meeting him after the game tomorrow," Malcolm replied. "During the game, I've made arrangements for you six recruits to be on your respective sidelines. That way you can all get to meet your future teammates and see the game from their perspective."

"What about me Coach?' Mike asked him; worried that Malcolm had forgotten about him.

"You'll be with Andrew of course, since his training of you is responsible for me taking notice of you," Malcolm assured him. "Don't worry Mike, since I've already recruited Andrew, Ralph and Connor, this weekend is actually a recruiting visit just for you, as well as a celebration of their victory today!"

"Yes, this is my first recruiting visit sir," Mike reminded him.

"Yes I know Mike; that's why you'll be with Andrew on the Hurricanes sideline during the game tomorrow," Coach Malcolm informed him. "You do want to play on the Hurricanes with Andrew next season, don't you?" When Mike nodded eagerly, Malcolm asked him, "That wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that your brother, who was trained by Andrew, is on the Hurricanes right now, would it?" Mike nodded and Malcolm grinned and said, "That's okay Mike; we'll be glad to have you, as long as you don't feel pressured into making the decision to join our team."

"I made the decision on my own sir, but I feel as welcomed here already as I do at the lunch table with Andrew and his teammates," Mike assured him.

"Good for you Mike; you've already established a good bond with your future teammates," Malcolm said proudly, as the limo crossed the Julia-Tuttle Causeway.

"Andrew and his teammates are my workout partners now and hopefully will be my roommates next September," Mike said eagerly.

"Hurricanes get single rooms, but if you want Andrew as a roommate, I'm sure we can arrange something," Malcolm assured him. "That reminds me, I'll have to give you a tour of the dorms on Sunday. The dorms that the Hurricanes reside in have single rooms for all the athletes, a sports lounge and a gaming room."

The eyes of all the football players lit up and Coach Malcolm looked forward to revealing to them the lifestyle of the Miami Hurricane football player.

Once everyone got to Mr. Anderson's house, they got out of the two limos and found Mr. Anderson and Anthony waiting for them.

"Hello everyone; I'm glad you made it," Mr. Anderson said, stepping forward to shake their hands one by one. He got to Mike at the end of the line and said, "You must be Mike Stevenson." When Mike nodded, Mr. Anderson added, "Your brother Mark has told me a lot about you, as has Andrew. They both revealed to me your deep interest in joining the Miami Hurricanes next fall."

"They were right sir; nothing would make me more proud than to play on the same team as my new friend and my brother," Mike agreed eagerly. "I also look forward to playing with your son."

"Yes well, I'll let Anthony show you guys to your rooms in the guesthouses while I show your parents to the their rooms in the main house," Mr. Anderson said rather abruptly.

Then he turned and walked quickly into his house, with all the parents and Coach Malcolm following him.

Andrew leaned over to Anthony and whispered, "Still not over the fight yet?"

"No Andrew," Anthony whispered back, "and thanks for not telling anyone."

"My pleasure man," Andrew assured him, patting his shoulder. "So, shall we go see our rooms now?"

"Yes, that's a good idea Andrew," Anthony agreed, leading the way to the nearest guesthouse. He turned to Andrew's friends and said, "You can drop your luggage in your rooms and then we'll have supper. The guesthouses are minuature versions of the main house, so they have all the amenities we'll need." He held the front door open and the future Hurricanes filed past him. "Wait a minute you four!" he snapped suddenly, putting a massive hand on Steve's chest to keep him outside. "You stay in the other guesthouse; this one's for Hurricanes only."

"Sure thing man, but take your hand off my chest before you lose it," Steve warned him quietly.

"No problem Steve," Anthony said, lowering his arm and motioning Steve and his friends to the other guesthouse. "We'll see you guys after supper, which my sister Amber will help you make."

Steve nodded and led his future teammates to the other guesthouse, while Anthony led Andrew and the other future Hurricanes into his guesthouse. There, they had supper and watched highlights of previous Hurricanes games on his big flat-screen TV in the sports lounge. Anthony also showed his future teammates the basement weight room, where he tested Mike on the benchpress.

"Wow man, you can bench 220 pounds; that's really impressive dude," Anthony congratulated Andrew's new protege. "I didn't expect that kind of strength from a small guy like you."

"What do you mean small?" Mike asked him with a smirk, flexing his 17 inch bicep, which strained the sleeve of his skintight t-shirt.

"I meant small compared to us, not normal people Mike," Anthony clarified. "Pretty good arms man; they're going to bust the sleeves of that t-shirt any day now!"

"That's the idea," Mike informed him with a cocky smirk. "But what I benched is nothing; watch Mark bench that 500 pounds he's been bragging about!"

"Sure thing little brother," Mark said, laying down on the weight bench as Anthony got the weights ready for him. "It won't be long until I have to call you big brother! But for now, I'll prove that I'm still stronger than you are!"

Everyone watched in amazement as Mark backed up his words by bneching 500 pounds for 10 reps, with only some effort.

"Pretty good job Mark; now it's my turn," Matt said as Mark stood up from the weight bench.

"Wait a minute man; there's only enough weight plates in here to go up to 1500 pounds," Anthony protested.

"I'm not there yet, but I'm glad you have enough plates to take me up to my best lift of 1100 pounds," Matt said gratefully. "Let's see if I can lift that much more than once."

"Sure thing man," Anthony said, realizing that Matt was stronger than he was and bigger as well.

As Anthony put the plates on either end of the bar for Matt, he realized that Matt and Andrew were exactly the same size, about threee inches and 50 pounds heavier than he was. He was amazed when he saw Matt bench 1100 pounds without a spot on his first rep, though Anthony had to help him with the next two.

"Good job man," Anthony said, trying to conceal his fear of Matt's great strength.

"Thanks man," Matt said, standing up and shaking Anthony's hand. Anthony winced and Matt said, "Sorry about that man; I forget how strong I am sometimes."

"No problem dude," Anthony assured him, more out of fear than respect. He turned to Andrew and said, "I'm afraid that there's no way you'll be able to test your great strength here Andrew."

"Yeah, you should be afraid Anthony; I can bench 8000 pounds now!" Andrew informed him with an arrogant smirk. "I'm about seven times stronger than Matt!"

"Yes you are a lot stronger than me Andrew, but fortunately your humble nature keeps you from bullying people," Matt said with a trace of fear in his eyes.

"Yes, well, now that the strength tests are over with, what would you like to do next?" Anthony asked his guests.

"It's almost ten o'clock; do you mind if we go to bed now?" Andrew asked him.

"No problem man; I'll find out from Coach Malcolm what time we're leaving for the game tomorrow and then I'll set your alarms," Anthony said.

"Thanks man," Andrew said, clapping him on the shoulder with one great hand. Anthony winced and Andrew said, "Sorry about that man; I didn't mean to hurt you."

Not like you did last time, Anthony thought to himself, but aloud he said, "No harm done man; I'll just show you to your rooms so that you can get some sleep. It's going to be a big day tomorrow: for all of us!"

With that, Anthony showed Andrew and his friends to their rooms and then went inside to find out from Coach Malcolm what time they would be leaving for the game the next day. Then he came back into the guesthouse to find his friends asleep already, so he set their alarm clocks and then went into the other guesthouse to do the same thing. There, he apologized to Steve for his abruptness earlier: an apology that Steve gladly accepted because he didn't want to upset his host. Then Anthony went back into his guesthouse and went upstairs to bed.

The next day, everyone got up at 9 am and had breakfast. Then they headed out in the two limos to the University of Miami campus, where they had a meeting with Coach Malcolm for the game that afternoon. Coach Malcolm informed Steve and the other future Seminoles that Coach Henderson would meet them at the guest entrance to the Orange Bowl Stadium.

"What's he meeting us there for?" Steve asked him. "Aren't we going to be on the sidelines?"

"Yes Steve, and he's going to lead you there personally," Malcolm replied, "just as I am going to do for the future Hurricanes here today."

"Sounds good," Steve said, as the limos turned into the University of Miami grounds.

"Yes, and then on Sunday morning, you'll have a tour of the campus, your dorms and the Hurricanes gym," Malcolm informed the football players.

"But we're going to be Seminoles, not Hurricanes Coach," Steve protested.

"I was talking about the Hurricanes only Steve, but you won't be here anyway," Coach Malcolm informed him.

"Why not Coach?" Steve asked him with a confused look. "Don't you want us here?"

"Coach Henderson wants to take you back with him to Tallahassee on the team plane," Malcolm informed him.

"That sounds like fun Coach," Steve said.

"It will be Steve, and it will be a great opportunity for you to meet your future teammates and get a true glimpse of what your life will be like as a college football player," Coach Malcolm said.

While they were talking, Andrew leaned over to Matt and asked him, "How come you never played college football Matt?"

"My love for the military was greater than my love for football, but just barely Andrew," Matt replied. He noticed Andrew's sad look and assured him, "Don't worry Andrew: we don't resent you for choosing football over the military. In fact, the success of your enhancement makes you the template for other soldiers to be enhanced in your absence."

"Including you?" Andrew asked him suddenly.

"Well yes Andrew, and I'm glad you remember our conversation with Captain Mitchell at your house last month," Matt informed him.

"I had forgotten actually, until you just mentioned it," Andrew realized, as the limos came to a stop. Matt glared at him, upset that Andrew had forgotten about the party his parents and friends had thrown for him to celebrate his rescue of Luke. "Sorry man, but I've just been so absorbed with football lately that I haven't had time to focus on anything else."

"Well, you'll be at our base again next weekend, and now that football season is over, I expect you to give your training your full attention Private," Matt said briskly.

"Sure thing Sergeant," Andrew said quietly, realizing that Matt was now mad at him. "But we're here at the Miami Campus now, so it's time for me to focus on football."

"That's right Andrew, and this is where the future Hurricanes and the Seminoles split up for the rest of the weekend," Coach Malcolm informed him. He pointed to the practice football field, where Coach Henderson was waiting. "Go meet your future Coach Steve, and take Darrel, Phil and Sarah with you."

"Okay Coach, see you later," Steve said.

"Yeah, we'll see you in the Orange Bowl Stadium, on the Seminoles sideline," Coach Malcolm informed him. Steve grinned and led his three friends over to Coach Henderson. His mom, Sarah's mom and Mr and Mrs Parker followed them. Coach Malcolm turned back to Andrew and his friends and said, "As for the rest of you, I have something for you in my office; let's go everyone."

Andrew and the others followed their future coach to his office, and Andrew realized that Steve's dad was staying with them this time, unlike Thanksgiving Weekend when he had gone to Florida State with Steve and Sarah.

Once everyone got to Coach Malcolm's office, Coach Malcolm took a big box out of the corner of the room and set it on his desk.

"Andrew, Ralph and Connor: open the box please," Coach Malcolm said.

The three football players opened the box carefully and looked inside. Their jaws dropped and they looked up at Coach Malcolm in shock.

"What's in the box Coach?" Mike asked Coach Malcolm.

"Take out what's in the box Andrew and then Mike's question will be answered," Coach Malcolm said.

Andrew reached out carefully and took three items out of the box, which turned out to be University of Miami football jerseys.

"Turn the jerseys around so that Mike and everyone else can read them Andrew," Coach Malcolm ordered him.

Andrew did that, after handing a jersey to Ralph and Connor, and Mike could finally see why his three friends were so shocked. The three jerseys had the last names of Mike's three friends on the back of them.

"Congratulations Andrew, Ralph and Connor," Coach Malcolm said. "You now have your own University of Miami football jerseys, which have your player numbers on them."

"I don't know what to say Coach, except thank you very much," Andrew said quietly, still stunned by Coach Malcolm's amazing gift. "Can we wear these jerseys today during the game?"

"Yes you can Andrew, but don't put them on until we're in the locker room at the Orange Bowl Stadium," Coach Malcolm ordered him. "In the meantime though, we'll get together with the rest of the team and go over our final strategy for the game this afternoon." He turned to Matt and the parents and said, "We'll meet you guys in the cafeteria for lunch. Why don't you tour the campus grounds; Chad should be able to guide you."

"Sure thing Coach Malcolm," Chad said, leading the parents and Matt out of the office.

Mike turned around to follow them but was stopped short by Coach Malcolm saying, "Where do you think you're going Mike?"

"With my family," Mike replied.

"You're hoping to be a future Hurricane like your three friends here, aren't you Mike?" Coach Malcolm asked him. When Mike nodded, Coach Malcolm said, "Then step over to my desk and look in the box Mike; there's one more item in there just for you."

Mike stepped over to the box and looked inside. His jaw dropped and he carefully reached inside and pulled out a Hurricanes t-shirt.

"Enjoy it Mike; that shirt will identify you as a future member of our team, allowing you to join us on our sidelines," Coach Malcolm informed him. "Now it's time for you four to follow me to the practice field, where we'll have a final practice for the game and test your football skills Mike."

"Right now?" Mike asked him in shock. "I thought it was going to be tomorrow morning," he added, as he followed Coach Malcolm and his three friends out of the office.

"A last minute change Mike, considering what I have planned for tomorrow morning," Coach Malcolm informed him. He led them out of the office building and across the campus to the practice field. "Anthony and the other players are already waiting for you on the field you four; go and join them. I'll be on the sidelines supervising the practice while the assistant coaches put you through your paces."

Andrew and his teammates led Mike onto the field, where they practiced with Anthony, Mark and the other Hurricanes for the game that afternoon. Coach Malcolm recorded everything on his video camera, and jotted down some notes as well. Then he called everyone in to the sideline once the practice was over and gave them some tips for the game that afternoon. He also informed Mike that he was very impressed with his football skills and informed him that he could put on his Hurricanes t-shirt after everyone showered.

"I'll see you and your parents in the cafeteria for lunch once you've showered and changed into your Hurricanes tops," Coach Malcolm informed them. "Mark and Anthony should be able to take you on a quick tour of the athletic dorms, which is where you'll all be showering anyway. See you later."

Everyone waved goodbye to Coach Malcolm and headed to the athletic dorms, where they all had their showers and gathered up their gear for the game that afternoon. Then the dorm staff loaded their equipment onto the Hurricanes bus for them, while Anthony and Mark took Andrew and his friends on a small tour of the dorms.

"All the athletes get large single rooms and this dorm has a sports lounge downstairs much like I have in my guesthouse at home," Anthony said.

"What if Andrew and I want to be roommates?" Mike asked him.

"What, you don't want to bunk with your big brother Mike?" Anthony asked him in surprise.

"No offense Mark, but Andrew's training me, so it only makes sense that I stick with him," Mike informed Mark.

"That's fine Mike; we should be able to find or adapt a double room for you and Andrew," Mark assured him. "A corner room would be best; it would have enough space to fit another guy in there."

Mike smiled and Anthony then led them downstairs, where he showed them the sports lounge with the big screen TV, pool tables and game consoles.

"Very impressive Anthony; I can see that the Athletic Department spared no expense to make you guys feel right at home," Andrew said with a big smile.

"All this will be yours next fall Andrew," Anthony assured him. "But until you guys get to live like Hurricanes, you should at least look like Hurricanes. Go change into your Hurricanes gear and then we'll go have lunch."

"Okay Anthony," Andrew said, leading his three friends to the washroom. "See you in a minute."

It only took a minute for Andrew and his friends to get changed into their Hurricanes tops and then they followed Anthony to the cafeteria, where they had lunch with their parents and Coach Malcolm. Andrew sat beside Carrie, who told him that he looked really good in his Hurricanes jersey. That helped Andrew feel better about the fact that his high school football career was now over.

Once lunch was over, the present and future Hurricanes got on the team bus with Coach Malcolm and the assistant coaches. The bus took them through the streets of Miami to the Orange Bowl Stadium, where everyone got out and entered through the team entrance. Coach Malcolm led them straight to the locker room and ordered his players to get changed for the game. Then he had Andrew and his friends follow him to the small office next to the locker room.

"I have another surprise for you guys," Coach Malcolm informed them quietly.

"What's that Coach?" Andrew asked him.

"You four are going to lead the Hurricanes out onto the field through the big helmet and the smoke," Coach Malcolm informed them with a big smile. "How does that sound guys?"

"It sounds like a dream come true Coach!" Ralph shouted in excitement.

"It's not a dream Ralph; you're wide awake," Coach Malcolm assured him. "But I'm glad you guys are so excited about this. I wanted to give you guys the best glimpse into the life of a Hurricane before you officially join the team next fall and this was the best way I could think of to do it." He stepped over to Mike and laid a hand on his shoulder. "I must tell you that I was really impressed with your skills on the athletic field this morning Mike; I can see that you're going to be a great addition to our team next fall."

"Thanks Coach!" Mike shouted with excitement. "I'm glad that you were impressed with my performance!"

"I know you're getting to the game a little late Mike, pardon the pun, but I'm going to do my best to see if there's an unused scholarship that I can offer you at National Signing Day," Malcolm informed him suddenly. When Mike's look of excitement crumbled into tears of joy, Malcolm patted him on the shoulder and said, "Don't cry Mike; you should be happy about this!"

"I am happy Coach!" Mike assured him, wiping away his tears. "This is the best news I've ever heard in my life!"

"Well, you did the work that made this good news possible," Malcolm informed him. "I think that after I show your practice footage to the admissions office in the Athletic Department, they'll have no trouble finding a scholarship for you, even if it's only a partial one."

"This DVD should help," Andrew said, handing over the disc of Mike's first practice session with him on the OD football field back in October.

"Thanks a lot Andrew; this disc should be a big help indeed," Coach Malcolm agreed. "It looks like I'm not the only one who had surprises for Mike today." He turned away from Mike and led Andrew over to his desk. "This DVD should go a long way towards helping me convince the admissions office to give him at least a partial scholarship."

"Hey, I'm standing right here!" Mike reminded them. "Don't talk about me like I'm not in the room; last time I checked: I was in the room!"

"Sorry about that Mike, but remember that you're my guest here, so I expect you to act accordingly," Coach Malcolm said, turning around to face him. "Especially when I'm trying my best to get you on the Hurricanes team so that your college education will be covered by a scholarship! Do we understand each other Mr. Stevenson?"

"Yes Coach; I'm sorry that I yelled at you," Mike apologized.

"And I'm sorry that I ignored you Mike, even if it was only for a moment," Malcolm apologized. "After all, you're my guest this weekend, as I just reminded both of us a moment ago. Now, since you're already wearing your Hurricanes t-shirt, and Andrew's wearing his jersey, are you guys ready to help me lead the team onto the field?"

"Yes we're now ready to lead the team onto the field with you," Andrew replied, after his friends nodded their agreement. "But we should go back into the Hurricanes locker room first to make sure that the team is ready to follow us out there."

"Then let's go Andrew," Coach Malcolm ordered him, leading the way back to the locker room. He entered the room and saw all the Hurricanes players waiting for him. "Are you all ready to go out onto the field guys?"

"Yeah we're ready Coach, not just to go out onto the field, but to win this game," Anthony replied. "We'll crush Florida State today!"

"Then let's go out there and do just that!" Coach Malcolm yelled in excitement. "Follow me men!"

All the Hurricanes players yelled in excitement as they followed their coach out of the locker room and down the hall to the entrance to the field. Andrew could see the other coaches and the waterboys and the cheerleaders forming a tunnel for the Hurricanes to run through. The smoke began gushing as the Hurricanes approached the entrance to the big white helmet that they would run through onto the field.

Then the Miami band began playing the Hurricane's fight song and the players ran out of the white helmet and onto the field to the cheers of the packed stadium. Andrew couldn't believe it, he was actually helping his future coach lead his team onto the field of the Orange Bowl Stadium. A tear rolled down his face as he became overwhelmed with joy, but he waved the smoke from in front of him and used that as cover to wipe the tear away. Then they all reached the Hurricanes sidelines and Andrew sat down on the back bench with his future teammates.

Andrew and his teammates had just sat down on the Hurricanes bench when the Miami band got ready to play the American National Anthem. As the American National Anthem played, Andrew stood at attention, having to fight the urge to salute. He faced the Hurricanes end zone and his eyes widened with surprise as he saw the soldiers from the Homestead base holding the edges of the huge American flag that they had unfurled in the end zone. Andrew felt his chest swell with pride as he was reminded of his place in the Canadian Forces and he had to struggle to keep from tearing up again.

Once the National Anthem had been played, Coach Malcolm walked out to center field to meet Coach Henderson for the coin toss. Florida State won and they elected to kick off. All the future Hurricanes and the non-starters on the team watched the game with intently, hoping that Miami would win against Florida State, as they had the past six times the teams had met. The first half of the game seemed to fulfil expectations, as the Hurricanes were ahead 10 to 7 at halftime, even though Florida State had scored first with a touchdown in the first quarter. That was because Mark threw a perfect touchdown pass and then the kicker scored a field goal.

Andrew and his friends celebrated with the Miami Hurricanes in the locker room during half-time, but once they got back on to the field, things began to fall apart. Looking for a good touchdown pass at the Florida State 5 yard line, Mark threw too short and a Florida State player intercepted the ball. That missed play set up Florida State for an eventual touchdown, which they scored with 7:17 left in the third quarter. That gave Florida State a 14-10 lead after a field goal. That was all the scoring Florida State needed as their defense kept Miami from running the ball and made things tough on Mark, who was sacked seven times despite Anthony's best efforts to protect him.

"I would have been able to protect Mark, and I'll prove it next fall," Andrew muttered to himself under his breath.

He looked around quickly to make sure noone had heard him as the third quarter ended.

The fourth quarter didn't get any better for the Miami Hurricanes, and they ended up losing to their archrival Florida State for the first time since 1999 due in no small part to Mark's intercepted pass that had allowed Florida State to pull ahead in the third quarter and stay there. The Hurricanes looked devastated as they came off the field and Andrew and his friends stood up to console them.

"It's okay guys; you'll get them next time," Andrew said to Mark and Anthony.

"We won't even face them until next season Andrew; so what good does it do to tell us that?" Anthony snapped at him.

"Maybe I was referring to next season Anthony," Andrew said, even though he hadn't been. "But since I don't seem to be helping, I'll just leave you guys alone."

He packed up his bag and began to walk away from the bench when Mark caught his massive arm.

"Don't leave Andrew; Anthony didn't mean what he said," Mark said.

"Yeah he did Mark; don't make excuses for him," Andrew said, removing Mark's hand from his arm. He looked out to the field and noticed Coach Henderson coming over to the Hurricanes bench with Andrew's three friends. "What's going on here I wonder?"

"Steve and Darrel were probably telling Coach Henderson about my brother: the secret recruit, and now Coach Henderson thinks he can steal Mike away from Miami," Mark said.

"Well, we'll put a stop to that," Andrew decided, walking towards the field. "Come on Mark; let's work together to keep your brother on our team!"

When Coach Henderson was close enough, Coach Malcolm stepped up to him and shook his hand.

"Congratulations on your victory Coach Henderson," Malcolm said, as the Hurricanes came up behind him.

"Thanks Coach Malcolm; it was a long time coming: six years in fact," Coach Henderson said. He looked over at the Hurricanes behind Coach Malcolm and noticed Andrew and his four friends. "So you have five recruits from Orillia and I only have three. That seems a little lopsided Coach; which recruit can we entice to join our team to even things out?"

"Is that why you came over here: to steal one of my recruits?" Coach Malcolm asked him, as the Hurricanes formed a solid line behind him. "Who exactly are you after Coach?"

"Mike Stevenson," Henderson replied. "You already have a Quarterback recruit in Ralph and a Wide Receiver recruit in Connor. From what Steve and Darrel tell me, Mike combines the Quarterback and Receiver positions quite well."

"What have you been doing Steve: helping Coach Henderson plan how to steal one of the future Hurricanes?" Andrew asked him with a frown.

"Not steal; just even out the teams Andrew," Steve corrected him.

"Are you blind Steve?" Andrew asked him, pointing to Mike. "Mike obviously wants to stick with his brother and be a Hurricane; look at his t-shirt!"

"For all we know, you forced him to wear that t-shirt Andrew," Steve shot back. "We all know that noone can stop you."

"Yeah, so if I prevent you from snatching Mike away from us, you can't stop me," Andrew warned him. He put a massive arm around Mike's shoulders and added, "So why don't you get on that team jet with Coach Henderson and go back to Florida State before something unfortunate happens."

"Are you threatening me Andrew?" Steve asked him, stepping forward with an angry glare.

"It's not a threat, it's a promise Steve," Andrew corrected him, stepping forward as well until they were standing nose-to-nose. "Leave now and never come back."

"We're not leaving without Mike Andrew," Coach Henderson said, stepping forward to seperate the two huge linebackers.

"Well you can't have him Coach," Coach Malcolm protested, stepping in front of Andrew and Mike. "He stays with us and you leave empty-handed."

"We're leaving with the first victory over you in six years; that's not exactly empty-handed Coach," Henderson reminded him with a smirk. Malcolm's eyes narrowed with fury and then Henderson added, "But getting back to Mike: shouldn't it be his decision whose team he joins?"

Andrew and the Hurricanes noticed Steve, Darrel and Phil circling around behind Henderson to get to Mike. So the Hurricanes shifted position to keep the future Seminoles away from Mike.

"It is his decision; he told me so himself," Malcolm insisted.

"I'd like to hear that from Mike himself if you don't mind."

"Sure thing Coach," Malcolm said, stepping aside and motioning Mike into the middle of the crowd of football players. "Decision time Mike: do you want to be with the five time National Champions or a team that beat us in a fluke?"

"Do you want to be on the team that won today, or the team that lost?" Henderson asked Mike.

"Mike, it all comes down to who you trust more," Andrew reminded him. "Do you trust Steve and Darrel: who bullied you for three years, or Ralph, Connor and myself: who have never bullied you but instead accept you for who you are?"

"That's a low blow Andrew!" Steve shouted in rage, stepping forward until he was once again nose-to-nose with Andrew. He shoved Andrew in the chest, not budging him an inch and ahouted, "How dare you bring that up: you know I've changed!"

"Have you Steve, or are you just better at hiding your true nature?" Andrew asked him.

"What are you talking about Andrew?" Steve asked him, while Mike looked puzzled.

"It was only after you learned that Mike's brother is on the Hurricanes that you became nicer to him," Andrew remembered. "Don't think I didn't notice that you only became nice to Mike after you met Coach Henderson. He probably promised you a full scholarship if you could snag a future Quarterback for him." Steve's eyes flicked down for a split second, confirming Andrew's suspicions, and Mike's face grew angry as he finally realized where Andrew was going with all this. "You're a fake Steve!" Andrew shouted in fury, clenching his massive fists until they turned white. "You only pretended to be Mike's friends so that you could grab him for the Seminoles!" He shoved Steve back a few steps and stepped forward to confront Darrel. "And I bet you were in on it too, weren't you?" When Darrel nodded with a smirk, Andrew turned to Mike and asked him, "Did Steve and Darrel try to convince you to join the Seminoles during the two weekends I was away Mike?"

"Yes they did Andrew," Mike replied, practically spitting out the words with fury. "They were really insistent, even though I told them that I wanted to be at Miami with you. I still didn't trust them completely like I do you, and the revelation of their true motives in becoming friends with me proves that my instincts to trust you were correct." He turned to Steve and Darrel and added, "We're not friends anymore guys, and I wouldn't blame Andrew if he ended his friendship with you as well!"

"Good idea Mike," Andrew said with a sad smile. "We probably couldn't have maintained our friendship anyway Steve, being on seperate teams next fall, so it's best to go our seperate ways now. That goes for you too Darrel."

"Well, I've heard enough," Coach Malcolm said to Steve and Darrel. "You just heard it from Mike's own lips: he wants to be a Hurricane, not a Seminole. Considering the dirty tricks you guys pulled to get him to change his mind, I don't blame him or Andrew one bit for ending his friendship with you!" He turned to Coach Henderson and added, "As for you: you've said hello to Mike, now say goodbye."

"And if I don't?" Henderson asked him with a sneer.

"Then you, and your recruits will be escorted off the premises by me and my recruits," Malcolm replied, as his four recruits stepped forward.

"That's a tactical mistake on your part Coach: I outnumber you three enhanced players to one," Henderson reminded him with a huge grin.

"You've forgotten something Coach," Malcolm said, as Henderson's three recruits stepped forward. "You left all your players in your locker room while I kept mine on the field with me!"

With those words, the entire Hurricanes football team surrounded Coach Henderson and his three recruits, leaving them only a narrow escape route back to their locker room.

"Who's outnumbered now Coach?" Malcolm asked with a sneer, as his players laughed at the shocked look on Henderson's face. "You may have won the football game today, but we just won the tactical game!"

Coach Henderson was wise enough not to push things any further, especially when he finally realized that the media had captured his attempt to take Mike from the Hurricanes.

"Let's go you three; we don't need any losers from this team on ours," Coach Henderson said, turning on his heel and heading back to his locker room.

"See you next season Coach: when both Stevenson brothers are in our starting lineup!" Malcolm shouted after him.

Coach Henderson turned to glare at him, but then he found himself staring into news cameras and reporters' faces. He walked quickly back to his locker room with Steve, Darrel and Phil following close behind him.

Mike looked around at the rows of Hurricanes players surrounding the inner circle of Andrew, Ralph and Connor. He felt very safe being surrounded by friends, even though most people would have been terrified being surrounded by so many huge football players.

"Thanks a lot for keeping me from being stolen by the Seminoles everyone," Mike said gratefully.

"No problem Mike, and thanks for all your help everyone," Malcolm said to all the football players. "You just proved that the Hurricanes can still win in the end."

Everyone cheered and then Malcolm congratulated Mike on his smart decision. He also congratulated Andrew on his smart deductions that had revealed and foiled Henderson's plot to steal Mike from the Hurricanes. Then all the football players had their showers while Mike thanked Andrew one-on-one for keeping him safe from Steve and Darrel.

"No problem man," Andrew said softly, patting his shoulder gently. "I made a promise to your big brother Matt more than seven years ago that I would keep you and Mark safe in his absence. I met have let you slip through the cracks over the last three years without meaning to, leading to Steve and Darrel bullying you, but I hope you can forgive me for that Mike."

With that said, Andrew knelt down so that he was at eye level with Mike: who was sitting on one of the locker room benches.

"Of course I forgive you Andrew," Mike assured him. "You had no way of knowing that Steve and Darrel bullied me all those years until I told you, and neither of us knew how much they lied to both of us over the last few months just to get me to join the Seminoles! I don't blame you at all for ending your friendship with both of them, even though you've been friends with them since kindergarden."

"This was the final straw for me Mike," Andrew informed him. "First Steve gets really jealous of me for no good reason in the summer; then I find out he's bullied you for years and never admitted it. Finally I discover, with Coach Malcolm's help, that he's been using both of us just to get a Quarterback recruit for Coach Henderson! And Darrel was his partner in all this bullying, lying and plotting! I can't believe I've been so stupid Mike: trusting both of those creeps all these years!"

"Hey, it's okay Big Guy: they fooled me as well," Mike said, rubbing Andrew's massive shoulders as tears streamed down his face. "Don't cry man: someone might see you!"

"You're right Mike," Andrew realized, wiping away his tears and standing up. "It's just that I could never forgive myself if anything happened to you, especially after hearing all about how Steve and Darrel bullied you for three years behind my back!"

"Don't worry about it Andrew: nothing's going to happen to me with you around, especially since you're as big as my big brother Matt!" Mike assured him.

"I love you like a brother man, especially since you and Mark were the first people I protected way back in Grade Five. We've practically grown up together Mike!"

"I think you've grown up a lot more than I have Andrew," Mike reminded him with a smirk. "But it won't be long until I catch up!" He noticed that Andrew didn't crack a smile, and he realized that Andrew was mourning the loss of his long-time friend Steve Peterson. "Hey cheer up man: you're a Provincial Champion you know!"

"Thanks for reminding me of that man," Andrew said quietly, lifting Mike off his feet with a big hug.

"No problem Andrew," Mike assured him, patting Andrew's back awkwardly. He wasn't used to being hugged, but he realized that Andrew's iron grip wouldn't let him get free. "Now, can you stop being so shy Andrew? Where's the cocky jock I've always known?"

"He's probably gone until Hockey Season Mike," Andrew replied, setting Mike down and stepping back. "I hope you don't mind seeing Andrew the Gentle Giant from now on."

"I guess I'll have to get used to you being shy and quiet, even with a bunch of jocks around," Mike realized. "I have no problem with that Andrew."

"Good man," Andrew said, patting his shoulder gently. "Well, I guess we should go back to the lockers and see if our future teammates are ready to get on the bus yet."

So Andrew and Mike did that and found that their future teammates were indeed ready to go. Everyone went outside and got on the team bus with their equipment, coaches and staff. Then they went back to the University of Miami. Once they got there, the Hurricanes staff unloaded the bus while the Assistant Coaches went back to their offices and the players went back to their dorms. Andrew, Ralph, Connor and Mike were left alone with Anthony, Mark, and Coach Malcolm.

"Go wait by the limo you tow," Malcolm said to Mark and Anthony. "I need to speak with just my four future recruits for a few minutes."

Anthony and Mark obeyed his orders and Coach Malcolm turned back to Andrew and his friends. "I just wanted to thank you four for your loyalty to the Hurricanes. It can't have been easy seeing your former friends turn against you like that."

"No it wasn't sir, but I don't want to talk about it, and I'm sure the other three don't either," Andrew said. His three friends nodded and Andrew added, "That confirms it Coach: time to pick another topic of conversation."

"No problem Andrew; I actually wanted to tell the four of you about my plans for tomorrow," Coach Malcolm said. "The limo will arrive at Anthony's house at 9:30 am to get you to the Orange Bowl Stadium for 10 am tomorrow morning. Make sure all four of you are wearing your Orillia football jackets."

"What about me Coach?" Mike asked him. "I don't have an Orillia jacket."

"Sorry about that Mike," Coach Malcolm apologized. "You played so well on the campus field this morning that I forgot you're not a football player like your three friends here. Just wear your Hurricanes t-shirt like you did today."

"Good idea Coach," Mike agreed. "What do you have planned for us? It can't be football tryouts for me, because I had them this morning and they must have gone well, judging by what you said about me."

"You'll find out what I have planned for the four of you at 10 am tomorrow morning and not a moment sooner," Coach Malcolm informed him. "Meet me in my office in the stadium at 10 am and I'll tell you everything then so that you'll all be properly prepared." He noticed Andrew looking thoughtful and added, "It won't do you any good to ask Anthony or Mark what's going on Andrew, so don't bother asking them."

"Yeah, I bet you didn't tell them anything, because you didn't want to make them jealous that we won our game but they lost theirs," Andrew said without thinking. He suddenly noticed his three friends and Coach Malcolm glaring at him and he clenched his fists in fury once he realized his big mistake. "I'm really sorry for what I just said you guys; I guess I'm still verbally clumsy, even if I'm not physically clumsy anymore!"

"You're right Andrew, and that's why we know you didn't mean it," Coach Malcolm assured him. "It just slipped out, but I'd better let you guys get back to Anthony's house before anything else slips out from Andrew's mouth. See you four in my stadium office at 10 am tomorrow morning."

"See you later Coach," Andrew said, as he and his three friends went back to join their other friends and parents at the limo.

"I see that there's only one limo left; Steve and the others must have already left with Coach Henderson and the Seminoles," Mike realized.

"Yeah Mike, and would you mind not mentioning Steve again?" Andrew asked him with a glare as they approached the limo.

"Why Andrew; what happened?" Chad asked him as everyone got into the limo.

Andrew sighed and on the way to Anthony's house told everyone about the attempted theft of Mike from the Hurricanes by the Seminoles.

"It's a good thing that you are marrying Steve's sister and he's not marrying yours, or I'd call off the wedding right now!" Chad snapped in fury.

"And I'd let you Chad!" Ron agreed, practically spitting our the words in anger. "I can't wait until I we get home and I can give him a real piece of my mind!"

"You'd have to get in line Dad!" Carrie shouted in fury. "I can't believe my own brother has been lying to all of us about who he really is! By the time I'm through with him, he'll be hurting worse than he has after any football game!"

"Why aren't you more upset Andrew?' Chad asked him suddenly.

"My anger control lessons are working and I already gave Steve and Darrel a piece of my mind when their plan to snatch Mike was revealed," Andrew replied. "Now, why don't we talk about something else now." He turned to Anthony and asked him, "What are your plans for tonight Anthony?"

"Well, I was going to have a victory party, but since our team lost, I'm going to work instead," Anthony replied.

He left out the fact that if he stayed home after losing a game, he would have another big fight with his dad, who had been one of the 1983 National Champion Hurricanes in 1983.

"Where are you going to work tonight: your dad's gym or Mr. Carlton's club?" Andrew asked him without thinking.

"Mr. Carlton's club Andrew," Anthony replied, trying to contain his frustration at Andrew's stupid question. "I have to report for duty after supper and Mr. Carlton would like you to come along if you're interested in working tonight."

He left out the fact that he was just trying to keep Andrew busy so that he wouldn't find out tomorrow's plans from Mark.

"If Dad brought my work permit along, then I can show it to Mr. Carlton and work tonight with no problem," Andrew agreed. Chad handed over the US work permit and Andrew asked Anthony, "But when did you get a chance to talk to Mr. Carlton? You didn't call him while the rest of us were talking about Steve, did you?"

"No Andrew, I texted him instead," Anthony replied. "Texting is much more discrete than cell phone calls these days."

"That's true Anthony: we didn't even notice you texting Mr. Carlton," Chad said as the limo reached Anthony's house. Everyone got out and Chad said to the driver, "See you at 9:30 tomorrow morning."

"I'd be happy to give Andrew and Anthony a ride to MR. Carlotn's club when they're ready," the limo driver offered.

"That's okay Walter; Andrew and I will take my Mustang," Anthony said. "But if Andrew's friends want to come to the club later, there's no better way to arrive in style than in a long white limo."

"Hey good idea Anthony; I was wondering how I was going to spend time with Andrew while he was working all evening long," Carrie said. "Thanks for thinking of that."

"I was also thinking that Mark, Ralph and Connor could show Mike around the Underage Club, since they've all been there before," Anthony informed them. "Andrew can't do it, and neither can Carl or I, because all three of us will be busy with our bouncer duties."

"You didn't tell me you'd be working as a bouncer at the club tonight Andrew!" Mike shouted in astonishment as they all went into Anthony's guest house.

"What did you expect me to do Mike: put these muscles to waste as a bartender?" Andrew asked him in astonishment. "I'm not even old enough to legally drink in Canada, much less America!"

"Sorry Andrew; I guess you're not the only one who's verbally clumsy today, as you so succinctly put it earlier," Mike apologized.

"That's okay Mike," Andrew assured him, putting a massive hand on his shoulder. "I'm just upset by what you-know-who tried to do today."

"Lord Voldemort from Harry Pottter?" Mike asked him with a teasing grin.

"If I say 'Mr. Pearson', will that be a better indicator of who I'm talking about?" Andrew asked him, grinning back at Mike.

"No, because then I'll think you're talking about Carrie's dad!" Mike reminded him with a laugh.

"Then I'll just say 'Carrie's brother' and you can stop laughing," Andrew warned him with an angry glare.

Mike nodded and they all went into the kitchen to have supper. After supper, Andrew and Anthony took the Mustang to Mr. Carlton's club while their friends followed them an hour later in the limo.

At the club, Andrew found that the t-shirt of the bouncer's uniform was now made by Underarmour, making it a lot easier to get in and out of.

"So none of us will rip our t-shirts trying to get them on or off," Andrew said to Carl, as they changed into their uniforms.

"Yeah, I took your complaints about the old t-shirts directly to Mr. Carlton," Carl informed him. "He made a change in t-shirt suppliers once other bouncers added their complaints to yours."

"I suppose he got the t-shirts from Anthony's dad: one of the International Vice-Presidents of Harrington's Sports Suppliers," Andrew guessed.

"Yes Andrew, but do me a favour," Anthony said, as the three of them walked out of the change room.

"Anything for you Big Guy," Andrew assured him, slowly slipping into Jock Mode for the first time that day.

"If I promise not to mention Steve, you have to promise not to mention my dad," Anthony said.

"It's a deal man," Andrew agreed, shaking his hand.

The three bouncers headed to their posts and worked for the next two hours, until 9 pm. Then Andrew and his friends got to spend some time together in the Underage Club and Mike learned all about what the life of a Miami Hurricane was like.

The next day at 9:30 am, the white limo arrived at Anthony's house to take Andrew, his friends and their parents to the Orange Bowl Stadium for Coach Malcolm's surprise. The limo was packed with nine people: Andrew, Carrie, Chad, Ron, Mike, Ralph, Connor, Anthony and Mark. Mr. Anderson took Ralph's parents and Connor's parents to the stadium in his Mercedes.

"Do you have any idea what this meeting at the Orange Bowl Stadium is all about Anthony?" Andrew asked his big friend.

"Yes I do Andrew, but Coach Malcolm gave you the impression that we didn't know, didn't he?" Anthony asked him with a sneaky grin. Andrew nodded and Anthony said, "You're not the only clever one around here Andrew!"

"I haven't proven myself to be really clever over the last day or so," Andrew said with clenched teeth. "I've blurted out a few things without thinking and almost blown a few secrets."

"What secrets Andrew?" Chad asked him.

"The same ones you almost blurted out yesterday when you were yelling about Steve," Andrew reminded him. Chad nodded in understanding and Andrew turned to Mike and said, "So Mike: I bet you're looking forward to seeing your future playing field again."

"Yes I am Andrew, and I am very curious to see what Coach Malcolm and the Hurricanes have planned for us," Mike said.

They didn't have long to find out, because the limo soon arrived at the Orange Bowl Stadium. Everyone got out and waited for Mr. Anderson to get out of his Mercedes with the four parents.

"Let's go into the stadium everyone, now that we're all here," Mr. Anderson said.

Everyone followed him into the stadium and along the halls until they got to Coach Malcolm's office. Anthony opened the door and ushered Andrew and his friends inside.

"Glad you made it everyone," Coach Malcolm said, setting down his cell phone and standing up from behind his desk. "Anthony and Mark: you guys can go to the field and make sure everyone's ready; Aaron: you can take the rest of the parents to the Hurricanes sideline and wait for us."

"Okay Coach Malcolm," Anthony's dad said. leading the six other parents out of the office. "Let's go everyone; you won't want to miss this!"

"So Coach, can you tell us what's going to happen out on the field?" Andrew asked Malcolm, once the parents had left the office.

"Actually, no I can't Andrew: it would spoil the surprise," Coach Malcolm replied, noticing the big smiles on the faces of Anthony and Mark. "I'd better show you instead: follow me please."

The five future Hurricanes followed Coach Malcolm out of his office and down the curving halls of the stadium to the tunnel entrance to the field.

"Are we running through the tunnel and the helmet again, just like we did yesterday?" Andrew asked Coach Malcolm.

"Yes we are Andrew, but with the focus on your five instead of the Hurricanes," Malcolm replied. He lifted the cell phone to his mouth and said, "Cue the band."

Andrew's ears perked up when he heard the first few bars of the ODCVI fight song being played by the University of Miami band.

"What's going on here Coach?" he asked Malcolm, as they began walking through the tunnel.

"30 seconds until the answer Andrew," Malcolm said with a broad grin as smoke began gushing along the entrance to the field. He broke into a run and yelled over his shoulder, "Follow me everyone!"

The five teens followed him out of the tunnel, through the big helemt and onto the field, finding themselves flanked on both sides by the entire Hurricanes football team.

"Introducing the new recruits to the Miami Hurricanes: the 2005 Provincial Football Champions from ODCVI!" the announcer yelled over the loudspeaker as the band continued to play.

Everyone on the field cheered for Andrew and his teammates as they ran into the center of the field, where several people from the U of Miami faculty were waiting. Andrew and his teammates were astonished at the welcome they had received and they were also amazed that Coach Malcolm had managed to keep it quiet for so long.

"Welcome to the University of Miami Andrew," the University President said, shaking his hand.

"Thank you ma'am," Andrew said, still stunned by the huge welcome he and his teammates had received.

"Don't look so shocked Andrew; we couldn't let your Championship weekend go by without celebrating it," the President said. "Look up at the Jumbotron and you'll see what I'm talking about."

Andrew and his friends looked up and saw footage of their various football games and practices that Coach Malcolm had recorded. Andrew smirked when he saw the final play that won the Provincial Championship: Ralph kicking the ball through the uprights and Andrew knocking David down so that he couldn't block the bonus point kick. Mike even saw footage of the practices he had gone through with Andrew on the OD field a month before and with the Hurricanes on the campus field the day before.

The Hurricanes and the school staff cheered for Andrew and his friends as their parents came quietly off the sidelines to stand behind them.

"There are more people I want you to meet," Coach Malcolm said to his four recruits, leading them forward toward a group of men dressed in suits.

"Mr. Anderson: what are you doing here?" Andrew asked him in surprise, once he recognized one of the men.

"I came here to give you four recruits complimentary memberships to my gym for the next school year," Mr. Anderson replied. He handed Andrew and his friends the membership cards and added, "I thought about giving you free memberships for this school year, but then I realized that you won't be here until next year!"

"Don't monopolize their time Aaron; there are others here who want to congratulate them," Mr. Carlton informed him, stepping forward. "I have here VIP passes for my club in South Beach Andrew, which are good for next year and this year!" he added with a smirk at Mr. Anderson.

"That's a good idea sir; I've heard that the South Beach clubs are really hard to get into unless you know the right people," Andrew realized.

Next the representatives from the South Beach modelling agencies came forward to give Andrew and his friends some appointment cards, so that they could come by during Christmas vacation and do some photo shoots. For the first time that day, Carrie saw a smile on Andrew's face as he realized that he would soon get paid to take his shirt off for the camera.

While Mr. Anderson, Mr. Carlton and the modelling reps began fighting over who would get Andrew during December, a salesman from one of the South Beach auto dealerships came up to Andrew.

"My name is Jim Stevens from South Beach Imports," he introduced himself, shaking Andrew's hand. "If there's anything you need done for your kitted-out car, don't hesitate to let me know."

"I will Mr. Stevens," Andrew said gratefully. "Just one question though: how did you know that my car has been kitted-out?"

"Your dad told me," Mr. Stevens replied, smiling at Chad. "While you were exploring the campus yesterday, your dad texted all the places you visited in October and told them you'd be here this morning, once Coach Malcolm told him what was planned."

"That must have been while Anthony and Mark took us on a tour of the dorms yesterday," Andrew realized. "That would have been the only time Coach Malcolm had to make the plans for this morning."

"That's right Andrew; I can see that your intelligence has not been overestimated," Mr. Stevens complimented him.

Andrew smiled at him, and as he looked around at all the other people who had greeted him that morning, he realized exactly how welcomed he would be in Miami next fall.
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