Tales of Dead Armadillo Novel The Season Enters the Rear View Mirror Tales of Dead Armadillo A Novel About Crosscountry Running By Esteban Erik Stipnieks. 


4  weeks later came the Fall Sports banquet.  New Braunfels Civic Center.  The December night was chilly the large auditorum that had been the sight of the heritige exhibit wurstfest was done up in Unicorn blue and white.  It was a big deal.  Catered barbque and formal wear.  Coach Bob had made his decisions on who would get what awards.  He also wanted to recognize some people he walked up "Coach Noel Scott, Kimber, Ace, Amanda I want you to present these with me."  Three seniors were given 'Co coach certificates hoof and heart went to Kim, outstanding jr Tara, outstanding freshman Aero, Julie got wise sophmore"  Coach Bob ended "Noel Scott held things together at the high point Kimber was the glue on the girls squad Ace and Amanda you gave me my dreams thanks"  There was applause.


2003 University Texas San Antonio September

The van pulled into a parking spot.  Tara and him were back at a cross-country meet.  The two were singles with no interest in dating each other they were brother and sister!  The small school of 100 upper school kids had found 12 who wanted to run cross-country.  The Med Center of San Antonio had provided a good training ground the hills around the school that made the hospital complex were similar to the hills Stephen knew as a high school student.  The course at UTSA was also run as a home course.  The meet organizers quickly mailed Winston School an invite a few weeks previous.  He looked at the team "This is your home course I will tell you how I botched my run my freshman year when you urinate check your hydration make sure it is as close to clear...this is your first meet do not be afraid of making mistakes you are here to learn.  Do not make stupid ones LEARN this is your first race thanks for allowing new trails to be blazed again"

Stephen led the way smiling inaugural meet he was still blazing trails at Winston.  As he approached the table to pick up packets and sign in he heard a voice "Ace" He looked it was Aero.  Aero's face was warm "Good to see you!"  Stephen was surprised.  Aero looked at him "We hated you Wallace hated your mom it took a couple years for even Coach Bob to figure out you and Scott were right.”  Stephen so Antonio Ochoa hired you?  Aero smiled "How'd you know." Stephen laughed "He asked me about you before your interview did not hear from him since."  As they arrived to where the teams were Stephen was surprised Amanda Cook as well. 

Then a once familiar voice echoed "I thought I taught you three better!"  The grin on his face had removed the age Stephen remembered but the makings of a tear were in his eye the darkness in the eye Stephen once knew was gone.  The revelation was stunning their tear was of joy. Stephen joined in "Coach Bob" 4 voices shouted in unison.  Coach Bob thrust his hand to Stephen "Now I know thanks will never be enough on this side on other side you will know you will be my older brother"  Stephen was blown away comprehending what he had dared not hope.  This was coin of another realm. He quickly realized this and in his hearts a prayer of gratitude  that met ear of his Father who reacted like all fathers did hearing the joy in their children's voice.  Coach Bob asked "Can you 4 be good Unicorns?" The smiles were clear.  The next line said it all "I got 4 additional coaches cheap no go your jobs."

Winston School San Antonio had their first meet.  Their rivalry with St. Anthony was born.  It would be similar to Allen's and Denton's for the years the rivalry started.  The public school races occurred between a the two private school races.  Aero, Tara, and Stephen and Amanda were teammates again.  They were cheering guiding.  Coach Bob after the girls race gave Aero, and Steven his number with the invite Sunday at his place. 

Two came Sunday afternoon.  Coach Bob's place was still at the river front.  Coach Scott had become an insurance salesman but found time to tutor in history and math part time to get his teaching and service.  He lived next door to Coach Scott and the friendship had deepened.  Fajitas were cooking and a Patron was chilled with lime and grapefruit juice.  At 2 the four met Coach Bob's son and daughter were at a church activity.  The season of 93 was discussed tears were shed....wisdom was gained.  Stephen's weakness perfected God's strength Tara gained strength on her own that year and emerged from her father's shadow.  Like a race it was rerun.  Coach Bob said I want a toast what do you drink.  Stephen took a shot of Patron in fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.  Aero chose grapefruit juice spritzed with lime juice thinned with water.  He seemed apologetic "I was stupid with alcohol in college."  Tara never had the inclination to try alcohol and chose grapefruit juice.  Amanda took a Corona and lime.  Coach Bob took Patron and grapefruit juice laughing he and Steven liked the same thing.  Scott took Sprite and Grapefruit juice.  Coach Bob raised his voice "To the trials and tribulations of 93 and God who blessed us with them!"  The glasses touched as in the hearts of 6 people kin by the blood of their savior exulted in joy rendering praise and the drink of their choice touched their lips.  They were not alone in their celebration.  The drinks were slowly savored and no more alcohol was served.  Those who celebrated with it knew its use and the peril in its abuse.  The soda water jug would remain mostly unused as well.  The line was clear.  The afternoon emerged into early evening students and teachers had become peers.  The order of their was simple Christ, teaching, distance running.  Their race would not be in vain!


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