I walked over to the bench with him to talk about some adjustments that he could make, but stopped at the sound of Coach’s voice. “Trev!” My gut sank knowing that more than likely Coach was coming over to tell him that he wasn’t going back in. “You still feel warmed up?” I nodded.
He thought for a moment and even though the sound of the crowd, pads hitting on the field, and guys on the sidelines talking should have been deafening, they all seemed to fade away as I anxiously waited for Coach to make a decision. The slow nod of his head signaled that he had.
“Get your helmet; you’re going in.” He finally spoke the words that I longed to hear and my sigh of relief was met with a disappointed one from Ryan. The reversal of roles brought a new set of conflicting feelings; excitement over being the chosen quarterback but also sympathy for Ryan for becoming the one that stood on the sideline.
He gave me a faint smile when I patted his back one last time and I darted over to the bench where my helmet sat. As my hands grasped the facemask, the crowd let out a big roar and the defense celebrated the fact that they kept the Panthers’ offense from scoring any points.
Right before I turned to go on the field, Ryan gave me two big pats on the back and we exchanged a smile. It partially surprised me that as I ran up to the guys on the field, the crowd began to cheer and I let myself feel the excitement of it for a moment; the hard, fast beating of my heart, the surge of adrenaline that pumped through my body and gave my muscles a burst of energy…I had missed it more than I had let anyone know.
As I approached the guys, I took several deep breaths and tried to center the surge of energy the crowd gave me. After two plays, we had only gained two yards and as I looked up at the clock and saw the last four minutes start to tick down, I knew we needed to do something unexpected and called a timeout.