Chapter 1: The Beginning in Brookfield
“Welcome to Brookfield, do you know what county you live in?”
Growing up in a small town of Masury, Ohio was an easy feat so I thought since everyone knows everyone. But my family and I didn’t know anyone in our neighborhood nor the township, but we knew family in Sharon fortunately. I remember in fourth grade when we first lived in Masury I got asked by my geography teacher if I knew what county I lived in and I said what I got told from my mother, “Trumbull-Mercer” was my answer because I got told if there was ever a tornado warning and it said Trumbull County in Ohio and Mercer County than we’d go in the basement because of us living on the border of both counties. But primarily we lived in Trumbull. So once I said “Trumbull-Mercer” I got ridiculed for me just saying what I got taught.
So its recess now, I hear about all these games my step-father told me all about the games he played when he was my age, they consisted of “SPUD”, “Four-Square”, and “SPUT”. Apparently they are called something different in Ohio. Those games were played but in a different name SPUD was SPOT, Four-Square was Four-Diamond, and SPUT was kickball. It’s not my fault for not knowing how to talk correct.
So while dealing with the tears throwing me into a shallow pain that could feel unbearable I met someone new. He wasn’t from the west coast like me but he was willing to listen. His name was Mark DeRicco, one of the popular kids at the time. I would always compare myself to him that year, and over that year we started a great friendship that in time would die but up to eighth grade it was a great friendship. We would always be ourselves and hang out almost every weekend, so I was glad to have someone to look up to. We would always critique ourselves on how we looked but at the end of the day we were like brothers for each other.
Later on, while our friendship grew I met this kid who looked like he was homeless all the time in school named Bryan Isenberg. At the time I met him I thought he was homeless so during one time in lunch I figured I’d skip lunch and give him my lunch money so he can afford something. He yelled at me because I thought he was a “bum”, but in time he realized what I thought and he told me he was sorry for him yelling at me for no reason but just cause he was having a bad day later on down the road. That friendship started during that lunch, when we were talking about our favorite football teams at the time I was all aboard the Tom Brady Bandwagon so obviously I was a New England Patriots fan, while Bryan was a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. I got all the grief from him. I remember the most memorable thing he said about Tom Brady by saying, “How could you like a sixth round draft pick? Everyone is always all eyes on Number one Skyler. Not number… one ninety nine.”
Well I always wanted to be the center of attention so instead of being lazy that year I signed up for the Brookfield Warriors Squiggles team, I’ll admit I was terrible at knowing plays, everyone though it would be simple for me since I liked numbers. I really didn’t apply numbers into everything I did, so I thought football was if you wanted to be a brute. I was number 17 and a lineman for both offense and defense. I was never the fastest member on the team, I could never remember what hole I had to block, I always got confused whenever I heard I-Right 26, or I-Left 35; I just didn’t understand the football language, but in football I learned why I couldn’t stand jocks.
“You give up yet Skyler?” all the players would say to me because my nose would start bleeding after running the five laps we had to do every practice. This is all that I dealt with in that year of me having bloody noses. I couldn’t stand the team, I wanted to quit but because my mother was happy I stuck through. So because I didn’t like it we had a scrimmage against a Newton Falls in Newton Falls, and I knew I wasn’t going to leave the game by quitting so I faked an injury to take me out of the scrimmage where I wasn’t allowed to play one game to be safe. I made it look as if I sprained my ankle real bad where it hurt to walk, I decided not to tell anyone about this because I didn’t want them to tell Coach on me. So on the first snap on a play called XY Trap 28, I had to get the lead block but I intentionally got knocked down and stayed down on the ground acting like I was in intense pain for me to move. I screamed making it convincing, because I couldn’t stand my teammates. I was somewhat injured to be completely honestly because the guy shoved me to the ground and stepped on my ankle. So yes I was in a bit of pain but I made it out to think it was bad. I almost got caught in the act by my teammate Corey asking me why I was able to walk without limping. So I learned that football season to deal with the pain even if I hated what I was going into.
Later on in the year I learned about this game called “Challenge 24”, sounded really interesting and as my avail it was very interesting. The rules were really simple where you had four numbers but you had to find a way to make them equal twenty-four. But the numbers would range from one through nine, and you had to think of all the equations. I would be good on the easy and intermediate ones but with the hard ones I just ran to Josh Murphy or Amy Rasoul for help. During that year my sister was in seventh grade where she was reaching Honor Roll all year, while I was doing good I felt like I wasn’t doing as good as Ashlie.
Near the very end of the year was baseball season. To me that was heaven since 2002. I only had two years experience but I was determined to keep playing, since baseball was my sport. There was nothing that confusing like I-Right or I-Left. All there that was either swing away or take the pitch. Just this year was a little confusing since when I played in Minor League you weren’t allowed to steal but in Little League you were. But by the end of the season my batting average was at the worst ever (at .000), as much as I stunk in the field and at the plate, I always had the biggest heart for the game. I would always cause the “rally innings” where I’d cheer our team on, and get all the coaches involved. At the end of the year Ashlie’s grade point average was 3.9 and mine was 3.5. So yeah it was a little competition between each other to get brownie points with mom.
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