Who Will Get Creamed in Octoball: Red or Gold? | Teen Ink

Who Will Get Creamed in Octoball: Red or Gold?

February 12, 2016
By AwesomeWriter SILVER, Grand Rapids, Michigan
AwesomeWriter SILVER, Grand Rapids, Michigan
8 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"What light is to the eyes - what air is to the lungs - what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man.
Robert Green Ingersoll

“Gold team #playball will be playing Red team Revengers next!” The tracker’s high-pitched feminine voice thundered.

As her vociferous exclamation echoed and channeled itself into a particular set of sensitive ears, nerves transformed the shout into a message, and transferred it to the brain in nanoseconds. The auditory cortex in the brain decoded the message, and sent it to thinking headquarters, the cerebrum, for further analyzation.
While the cerebrum finished up its scrutinizing job, paralyzing emotions of despair and anxiety shot out from the limbic system like a rocket. The frontal lobe of the cerebrum responded frantically by looping together messages that transformed into words, that formed the thought Oh no! We’re up against the gaga ball pro team!

As the thought echoed into the chasms of my scared mind, the showdown between the Revengers’ and the Green team Beaters’ final two players started to come to an end as the Revengers’ final player, an agile, black-haired boy, managed to strike the ball into his opponent’s ankle. The showdown was genuinely complete when the referee blew his whistle and shouted, “The Red team wins!”

Meanwhile, fists had pumped up into the air as the black-haired boy got surrounded by his teammates, crystal-clear happiness lighting up their faces like firecrackers on a pitch-black night.

Looking away, I gazed out into the distance, trying to distract and calm myself down with going over where the Red team’s standings were.

The victorious Red team beat the Blue team, and just recently beat the Green team, the Beaters. That leaves Gold and Red as the remaining teams. But is the Gold team even skilled enough to beat the Red team, let alone claim the title of victor in the octoball tournament?

One particular stomach twisted in agony as it plunged into an ocean of dark fear. Meanwhile, as I tried to disconnect from the panic engulfing me, the tracker, the person who oversees what team goes against who in this octoball tournament, yelled, “Gold team #playball! Red team Revengers! Both teams are up!”
Sighing with relief that the game could finally get going, I gripped the rough wooden wall of the crimson gaga ball pit, and jumped over the wall like a pro, my teammates following me.

While my ears rang with the sound of feet scraping the hard and rough surface of pavement, the referee started walking back towards our pit after chatting with the tracker; simultaneously, forced soothing waves somewhat break through my inner, iron terror.

The referee explained, “In this tournament, turtling, double-tapping, and scooping is prohibited. In addition, a person’s out if they hit the ball out of the pit or if the ball hits them knee below. The game ends when there are two people left, and one of them gets struck by the ball at their knee or below...”

When the referee had finished his explanation of the rules, he held up an azure ball, and as he started to thrust the ball in, his silver whistle started to put forth superb effort into its earth shattering shriek.

“Oc-to-ball!” The players’ voices, including my own, twined together in unison to bookmark the beginning of the anticipated game.

As the ball finished its three required bounces, two sets of feet scraped on pavement in a race to get to the ball first.
With a great smack! reverberating the mere air itself, Patrick’s hand caused the ball to zoom like a comet at a boy that had a red bandana covering his curly, blonde hair.

Time passed by as fast as a NASCAR race.  It ended up being only three minutes, when it was down to Luke, a girl wearing a red-striped shirt, Stripes, a boy whose face was smothered in red paint, Paint, and I.
Luke targeted the ball at Paint, using an under-the-legs move, and the ball squarely hit Paint’s ankle.

Come on! Let’s help out Luke! It doesn’t matter if I get out! I shrieked at myself for the tenth time, but perplexingly yet again, terror froze me where I stood.

As Paint leaped out of the pit, Stripes snuck up behind Luke, stole the ball, and shot it, allowing the ball to strike at Luke’s toes.

Time abruptly switched from fast mode to slow mode, from people blurring around me to moving at such a snail’s pace, I could see them blinking in three-second motion instead of nanoseconds.

When time had finished performing a gradual descent to being nonexistent, my heart beating faster than any metronome in existence, I had already realized that because of that abnormally fast play, when I’d been unable to properly join in the game due to my terror, both teams had dwindled dramatically in numbers, and narrowed down to Stripes and I. Two single players represented each team. One chance to be the winner.
Shock from being the final player and the startling time change began dissipating, I started questioning my ability to win; my head started pounding viciously with the malice of negative attitude. Adding to the unbalanced equation was the Red team’s victorious record, as it had settled to being concrete in my head, it had already allowed dread to come and grow, and then be firmly confined as water is to a bottle.

Clear apprehension seared through my mind as an arrow does to human skin as sudden octoball memories full of exhilaration came to my mind’s surface. This exhilaration at playing past gaga ball games triggered the drainage of the trapped dread, banishing the dread, my negative inquiry of my abilities, and the opposing team’s reputation, as euphoria sprung up to take dread’s place.

As euphoria cleaned up dread’s mess, I thought, I know why I was afraid of getting out earlier, of why I let terror disable me from playing the game: I had not been brave enough to conquer my fears of not being gifted enough to remain in the game, that the Gold team would lose, and the Red team would be the ultimate winner. As a result, I was scared to enter the game and risk getting out, almost making my fears come true. 
I’d forgotten, that in the midst of negative attitude, that it’s not about winning, it’s not about being talented enough; this sport is all about having fun, taking risks included.

Using the weapon of reasoning as my sword, I slashed through my fears, silently chanting to myself: I am afraid of not being gifted enough. I’m not anymore because I know I’m gifted enough because I love to play gaga ball. I am afraid of losing and having the Red team win. I’m not anymore because I know it’s not about winning, it’s about enjoying myself and having fun. Gaga ball is also a risky sport, and now that I have defeated my fears, I know I am fully confident and capable enough to take risks, win this game, and completely vanquish those fears forever.

A new and updated outlook sprang up to finish the relishing conquer of my fears, confidence and adrenaline pumping through my veins, while I strategized my next moves to win this game in slow-mode of time.
Defending with my hands, I shot the ball for the fifteenth time towards Stripes. Stripes immediately deflected the ball as well, but I noticed that she wasn’t defending her right foot that well.

Instantly, I knew what to do, and decided to take a risk. I sprinted towards the ball,  the echoing sounds of feet scraping pavement resounding in my ears. Stripes, not expecting this sudden move of mine, didn’t do anything until she did a hasty defense work at the last second when the ball streaked towards her. She whipped the ball in my direction, but I defended my feet, and instinctively knew now was the time to expose the trick I had in mind.

Hitting the ball twice against the wall to avoid double-tapping, I waited until Stripes recovered from her hurried defense move, and had dashed behind me. As she tried to both defend herself and push the ball into my knee, or below that, I shot the ball to the opposite of the pit, scampering speedily to claim the ball first.
“What is she doing?” Stripes muttered under her breath as she darted after me.

When she was close to me, I targeted the ball under my legs with precise accuracy.

The ball rocketed behind me toward Stripes, and she precipitously stopped sprinting, and automatically shifted into defense mode, her face contorted with unguarded confoundment at my immediate move. But her face crippled into distress when she realized what had happened: the ball had broken its way through her brisk defense, and nudged the top of her right foot.

Shock coursed through my veins as realization dawned on me like sunrises do on a new day: my decision to take risks and do my carefully, calculated trick had worked. The victor of the game was me. The Gold team was now the winner of the tournament.

My time-being-non-existent state shattered like glass, and then I started to hear, “GOLD WON! GOLD WON!” 
People from Gold team #playball, my own teammates, started leaping into the gaga ball pit, excitement springing up in their steps. They started to pump their fists in the air as they gathered around me, chanting, “MA-RI-A! MA-RI-A! MA-RI-A!” patting me on the back and high-fiving me continuously.

Pure happiness claimed me for the rest of that memorable day. What I learned from that unforgettable game day, though, is more important: Breaking through and overcoming fears isn’t easy, even if they have made me stronger. Even if my fears made me have confidence in myself to take risks in life. But I’ve realized that, universally, untaking and conquering fears is what it takes to make people stronger, more confident, and more able to take risks in life. Most of all, making the decision to take a risk in life can never be underestimated because its outcomes could drastically affect people’s lives, as it did to mine.

The author's comments:

I wrote this as a personal narrative for English class because I know its message is powerful. Also, I really love to play gagaball! 

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