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Old December 15th, 2010, 05:04 PM
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Andrew chapter 42


Wednesday, February 1st, 2006 dawned cold and clear. In the Pearson residence, Andrew was waking up slowly. He sat up in bed and looked in the mirror. He squinted his eyes, trying to read the note that was taped to the right top corner. But he couldn't read it from across the room so he got out of bed and walked up to the mirror, admiring as always the view of his massively muscular body.
Andrew bent close to the note and read the words: National Signing Day Wednesday, February 1st in the ODCVI Gym: 1 pm.
"Oh boy," Andrew said to himself, feeling his stomach clench with nervousness. "This is it: the biggest day in my high school football career and the first day of my college football career."
Andrew almost jumped out of his skin when there was a sudden knock at the door.
"Andrew are you in awake?' Chad asked from the other side.
"Yes I am Dad; just give me some time to get washed and dressed and I'll be downstairs for breakfast," Andrew replied.
"We'll be waiting for you Andrew," Chad said.
Andrew took a few deep breaths to calm himself and then went into the washroom to have a shower, shave and brush his teeth. Then he got dressed and came downstairs, realizing that there would be lots of media in the high school gym that day. Then he went downstairs for breakfast with his family. He was relieved that Carrie wasn't there, since he was nervous enough even with just his family around him.
"Good morning Andrew," Chad greeted his son. "Is your Letter of Intent in a safe place for today's press conference?"
"Yes Dad, right here with the other two from Ohio State and U of Florida," Andrew replied, holding up his laptop bag.
"That's good Andrew, because the Letter of Intent you sign today will secure your full athletic scholarship," Chad reminded him with a big smile. "This is a once in a lifetime moment Andrew and it is the culmination of all your years of hard work on the football field. I got an email from Coach Malcolm today. Do you want to know what it says?"
"Yes Dad," Andrew replied. "But first I want to know where Mom and Sarah are."
"Mom went to work on her next book in the library and Sarah already went to school," Chad replied. "But since it is National Signing Day, all your teachers gave you the day off so that you could focus on the Press Conference in the gym at 1 pm."
"Well that was very considerate of them Dad, but why didn't they tell me that yesterday?" Andrew asked.
"It was a last minute decision by the Principal this morning, after Coach Everson visited him in his office yesterday after school Andrew," Chad replied.
"I see," Andrew said. "So, what did Coach Malcolm say in the email he sent you?"
"He said that one of his assistant coaches will be coming up here to witness this historic day," Chad replied. "After all, it's not every day a big US football school gets five Canadian recruits and Provincial Champions at that!"
"Then I guess I should wear my Provincial Championship jacket," Andrew realized.
"Yes you should Andrew, but there's more in the email," Chad said, taking it out of his binder as they sat down at the kitchen table to eat breakfast. He read down past what he had already told Andrew. "The National Letter of Intent that you sign today will be photocopied for the Hurricanes' Assistant Coach so that he can take a copy back to Miami with him. That way, if the faxed copy doesn't get directly to Coach Malcolm, there will be a back-up copy that will arrive in his hands by tonight."
"That sounds good Dad, but I hope Coach Malcolm's fax number is on that email," Andrew said. Chad nodded to indicate that it was and then Andrew asked, "Does that email also say who the Hurricanes' Assistant Coach is?"
"It's Aaron Anderson actually," Chad realized, reading the last line of the email in surprise. "He was a Booster for many years, as former Hurricanes players are automatically, but considering all the ethical violations of Boosters in recent years, Coach Malcolm decided to solve the whole problem by making him a coach for the Hurricanes last September. You may not know this, but after his NFL career and during his time running the South Beach Gym, Mr. Anderson spent many years coaching the football team where he went to high school."
"Is it ethical for a parent of a University football player to be a Booster?" Andrew asked him.
"It's just fine Andrew," Chad replied. "In high school, it's no issue for the parents of the football players to be Boosters; in fact, it's expected that they should be. In NCAA, the Booster Club is usually made up of athletic supporters and fans of the college football team. Usually the boosters can't have much contact with the players themselves, but parents are always an exception. For instance, even though Aaron as a Hurricanes Alumnus was a Booster for that school, he was able to buy Anthony a Mustang a couple of years ago because it was a birthday gift from father to son. But if Aaron had bought you a car, then it would be a violation."
"But Aaron using his business contacts to get me a job at Mr. Carlton's club was not?" Andrew asked him.
"No Andrew, because Booster Rules don't apply to existing friends and their families," Chad reminded him. "Aaron and I have known each other for many years, as have you and his son Anthony. Besides, he didn't give you the job; he just gave you the opportunity to earn it. And since he also gave you the opportunity to work at his gym, there's no issue there either. It would have been different if he had just given you the job, but you told me that he put you through a formal interview, asked your references lots of questions and read emails from your boss at Harrington's Gym and Sports Store. And don?t forget, by the time of your first visit to Miami this season, Aaron was no longer a Hurricanes Booster, he was the Hurricanes Recruiting Director instead.?
"That's good to hear Dad, because the Boosters were certainly hovering over me during the recruiting visits last summer!" Andrew informed Chad. "They offered me jobs, cars, money and other things! One of them even said that if I cut his lawn for him, he'd pay me 5,000 dollars!"
"Did you report any of this to the coaches?" Chad asked him.
"I didn't have to Dad; the Head Coaches slapped the Boosters down and shooed them away from me," Andrew replied. "But we're getting off topic here. If Aaron avoided one conflict of interest by joining the team, didn't he step into another one by becoming a coach of that same team?"
"That's why Coach Malcolm gave him the job on the condition that Aaron ceases any and all Booster activities," Chad replied. "Since Aaron preferred running his gym and coaching anyway, he had no issue with that. And in case you're wondering, it was his high school coaching record that got him the Hurricanes coaching job, not the fact that he was a former Hurricane himself."
"What is Aaron's official title on the team Dad?" Andrew asked.
"He's the new Hurricanes Recruiting Director," Chad replied. "With his private jet and guesthouses, he's the perfect person to host recruits for their visits at Miami."
"Like he did with me and my fellow Provincial Champions," Andrew realized.
"That's right Andrew," Chad agreed. "Coach Malcolm told him that to get past the Probation Period successfully, he had to earn it. So your recruiting visits were part of an On-the-Job Evaluation for him. Once he passed with flying colours on Thanksgiving Weekend, Coach Malcolm told him he?s passed the Probation Period a week later and that's why his private jet was used for the Miami visit on Championship Weekend."
"So if I understand you correctly, Mr. Anderson won't have anything to do with current Hurricanes players, only prospective ones," Andrew realized.
"That's right Andrew," Chad agreed. "That is how he will avoid a conflict of interest, even though his son is a current Hurricanes football player. Also, since a Booster retains that status for life, becoming the Booster Club Coach on the Hurricanes roster ensures that his activities will be closely monitored. Also, since he will also be the Recruiting Director on the team, all his recruiting activities on behalf of the school will be officially sanctioned.?
"Does that mean that I won't be able to stay over at his house anymore once I become a Hurricane later today?" Andrew asked him.
"As long as it is in the capacity of a player staying at a family friend's house, it's fine Andrew," Chad assured him. "Don't make your head hurt by trying to sort through everything, just enjoy yourself today."
"Good idea Dad," Andrew said, finishing his breakfast and standing up. ?I'd better get to Mike's house and pick him up. I can imagine the conversation we just had is the same one that Mike's having with his dad."
"It probably is Andrew, but neither Mike nor his dad know what I am about to tell you," Chad said. "Mark is coming up from Miami to witness Mike's signing with the Hurricanes today."
"Well I won't tell him because I'm guessing that you want to keep it a surprise," Andrew said as he put on his Championship Jacket.
"That's right Andrew," Chad agreed, as Andrew put on his cowboy boots.
"I'm guessing that Aaron and Mark are already here in town?" Andrew asked his dad. Chad nodded and Andrew asked, "But where did they stay?"
"At Coach Everson's house, so that they would not have any contact with you until after you've signed with them," Chad replied. "That way, none of the media that will be in OD's gym today will think that anyone influenced your decision to pick Miami."
"Which media stations will be in the gym today?" Andrew asked his dad, suddenly looking nervous.
"A-Channel, Global News, CTV, CBC and TSN," Chad replied. "And that's just the Canadian stations!"
"What do you mean by that Dad?" Andrew asked Chad nervously, even though he could guess.
"What I mean is that I contacted my friend in Buffalo who works at ESPN and got him to send some American media up here as well," Chad replied. He took out another email and scanned it quickly. "The list he gave me mentions ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox News and ESPN." He noticed Andrew looking nervous and asked him, "What's wrong Andrew? All those American networks were at the Canadian Thanksgiving Hurricanes game and you handled them fine then."
"I wasn't as shy back in October Dad," Andrew replied. "Besides, the Hurricanes were the main focus of the media attention then."
"You have no idea what you're about to face now that you will be the main focus of the media attention today," Chad said, leading his son outside. "I don't mean to make you more nervous than you already are, but you need to know what you'll be facing today. Millions of people will be watching the Press Conference today to find out what your decision is. There will be an all day Recruiting Party at the Hurricanes Field house: which Coach Malcolm will be hosting and all the Hurricanes will be attending. Coach Malcolm will have the fax machine right beside him so that he can read off the new Hurricanes as soon as their faxed Letters of Intent arrive."
"Okay Dad you can stop now!" Andrew begged him. "I'm convinced that everything's been taken care of. I'm also now fully aware of the incredible journey that I am starting."
"You have no idea how much of an understatement 'incredible journey' is Andrew, but you'll soon find out," Chad said. Tears of joy welled up in his eyes as he swelled with pride at his son's accomplishments. "I'll see you in the gym at 1 pm son; I'd better let you get back to your adoring fans."
"Hey, the Provincial Champion still has time for his family, as this long conversation proved!" Andrew reminded Chad as he got into his car.
"I know that son; I was just kidding," Chad assured his son, as Andrew closed the car door. "See you later."
Andrew waved as he backed his car out of the driveway. Then he headed down the street and drove to Mike's house.
At Mike's house, Martin was pleased that Mike had finally left small clothes behind. Mike was now 6 foot 1 and 225 pounds, having gained ten pounds of solid muscle in only two weeks.
"Uh Mike, I think you're going to have to give up wearing size Medium t-shirts soon," Martin said hesitantly. "Your t-shirt looks like it's about to split at the seams thanks to the ten pounds of muscle you've gained in the past two weeks!"
"I know that Dad, but I have no intention of wearing Large t-shirts until the seams on this Medium t-shirt do split apart!" Mike shouted with an excited grin. He stared at his reflection in awe and smirked when he saw all his muscles outlined in perfect detail. "I love wearing skintight t-shirts Dad, and Sue loves it too!"
"You're taking this skintight clothes fad too far Mike, especially with those jeans!" Martin protested. "How long did it take you to squeeze into them anyway?"
"Only a couple of minutes Dad, but I can assure you that these muscles made quick work of it!" Mike replied with a huge grin, flexing his 20 inch biceps.
"You have to wear looser clothes Mike or your clothes will split apart in public!" Martin shouted, astonished that his son was turning into a narcissistic jock.
"Do you really expect me to wear loose clothes when I have a body like this?" Mike asked his dad in astonishment, flexing his bicep and massaging his eight-pack.
Mike's t-shirt sleeve suddenly ripped, unable to resist the strain any longer. Instead of being upset, Mike simply laughed and flexed his other arm, ripping that sleeve apart as well. Then he flared out his lats, ripping his t-shirt along his sides, back and chest.
"I tried to warn you Mike, but you didn't listen," Martin reminded him, as Mike tore the remnants of his t-shirt off in frustration. "Since the urge to flex is overpowering for you, you have to wear looser t-shirts or they'll all rip apart! You can't even use what's left of that t-shirt as a tank top Mike!"
"I guess you're right Dad," Mike agreed, his cocky grin vanishing for the first time. "It's just that I love my new body and I have to show it off!"
"Skintight cotton t-shirts can't stand the strain if you flex in them, as we've just discovered," Martin informed him. "Only skintight Spandex t-shirts can withstand-"
Martin clamped his lips shut in desperation, but it was too late as Mike's face lit up with excitement.
"I have a whole bunch of X-L Spandex UnderArmour and Nike t-shirts upstairs that are skintight!" Mike shouted in excitement. "If Spandex is as durable as you suggest, I should be able to squeeze myself into the Medium ones, which should be painted-on! I'll be right back Dad!"
"No Mike, wait!" Martin called out, but his son ran up the stairs too quickly to hear him. Martin sat down at the kitchen table and put his head in his hands. "I can't believe that Mike's head has swelled so much! It's a wonder his feet are still on the ground!"
"Mike's head hasn't just swelled; it's exploded just like his t-shirt," a deep voice said from the kitchen doorway.
Martin jumped up from the table, banging his knee as he did so.
"OWW!" he yelled, hopping up and down, holding his injured knew.
The huge figure in the doorway stepped forward to help him, but Martin kneed him in the groin and backed away yelling.
"Get out of my house before I call the police!" he yelled in fear as he saw the huge figure stepping forward.
"It's me: Andrew Pearson!" Andrew shouted.
Martin stopped to take a deep breath and finally focussed his eyes on the huge figure standing in his kitchen.
"I thought you were an intruder," Martin said quietly.
"You were mistaken," Andrew replied sharply. He noticed the look of fear on Martin's face and added, "You really should learn to tell the difference between a friend and an enemy Martin."
"Sorry Andrew, but I took off my glasses when I sat down at the table and I can't see well without them," Martin apologized, putting them on. "I'm sorry that I kneed you in the groin Andrew!"
"No harm done and that's the literal truth because I didn't even feel it," Andrew bragged, a hint of a smirk appearing on his face. He noticed a look of fear returning to Martin's face and hastily added, "Don't get scared of me Martin; I'm not a cocky jock anymore like I was back in October!"
"You're right Andrew," Martin said, sitting down at the table and motioning Andrew to join him. Andrew complied and Martin asked him, "How much of my conversation with Mike did you hear Andrew?"
"Almost all of it Martin, after I let myself in with the key you gave me," Andrew replied. "I must say, Mike certainly has no problem with nerves like I do!"
"I know Andrew, but instead of nerves, he has a problem with narcissism!" Martin informed him. "He constantly wears the tightest clothes he can squeeze himself into and admires himself in every mirror he passes by!"
"There's nothing wrong with wearing tight clothes or admiring your reflection," Andrew protested. "I've been known to do those things a time or two myself."
"More like every day when you were a cocky jock back in October!" Martin teased him. Andrew grinned at him and Martin smiled back. Then his smile faded and he sighed as he said, "The problem with Mike is that his clothes aren't just tight, they're skintight and it's embarrassing when the seams rip in front of people! The teachers at school have tried to convince Mike to wear looser clothes, just as I have, but without a school rule to enforce their wishes, they haven't had any luck."
"If girls can wear skintight clothes, why can't guys?" Andrew asked him. "Showing off our big muscles keeps the bullies away!"
"Your muscles aren't just big Andrew; they're huge!" Martin reminded him.
"Thanks man," Andrew said, a hint of his former cocky attitude returning as he flexed his huge bicep.
Mike came downstairs and felt slightly jealous when he realized that Andrew was still a lot bigger than he was.
"Hello Mike," Martin said, standing up from the kitchen table. "It looks like that Medium UnderArmour t-shirt was sprayed onto you! Is that why it took you so long to get downstairs?"
"Yeah it is Dad," Mike replied with a huge grin, flexing his biceps. "But just in case it rips, I have a Large UnderArmour shirt here in my gym bag."
"Are your Letters of Intent in there too?" Martin asked him. Mike nodded and Martin said, "Then I'll see you in the OD gym at 1 pm Mike."
"See you Dad," Mike said, walking out the kitchen door with his bag over one shoulder and his hockey jacket over the other.
"You look really big and tough Mike," Andrew said as they headed outside. "I think that wearing UnderArmour t-shirts has solved your problem of ripping out of cotton ones."
"Yeah, UnderArmour lets me wear painted-on t-shirts with impunity," Mike bragged with a big grin. "I love that there's not a single wrinkle for me to grab!"
"What about a married wrinkle Mike?" Andrew asked as they got into his car.
"Very funny man!" Mike laughed as they put on their seatbelts.
"Yes I am Mike; my muscles aren't my only asset you know," Andrew said, causing Mike to laugh harder at his choice of words. "Poor choice of words on my part, even if it's true," Andrew realized. "I think that wearing that skintight t-shirt during the Press Conference should show all the media that you are big and strong enough to play football at a college level."
"My t-shirt's not just skintight Andrew; it's actually painted-on!" Mike shouted in excitement.
"Then why isn't it wet?" Andrew asked him with a big grin. Mike looked at him in confusion as they drove down the street and Andrew elaborated by adding, "Paint is wet Mike and you just said that your t-shirt was-"
"-painted-on," Mike said, realizing what Andrew had meant. He shook his head and said, "That was a poor joke Andrew."
"Hey, I live in a millionaire household so nothing of mine is poor Little Man!" Andrew roared. Then he realized his mistake as Mike's jaw dropped in astonishment. "I shouldn't have told you that Mike, so don't tell anyone else that."
"You can count on me Big Guy," Mike assured him.
?Good man,? Andrew commended him, slapping him on the shoulder. He noticed the smug look on Mike?s face and added, ?You look like you really enjoy wearing tight shirts and showing off your big muscles Mike.?
?Yeah Andrew, I love it!? Mike shouted in excitement, flexing his biceps over and over. ?I can finally show off all my muscles without my shirts ripping!?
?What about your jeans Mike?? Andrew asked him, looking over at him. ?I can see the seams straining from here and there?s not even one tiny wrinkle along your thighs!?
?Yeah Andrew, my jeans are not just skintight; they?re painted-on like my t-shirt,? Mike bragged. ?I love my body and Sue does too!?
?Just wait until you get to wear a Hurricanes jersey Mike,? Andrew reminded him.
?Oh yeah Andrew, I forgot about that,? Mike realized. He looked over at Andrew and added, ?I?m going to insist that the Miami coaches get me the tightest jersey possible!?
?Since UnderArmour is one of the main suppliers of football jerseys these days, I think you?ll get your wish Mike,? Andrew informed him. He looked over at his big friend again and asked him, ?Are you going to insist that your jersey be painted-on, not just skintight? If you do, you might find that your uniform will be too tight for you to move and you might even have trouble breathing.?
?I don?t care Andrew; I just want to see the looks on my opponent?s faces when I wear a jersey so tight that there?s not even one wrinkle in the fabric!? Mike shouted.
?I hope you have a better reason for wearing a painted-on football jersey than just looks,? Andrew admonished him.
?Yes Andrew, I do have a better reason,? Mike replied. ?I?ve heard that if jerseys are skintight or painted-on, opposing players can?t grab you. And I?ve also heard that it?s quite a contest among offensive linemen to see who has the tightest football jersey.?
?And you intend to win that tight jersey contest, don?t you Mike?? Andrew asked him with a knowing grin.
?Yes I do Andrew, but don?t forget: my jersey won?t be just tight or even skintight, it will be-?
-?painted-on,? they said together. The two friends grinned at each other and then Andrew said, ?You really love wearing the tightest clothes possible, don?t you Mike??
?Yeah Andrew and when potential bullies see my painted-on clothes, they quickly decide to bug someone else,? Mike informed him.
?There?s that,? Andrew agreed, realizing that Mike had lots of valid reasons to wear painted-on clothes. He pulled the car into the school parking lot and got out. He put on his Championship Jacket as Mike got out of the car. ?Put your Varsity Hockey Jacket on Mike; today?s the day to truly enjoy being a jock. I know I will.?
?And wearing my jacket will hide my skintight t-shirt,? Mike realized. ?Then it will be a complete surprise when I reveal all my bulging muscles in class today.? He thought of something suddenly and asked his big friend, "Hey Andrew, do you think we'll get Hurricanes jackets in the mail after we sign with Miami today?"
'No idea Mike; we'll have to ask Coach Anderson about that after the Press Conference," Andrew replied, zipping up his jacket.
"Who's Coach Anderson?" Mike asked him, struggling to squeeze himself into his skintight OD hockey jacket.
"It's Aaron Anderson, the father of Anthony Anderson who you met in Miami in November and over New Years," Andrew replied. "He is the new Recruiting Director for the Miami Hurricanes, since his private jet is the perfect tool for transporting recruits to and from The U."
"Thanks for the information Andrew," Mike gasped, finally managing to pull his jacket over his shoulders. He struggled to zip it up and finally had to suck in his stomach to do so. He turned to Andrew and asked him, "How do I look in my jacket Andrew?"
"You look like you're about to bust out of it Mike, but it does give you the classic V-shape," Andrew replied. "Is that the size Medium jacket Coach Everson gave you when you first joined the OD Varsity Hockey Team?"
Mike nodded as he followed Andrew into the school and then went to his first class which he usually shared with Andrew. But Andrew had the day off to concentrate on the Press Conference at 1 pm and he appreciated having the time to calm his nerves. Mike on the other hand had no trouble with nerves yet, and he grinned as he noticed everyone staring at him in fear and awe. Mike flexed his biceps as he wandered into the class and saw his friends Nate and Lenny waiting for him.
"Hey guys, what's up?" Mike asked them; sitting down at the desk they had saved for him.
"Nothing much Mike, but I guess you're pretty excited about the Signing Day Press Conference in the gym at 1 pm," Nate said.
"Yeah that's true," Mike replied, flexing his bicep in his skintight jacket.
"Take your jacket off please Mr. Stevenson," Mr. Myers said.
"Sure thing Teach," Mike said, struggling out of his jacket with a lot of effort and a bit of grunting. He draped his jacket over his chair and then sat down, flexing his arms and leaning back. "Happy now Teach?"
"Uh yes I am Mike," Mr. Myers stammered, astonished just like all his students that Mike had worn a skintight UnderArmour T-shirt to class.
Everyone could see that Mike's shirt didn't even have one wrinkle in it and they could see the Medium size tag on the back. Since they knew that Mike wore X-L normally, it was the height of vanity and indeed narcissism for him to wear a t-shirt that was two sizes too small. But when they realized that Mike was the biggest student in the class by far, since no football players were there, they wisely kept their mouths shut. For his part, Mike teased his classmates with subtle flexes of his massive muscles, eliciting gasps of astonishment from them. At first Mr. Myers looked up from his lesson plan with an annoyed glare, but the sight of Mike's huge muscles soon convinced him to keep quiet.
Everyone was relieved when class ended, because they would get a break from seeing Mike's massive muscles arrogantly displayed in a skintight t-shirt.
Mike's next class was even better for him and even scarier for his classmates. Mike sat right next to Sue, who had not seen him that day until that very moment. Sue tried to hide the fear she felt at how big and muscular Mike was, but Mike noticed the fear in her eyes. Instead of the thrill he felt when guys feared him, he felt deep sadness at the fact that his girlfriend was now scared of him.
?Don?t be scared of me Sue; I?d never hurt you,? Mike whispered in her ear.
?I know that Mike, but I?ve seen how cocky you?ve been acting since you crossed the 200 pound threshold and that is what scares me,? Sue whispered back.
?I?ll try to act less cocky when you?re around, but it?s hard to promise that when I?m going to be signing for my full scholarship in a few hours,? Mike said.
Before Sue could reply, the teacher asked, ?Why are you Mike? You?re supposed to have the day off to concentrate on the press conference at 1 pm.?
?I?m a multitasker Teach,? Mike bragged, slipping effortlessly back into his cocky jock persona. ?Besides, keeping my mind off the press conference by focusing on my classes seems like a good way to preserve my academic scholarship.?
?Oh yes, you and your three friends Andrew, Ralph and Connor are getting academic scholarships from the University of Miami, aren?t you?? Mr. Myers asked him. Mike nodded proudly and Mr. Myers asked the class, ?How many of you follow the NCAA?? Most of the class raised their hands. ?Okay class, we?re going to do something different today in honour of our Provincial Champions. We?re going to discuss National Signing Day and its significance to athletes like Mike and his friends.?
Everyone applauded for Mike, causing him to grin and wave. He wondered why the teacher had not mentioned Ralph or Connor. Then he looked around the class and noticed that those two teammates were not in the classroom with him, nor had they been in his first class that morning.
?They?re probably prepping for the Press Conference with Andrew,? Mike realized.
Sue smiled at him and squeezed his hand reassuringly so that he wouldn?t feel nervous being the sole focus of the attention from all his classmates. Mike smiled down at her and then joined the class discussion on National Signing Day and the life he would soon enjoy as a Miami Hurricane.
By lunchtime, with only one hour to go before the National Signing Day Press Conference, Mike?s nerves were a wreck. He barely made it to the team lunch table without passing out from the stress of being the focus of congratulations from everyone in the school.
?Thanks a lot guys!? Mike snapped at Andrew, Ralph and Connor.
?I?m not sure I know what you mean Mike,? Andrew said innocently.
?Yeah right,? Mike said. ?You three deliberately hid out from all the fans today while leaving me alone to deal with them!?
?I didn?t expect you to go in a different direction once we got the trophy case,? Andrew said. ?I forgot to tell you about my plans for this morning, and I was going to tell you then, but the crowd swallowed you up and I forgot which classes you were in this morning. I?m sorry about that Big Guy.?
?Forget it Andrew; what?s done is done,? Mike reassured him. ?I guess I had to learn how to deal with the fans somehow.?
?Yeah you did Mike, but it seems to have made you ill,? Andrew said. ?You look nothing like the confident guy I brought to school this morning!?
?I?m just overwhelmed by all this attention Andrew,? Mike almost whispered. ?I can?t believe that my life is about to change completely in about an hour!?
?For the better Mike; don?t forget that,? Andrew reminded him. Mike nodded mutely and Andrew added, ?Besides, what are you complaining about Mike? Every high school football player who gets into the sport late would love to be in your place! And don?t forget, you asked me to turn you into a football player!?
?I can assure you Andrew, I have not forgotten that,? Mike assured him. ?It?s just so overwhelming: all this attention being paid to me and my decision, even by the teachers!?
?What do you mean Mike?? Andrew asked him, having no idea what had happened in Mike?s second morning class.
?You?d know exactly what I mean if you, and your friends, had been there with me!? Mike snapped at him.
?I asked you a question to get an answer, not attitude Mike,? Andrew growled at him with narrowed eyes. ?Don?t forget that I?m still the big guy at this table and I deserve some respect because of that!?
?You deserve respect just because of your size?? Mike asked him in astonishment.
?Poor choice of words on my part,? Andrew realized. ?I just meant that I deserve some respect at your friend, even if I made a mistake leaving you alone with the fans today.?
?That?s okay Andrew, but I?d better fill you in on what you missed,? Mike offered. Andrew nodded at him to continue and Mike obliged. ?So what do you think Andrew?? Mike asked him once the story was finished.
?I think that Ralph, Connor and I were right to escape from the fans for the morning,? Andrew realized. ?I?m sorry we forgot to fill you in on our plans and then lost you in the crowd.?
?That?s okay Andrew, but where were you guys?? Mike asked him.
?We went to the gym to work out with Phil,? Andrew replied.
?You mean I missed a workout with you guys?? Mike asked him in a panic.
Andrew chuckled and assured him, ?Don?t worry Mike: you?ll get enough of a workout learning how to snowboard this afternoon.?
?I guess I will,? Mike agreed, remembering the plans they had made the night before. ?But what do we do for the rest of the lunch hour??
?Eat up, calm down and say hello to your big- I mean older- brother,? Andrew replied, pointing behind him. Mike stood up, turned around and saw his older brother Mark making his way through the lunch room, surrounded by crowds of adoring fans. ?I think you should use Mark as an example of how to handle the crowds without being overwhelmed,? Andrew said from behind Mike. ?He seems to have no trouble.?
Mike nodded in agreement and waited patiently for Mark to get to their table, since he was being held up by all his fans and former teammates.
?I came up here to escape all the fans, only to run into more!? Mark complained with a joking grin.
?That plan might have been more successful if you hadn?t worn your Hurricanes jacket,? Andrew reminded him with a smug grin.
?Shut up Andrew!? Mark laughed, punching him on the shoulder. He then gave his former teammate a big hug and asked him, ?How are you man??
?I?m fine Big Guy,? Andrew replied. ?Or should I call you the Big Man on Campus??
?No you shouldn?t Andrew,? Mark replied. Andrew furrowed his brow in confusion and Mark elaborated by adding, ?That term isn?t widely used anymore, mostly because it?s an understatement. Football god would be more appropriate.?
?So would some modesty, even if it?s false,? Andrew reminded him. ?I?m sure you came up here to celebrate your brother joining the team, not to brag about being part of it.? Mark nodded hastily, anxious not to offend his former teammate. ?That?s what I thought Mark,? Andrew said. ?Well, don?t ignore your big brother, say hello!?
?Hello Big Brother,? Mark said, shaking Mike?s hand. ?How are you??
?Very nervous about the ceremony in the gym in about 45 minutes,? Mike replied, checking his watch. ?Quite frankly, seeing you here, especially with that jacket on, isn?t helping!?
?I?m sorry about that Mike; would you like me to leave?? Mark asked him with a big grin.
?You may stay,? Mike replied, grinning back at his older brother. He narrowed his eyes and growled, ?Sit down: that?s an order!?
?Whatever you say Big Brother,? Mark said, sitting down at the table.
Mike laughed and Andrew was relieved that Mark knew exactly how to restore Mike?s confidence.
The guys were done eating by 12:30 and they decided to get their Letters of Intent from their lockers and then report to the gym. Once there, they found the gym full of people, including their parents.
The school principal Mr. Rowe met them at the doors to the gym and asked them,? What school are you five signing with today??
?University of Miami sir,? Andrew replied.
?Good, follow me to the stage please,? Mr. Rowe said.
The five friends followed him up to the front of the gym and onto the stage. They stood in front of the long table where the coaches from the US colleges would visit.
?What do we do now sir?? Mike asked Mr. Rowe.
?Look out over the rows of desks on the gym floor,? Mr. Rowe ordered him. ?Tell me if the layout for each school looks familiar to you.?
Mike looked over the gym floor at all the desks and then realized something.
?The desks are arranged in the pattern of positions that the players would occupy on the football field,? Mike said.
?That?s correct Mike; Andrew has taught you well,? Mr. Rowe said proudly.
Mike smiled at him and then took out his National Letter of Intent to confirm what table he would be sitting at.
?I will be sitting at the table labeled U of Miami Right Tackle sir,? Mike said.
?Then go sit down Mike,? Mr. Rowe ordered him. Mike nodded and started down the stage steps to the gym floor. Mr. Rowe turned to Mike?s four teammates and said, ?Follow him down there guys and sit down at your respective tables.?
?Aye sir,? Andrew said, leading his three friends off the stage.
He led the way to the Miami tables, which were the closest to the stage.
?Hello Andrew,? Susan said, giving her son a big hug. ?I?m so proud of you!?
?Thanks Mom,? Andrew said, trying not to feel nervous. ?I won?t let you down,? he added, wrapping her up in a big hug.
?That?ll be a big problem unless you plan to carry me home!? Susan laughed.
Andrew let her down to the floor and stepped back hastily.
?Sorry about that Mom,? he apologized.
?No problem Andrew; you didn?t hurt me if that?s what you?re worried about,? Susan assured him.
Andrew smiled and turned to Chad, shaking his hand and saying, ?Glad you could make it Dad.?
?I wouldn?t have missed it son,? Chad said with a proud grin on his face. ?It was February of 1978 when I sat in this very gym to sign for my full ride to Miami.?
?They had National Signing Day back then?? Andrew asked him in surprise.
?Yes Andrew, in the cave with the Commodore 64 and 8-track tapes,? Chad chuckled. Andrew looked at him as if he?d grown a third eye and Chad said, ?Never mind son, just enjoy yourself today.?
?I intend to Dad,? Andrew said, turning to hug his sister Sarah. ?Good to see you sis.?
?Since Girl?s Hockey doesn?t have its own National Signing Day, I thought I?d be here for yours so I could see what all the fuss is about,? Sarah teased him.
?Always the joker sis, now I know where I get it from,? Andrew laughed. He patted her on the shoulder and then turned to greet his fianc?e. ?Hey Carrie, how are you??
?I?m very happy to see my big man realize his dream today,? Carrie replied. ?It?s taken a lot of time and hard work for you to get here and I hope you remember all the people who helped you along the way.?
?I have remembered Carrie: that?s why I invited you all here to share this special day with me,? Andrew informed her.
?Good man,? Carrie said, smiling up at him. He kissed her softly and when he let her up for air, she added, ?Now I know why you are a good man Andrew.?
?Thanks Carrie,? Andrew said, hugging her gently.
Then he straightened up and looked around the Miami tables for any more familiar faces. He waved at Margaret and Robert McDonald, who were standing with the Stevenson family around Mike?s table. Then he looked behind his own table and saw Dr. Johnson standing at Ralph?s table with Ralph?s parents. He nodded at Andrew and Andrew nodded back. Then he looked further back and his eyes narrowed as he realized that the Florida State tables were right behind the Miami ones. Andrew glared at Steve and Darrel, reminded that their future school was doing a lot better that season than Miami. Steve and Darrel smirked at Andrew and then he turned his back on them and sat down at his table.
As Andrew sat down, he was glad that David Harrington wasn?t in the gym with him. Andrew barely had time to be glad about that because Chad distracted him from his thoughts by putting a small box on the table.
?What?s in the box Dad?? Andrew asked curiously.
?Actually, they?re for the Press Conference, but perhaps you?d like to see them first,? Chad decided.
?What are they Dad?? Andrew asked Chad impatiently.
?These,? Chad replied, pulling three hats out of the box and setting them on the table.
Andrew leaned closer to the hats and realized that they were his three top choices of NCAA football schools: Miami, Ohio State, and U of Florida.
?Now I know why I?m glad David isn?t here: he and I might have competed for a spot at Ohio State,? Andrew realized.
?That may be true Andrew, but he?s not here and you are,? Chad reminded him. ?Keeping hold of your temper this season, unlike last season, helped you get here today, while David?s lack of self-control got him a one way ticket to a cell in the Penetang Super Jail.? Andrew nodded in agreement and Chad asked him, ?How do you want the hats arranged Andrew??
?Put Miami on the left, U of Florida in the center, and Ohio State on the right,? Andrew replied.
?Shouldn?t Miami be in the middle since it?s your first choice?? Chad asked him.
?I want the hats arranged in an east-west pattern, not a predicable one,? Andrew replied.
?Whatever you want son; it?s your special day,? Chad said, setting the hats on the table with the fronts facing towards the stage. ?Nothing to do now but wait; we only have ten minutes left.?
Andrew nodded in agreement and began looking around the gym again, trying to see if the rest of his teammates were as nervous as he was. Then he suddenly noticed all the media, both Canadian and American, at the back of the gym. Some of the reporters noticed Andrew looking back at them and started walking towards his table. Andrew pounded his fist on the table in frustration, making the hats fall onto the floor.
?What did you do that for son?? Chad asked, bending down to pick up the hats. ?I just finished getting the hats in the order you wanted them and then you pounded the table!?
?I was looking around the gym and the media noticed me,? Andrew muttered.
?Well I guess we know how we?re going to spend the next ten minutes,? Chad realized, setting the hats on the table just as the media approached.
?Andrew, Andrew!? the news reporters shouted. ?How does it feel to be signing for your full scholarship today??
?It feels great,? Andrew replied, sliding smoothly into the role of a sports star. ?But I?m not the only one who?s doing that today. The rest of our Provincial Championship starting lineup is doing the same thing.?
He pointed to Ralph, Connor and Mike in sequence and some of the reporters rushed over to their respective tables to hear their perspective on the biggest day of their lives.
?What school are you signing with today Andrew?? the ESPN reporter asked him.
?You?ll find that out in about five minutes,? Andrew replied. ?Since my table is closest to the stage, I think I will be the first football player in this gym signing a National Letter of Intent today.?
?Andrew, is it true that you used the new YouTube site to post your recruiting videos because Canadian high school football players don?t usually get a lot of exposure in the United State?? the TSN reporter asked him.
?Yes it is,? Andrew replied. ?I had to stand out from the crowd, and using the latest video-posting website for my recruiting videos seemed like the best way to do that.?
While Andrew was entertaining questions about being heavily recruited, Mike was attracting lots of attention in part because he was the younger brother of Mark.
?Mike is it true that you have never played a single game of high school football?? the CBC reporter asked him.
?Yes that?s true,? Mike agreed. ?But I have received lots of training from Andrew and my older brother Mark here. And when I went down to Miami in November, I got to play on the Orange Bowl field with the Hurricanes in a walk-on tryout.?
?And it was obviously successful since you?re here to sign with Miami today,? the Fox Sports reporter guessed.
?That?s right,? Mike agreed, before Mark could stop him. ?Of all the recruiting visits I went on, I liked Miami the best.?
?Mike is it true that Florida State tried to steal you from Miami on that weekend?? the ABC reporter asked.
?Yes that?s true,? Mike agreed, glaring over at Steve and Darrel. ?If you really want to know, that?s what prompted Phil to change over to Miami from Florida State.?
?Mike, is it true that Miami?s interest in you began in October, once Andrew told Coach Malcolm that their Starting Quarterback Mark Stevenson was your older brother?? the NBC reporter asked him.
?That is true,? Mike replied. ?Sometimes connections like that are what help an Under-the-Radar like me make it to the big time. But also, I did more playing on the Orange Bowl field over New Years, helping cement my status as a recruitable athlete.?
The reporters nodded in satisfaction and moved on to Ralph and Connor?s table.
?Good job Mike,? Mark whispered in his ear. ?You may have accidentally revealed what school you?re signing with before 1 pm, but considering all the good things you had to say about Miami, I think the interview ended well.?
?And I wasn?t nearly as nervous as I thought I?d be,? Mike said with a big grin.
?Get used to the media attention Mike; this is just the beginning,? Mark said, responding to Mike?s grin with one of his own.
Ralph and Connor managed to answer some of the reporters? questions before the clock chimed 1 pm and the coaches walked onto the stage.
?Take your seats everyone and then we?ll get started,? Coach Everson said. Everyone sat down and Coach Everson walked up behind the podium and set down his notes. ?First of all, let me say: thank you for coming to National Signing Day 2006 at ODCVI.? The entire crowd in the gym cheered and applauded. Coach Everson waited for the noise to die down before he said, ?Let?s get started everyone. The first person I have to introduce today is Andrew Pearson, who has started at Center for us for the past four years.?
The entire gym erupted in pandemonium and all ten reporters rushed over to Andrew?s table to capture his decision. Andrew moved his hands slowly over the hats to build suspense and then put the University of Miami cap on his head. Everyone cheered louder than and all the cameras got a good shot as Andrew stood up and hugged his family. Then he went up to the stage with his Letter of Intent and stood in front of Coach Anderson.
?Let?s make it official Andrew,? Coach Anderson said, holding out a Hurricanes pen. Andrew signed his Letter of Intent with the ESPN camera capturing everything and then stood up to shake Coach Anderson?s hand. ?Congratulations Andrew,? Coach Anderson said. ?We look forward to seeing you at Spring Practice over your March Break. Take this with you,? he added, giving Andrew a Hurricanes jacket with his name, number and position on it.
Andrew and Coach Anderson each held a side of the jacket for the cameras as everyone in the gym, except Steve and Darrel of course, applauded for him. Coach Anderson shook his hand one last time after Andrew put on his Hurricanes jacket and then Andrew went back down to his table.
Coach Everson then called Ralph Connor up to the stage, making sure to mention the fact that Ralph?s touchdown pass had tied the Provincial Championship game in the final minute. Ralph had on his Miami Hat and he signed his letter and put on a Hurricanes jacket just like Andrew had. Then he posed for the picture with Coach Anderson and headed back to his table.
Connor, OD?s wide receiver/running back, was called next and then it was Phil?s turn. Phil was signed for the Left Guard position on the Miami Hurricanes. As Phil left the stage, Mike tensed up, realizing that his name would be the next one to be called.
?Calm down Mike and pick your hat,? Mark whispered in his ear, as all the cameras swung around to capture Mike?s decision.
Mike snatched up the Miami hat right away and put it on his head, unwilling to build the suspense any longer. Everyone in the gym applauded for him and Mike finally cracked a grin for the first time that afternoon.
?Come on up to the stage Mike and we?ll make it official,? Coach Anderson said into the microphone. Mike happily obliged and signed his National Letter of Intent. ?Congratulations Mike, now we have both Stevenson brothers on our team,? Coach Anderson whispered in his ear. Mike smiled and Coach Anderson stepped back in front on the microphone. ?That concludes the signing for the University of Miami. How about we get all the Miami recruits up here for a group photo before we move onto the next school??
Andrew, Ralph, Connor and Phil headed for the stage with their Hurricanes jackets on. Coach Anderson handed Mike his Hurricanes jacket and Mike happily put it on with a big grin. The picture was taken with Coach Anderson and Mark standing at either side of their five recruits and the entire gym applauded wildly. Then Coach Everson informed the five recruits that they could go home for the day. Coach Anderson reminded the five teens of their plans to go to Horseshoe Valley with their parents. Mike nodded, remembering that Andrew had told him the same thing at lunch. The five recruits and the two Miami representatives stepped off the stage and passed the Miami tables, picking up their parents and siblings on the way. Then they made their way out of the gym to roaring applause.
?That was certainly an overwhelming experience,? Mike said as they made their way down the empty halls.
?You think you had it bad Mike?? Mark asked him in astonishment. ?I never expected such an enthusiastic response to my return!?
?It?s not every day the Starting Quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes comes back to his home town,? Andrew reminded his former prot?g? proudly. ?I think we should consider ourselves lucky that a famous athlete like you has time for his old friends.?
Mark glared at Andrew, but then grinned as he realized that his big friend was kidding.
?Very funny Andrew, but I think the time for jokes is over,? Mark said. He looked up at Mike and said, ?You took the first step onto an incredible journey today and if you play your cards right, you?ll end up signing for the NFL in four or five years.?
?How will playing cards help?? Mike asked him with a silly grin as they stepped outside.
?Stop using Star Trek jokes Mike!? Mark laughed. ?You have to think of your own!? Mike got a thoughtful look on his face and Mark said, ?Not right now Mike; it?s time for some fun on the ski slopes.?
?Oh yeah, Andrew told me about your plans for the afternoon,? Mike remembered.
?Yes Mike, and while you new Hurricanes are having fun on the ski slopes, your parents and I will be discussing how much playing time you?ll have next season,? Coach Anderson said. Mike?s face lit up at that piece of news and Coach Anderson said, ?I thought that would make you happy Mike. Mark and I will go home with you and your dad and get ready for the trip. The rest of you can meet us at Horseshoe Valley.?
The other four recruits and their families nodded in agreement and got into their cars to head home.
Once Andrew got home with his family, he headed upstairs to get his snowboard and skiing outfit. Then he came downstairs dressed to have fun on the ski slopes.
?How does it feel to be a Hurricane now Andrew?? Chad asked him.
?I can?t say Dad, because it really hasn?t sunk in yet,? Andrew replied honestly.
?That?s okay Andrew, it will soon,? Chad assured him. ?Especially if you start wearing your Hurricanes jacket to school every day.?
?Wouldn?t that just be showing off?? Andrew asked him as they headed outside.
?No Andrew, as I?ve explained to you before, it would simply be showing the proper appreciation of the faith others have placed in you,? Chad reminded him. ?Take pride in wearing your Hurricanes jacket, just as you have your Championship jacket and your football jacket before that. Speaking of those latter two jackets, I think I will place them in your trophy case on the two coat hooks I installed yesterday.?
?You do that Dad,? Andrew said, opening his car door. ?See you at Horseshoe Valley.?
Chad waved as he got into his car and then waited for Andrew?s car to clear the driveway before he followed. As he drove to Horseshoe Valley Resort, he couldn?t help reflecting on the long road that had brought his only son to this point.
I can only hope that Andrew doesn?t get so swept up in all the hoopla down in Miami that he screws things up for himself like I did,? Chad said to himself. ?But I don?t think he will; unlike his old man at that age, Andrew is very mature and humble.?
Once Chad pulled into the parking lot at Horseshoe Valley, he saw the cars of his friends and family waiting for him. Chad got out and walked over to Martin Stevenson.
?Everyone made it safely I see,? Chad said, shaking Martin?s hand.
?Well, we know you?re not blind, don?t we Chad,? Martin teased him.
?Now I know where Mike gets his sense of humour from,? Chad laughed, slapping Martin lightly on the shoulder. ?Where are all the new Hurricanes??
?They are getting their lift passes,? Martin replied. ?I volunteered to wait out here for you while Coach Anderson got our table.?
?Then let?s go inside and discuss our kids? future,? Chad decided.
Martin nodded in agreement and led the way into the chalet where the rest of the adults were waiting. At first Chad wondered where Susan and Sarah were, but then he realized that they were probably talking to Coach Henderson at another location.
?Yeah, it probably wouldn?t have been a good idea for the new Seminoles and the new Hurricanes to be in the same building after the signing ceremony,? Chad realized.
?You?ve got that right Chad,? Coach Anderson said, standing up from the table to shake his hand. ?Sit down and then we can discuss Andrew?s future at Miami.?
?And the future of the other four recruits,? Chad reminded him, motioning to all the other parents seated around the big table.
?Quite right Chad; sorry about that you guys,? Aaron said to the other parents.
?That?s okay Aaron,? Martin assured him. ?Now let?s start the discussion with the most important question: how much playing time will our kids get as Starters??
?Since you kids are Provincial Champions, unlike our recruits from other schools, they will share the Starting Duties with the seniors next year,? Aaron replied. ?That way, the seniors can get the exposure they need to be recruited by the NFL and your kids can get the playing time they deserve.?
?What about the sophomores of this year who will be juniors next year?? Chad asked.
?You mean like Rick?? Aaron asked him. Chad nodded and Aaron replied, ?They will train as Second String Players for their respective positions, so that they can be Starters in their senior year; the 2007 season.?
Chad nodded in satisfaction and then suddenly thought of something.
?Aaron, if Rick is on the Hurricanes, why was he on the flight from Toronto to Miami with us on Thanksgiving Weekend??
?He had a family emergency to attend to, and since he was a Third String player, Coach Malcolm let him go to Toronto that week to deal with it,? Aaron replied. ?His older brother Carl, who will be a senior next year, is a First String Player, also known as a Starter, so he had to stay in Miami and play in the big game.?
?Andrew told me that Rick?s last name is Myers,? Chad remembered. ?Does that mean that he and Carl are related to the Mr. Myers who teaches at Andrew?s high school??
?He?s their uncle, so yes they are related to him Chad,? Aaron replied. ?And the Myers also have a connection to someone you met back in July.?
?Who is that?? Chad asked curiously.
?Mildred Myers, who is the Sub-Commander of Marge?s Haunted House,? Aaron replied. ?She is the wife of Mr. Myers, Andrew?s teacher, and her daughter is therefore 3/4s human, since Mildred is half-human.?
?So Mildred is the aunt of Rick and Carl,? Chad realized.
?Yes she is Chad, and since Rick and Carl knew Andrew from high school, that?s why they got along with him so well in Miami,? Aaron said.
?Even though it had been a couple of years since they had all played football together,? Chad realized.
?Yes Chad, since Carl turns 21 this spring, he was the Starting Center at OD in his senior year when Andrew was a freshman linebacker,? Aaron said. ?Rick was Starting Quarterback that year, a position that Mark filled two years later, after spending his junior year as Rick?s backup.?
?Oh yes, I remember all that now,? Chad said. ?And it isn?t it amazing that Andrew, Mark, Rick and Carl will all be playing together again, this time as Miami Hurricanes.?
?Yes it is Chad, but Rick and Carl were the ones who first pointed out Andrew to Coach Malcolm,? Aaron informed him. ?Then when Mark came down this season, he expanded on Coach Malcolm?s knowledge of Andrew.?
?If memory serves, Ralph and Connor never played with Rick and Carl, because they joined the OD team last year, during Rick?s first and Carl?s second season with the Hurricanes,? Chad said.
?That?s right Chad, but I?m sure Andrew told Ralph and Connor all about the Myers brothers and they will get a chance to play on the Hurricanes team with them this fall,? Aaron said. He turned to the other parents and said, ?Now that we?ve talked about your kids? past, let?s talk more now about their future.?
The other parents nodded eagerly and Aaron began filling them in on all the benefits that their sons would enjoy as Starting Players on the Miami Hurricanes football team.
Meanwhile, on the ski slopes, Andrew was instructing Ralph and Connor in their first snowboarding lesson, while Mike and Phil were racing each other down the intermediate slope.
?Andrew, why have you spent so much time with Mike this year, teaching him, but not us, all the cool sports?? Ralph asked his big friend.
?I?m sorry about that guys; it?s just that Mark was always my hero throughout high school and I became obsessed with helping his younger brother achieve the same lifestyle,? Andrew replied honestly. ?Besides, you two have become great football players by now, so you?re beyond the point that you need me to mentor you.?
?Maybe on the football field Andrew, but we need you to mentor us in all the other sports you play so that we can become well-rounded athletes like you,? Connor reminded him.
?I am mentoring you two in another sport right now,? Andrew reminded them. ?Now how about less talking and more listening from you guys during this lesson??
Chastised, Andrew?s two smaller friends nodded in agreement, and Andrew began showing them some more advanced snowboarding moves, including the jump off the side of the snowboard ramp.
Meanwhile, Mike and Phil had finished racing each other down the ski slope and were standing in line for the chair lift.
?I?m very proud of you Mike, for becoming a Hurricane today,? Mark said, as he joined them. He stepped forward to embrace his big brother and then stepped back, gripping Mike?s broad shoulders. ?Between the two of us, we can bring another National Championship home to Miami!?
?That would be great Mark!? Mike shouted in excitement, as they sat down in the chair lift with their snowboards across their laps. He turned to Phil and said, ?I?m sure glad you joined the Hurricanes with us Big Guy.?
?I am too Mike,? Phil said. ?I hope this proves to you that I?m nothing like my twin brother Darrel or his friend Steve.?
?Hopefully you two, as well as Andrew, Ralph and Connor, will help us beat Florida State next year and wipe those smirks off Steve and Darrel?s faces for good,? Mark growled in fury.
Mike and Phil nodded in agreement and smiled with anticipation, eager to play for the Miami Hurricanes with all their friends.
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