Book II Chapter 3 Race Day Tales of Dead Armadillo novel by Esteban Erik Stipnieks all Rights reserved.


Aero's (French fries) mom drove him to the high school at 7am. He had Ice T and Dr Drew to listen to. Stephen King and Tara had just arrived. UTSA had been talked about as a course. Dennis and Paul made their arrival they were not the fastest. They talked to coach briefly. Coach Bob walked to Stephen (Ace) and Stephen Ray. Tom was sitting relaxed. Aero was soon as sleep before the bus got going. He was jolted by the stop of the bus it mean for him that things were about to start.

Stephen King had been told that he was running varsity. Dennis sat behind him and said "You will do better then me I would hurt the team I wound up in many plays and I am sore today." Stephen King looked at him in response "I'll run the best race I can." Dennis looked at him "Keep earning the nickname Ace." The two were seniors and Dennis knew what he was doing. In one way he felt that Stephen had earned it Stephen's courage was still there Dennis believed the talk of district glory.  Dennis had liked the way Stephen ran the last two races. 

Stephen relaxed to Robert Earl Keen. He drank another big swig of his own stash of Gatorade. He had been burned by this course before. He picked his poison the side stitch and some extra bathroom time. In many ways he was not so much a stranger to San Antonio but his eyes were now just a bit different. The rule was 4 runs varsity or something beyond district. He was getting one. There was a dual meet two weeks from now #2. Tisha the gal he wanted to date his freshman year practically disowned him after Special got arrested. Amanda was still processing. Brett was welcoming. Stephen laughed to himself the fine line between love and hate. Lee, Nazar and Justin his geek buddies from his freshman year were now a bit less tight with him.  His Christian faith had made him less of a geek the photography had rendered him jock status. It was a slim chance he would get varsity. He was with his team and that is what mattered. Tara and Kimber were together. As the CD was started the song was "No Kinda Dancer" The bus turned onto Loop 1604. Near 281 Stephen noticed much of the development. Amazing how trash land was effectively marketed. Stephen felt strong. The workout yesterday confirmed that for the part he was at peak.

Tara was experiencing a different set of feelings and sensations as she relaxed some and watched the scenery roll by. The land was prettier a bit more rugged and tree covered then the area around Denton. It still was open and gave the feeling of freedom. The people seemed to drive with manners. San Antonio driving aside from the lack of use the blinkers had been stunning for her. She did enjoy North Star Mall. Now they were enroute to another meet. Her dad had gotten over the defeat. He would have 2 years to make a good program out of the high school. While Stephen talked the week before she understood the core of the town. He seemed at points even sympathetic. He knew what he needed to do. He had done much but she was starting to wonder if he would carry through what needed to be done.  She was feeling a sense of adventure.  She had never been on a first place girls squad.  Tara realized she had become Marcus.  The Blue Unicorns were indeed the Marcus of the area.

Coach Bob enjoyed the fact he did not have to drive the bus. He napped and then took some time to figure the words he would say to fire the team up. The shock of last week had worn off. He knew Stephen would squeeze maybe a second or two. He was realizing Coach Noel Scott had control of Stephen. Tara was content in her role now.  Noel Scott was not about to usurp Coach Bob's authority so he realized he was being petty. Life was getting complicated fast and he still had a team to run even if it was semi figure head status. The team was being launched on a trajectory that he in part liked.  He napped some the slowing of the bus told him he was to get up. Once the bus stopped he stood at the front of the team. "Ok I have no shocking news to share so I can not get the extra performance out of you. Paul and Dennis had a rough night last night if you have not heard Ace and Mike are going to be taking there place. ( Coach Noel Scott was surprised he would not have done it but this was Coach Bob’s team.) Its really important to stay hydrated like it was at Medina Valley. You two crips can take the water. .” He said it tongue and cheek.

The group took position by pull up bars behind the convocation center in an oak grove. The starting line was further distant the course would swing by where they were. The maps were to come. Bo looked at Stephen "Ace, French fries got some stuff to show you when we walk this course." Stephen King replied sure after I lighten my load a bit. Stephens urine stream confirmed what he knew clear as bell but that is the way he wanted to play it even though he had the warm ups on. The maps were passed out. Tom Bo Paul and Dennis surrounded Ace and French Fries. Bo and Paul pointed out. Stephen remembered the starting line the course was wide enough it the start then turn it was 100 the starting line was angled to turn and a funnel. Bo made the comment "You are not going to be fast enough to be near the front the mess is about a turn. Implied slower start to sort the mess out.  Stephen noted it. Other features of the course were awoken from Stephen King’s memory. He would not want to be in mess of front loaded traffic just picking off people and kick when the traffic was thin stealthy make it up through the pack. They steered out of the way of some of the college runners and their race. They got near the hill. Stephen remembered course as they walked it. Bo said "You know this course?" Stephen quipped to Aero "This is windless its a dusty pain in the butt." Stephen then "Never thought I would get sentimental for Oh shit hill" Bo looked surprised "Wendy never told you that her coach put it on fast down hill hard left turn over looser sand then Medina Valley had if you were too aggressive you carried too much speed and wind either getting a face full of bush or wiping out oh shit was heard all the time." Wendy had run with the team since they took middle school students to some meets. She had moved to Arlington Texas. Like Stephen King she had not totally left the team. “Oh Shit Hill” was a course feature Tara was familiar with but she did not know Bo was surprised profanity very rarely came out of Stephens’s voice. Stephen then explained to Aero form on the hill and said "Try to center yourself in the center rut of the hill look if you can if you can center of gravity right on the forward edge of your base of support but keep in mind you better not have any turning or slowing down because when you are committed at that point and you are along for the ride 20 yards. Any control input will mean a painful wipe out.  Stephen took one last huge drag off the bottle he would have thirty minutes he quickly went to the bathroom one last time. He quickly changed and grabbed for his CD player one last shot of Sorrow.

As they walked to the start line Raul could see the near instant transformation of Stephens’s reflective character. The easygoing smile was gone. The face looked like a TI serious dour.  It appeared downright hostile.  He was going through a mental checklist race plan "finalized memorized" a boost right left going to left Stephen had chosen the Pegasus all the traction he would dream of using. He also tightened the shoes. He was the hunter on the prowl. They did accelerations soon the boxes were filled with the teams. New Braunfels had selected box in the middle. Tom, Mike, Thomas, and Ace were happy. A joke came Alamo Heights "Too bad their is no parking lot by the course where you could park."  Ace chuckled then his scowl returned.  Bo Aero and Raul were more inclined to go to the inside. The race instructions were simple. Ace was hoping people would chill and no freshman would do something stupid there were lots of runners on this course.  Ace had been such a stupid fish years before.

The gun went off. Stephen's acceleration was going on script good steady but not a wild lengthening of stride just rapidly cycling through the gears.  In 75 yards he was at the pace he wanted.   No restart good the turn came ahead he was near the back of the race...the turn was made. Stephen noted a positive rate of closure on his first victim and it was acceptable he was not pushing things too hard too soon. As the course dipped and began a turn that rate of closure increased on another run with the form Stephen had chosen to run. It was a Canyon Cougar. Cross town rivalry childish joy.  As they were now just a head of the track running beside it, he made the power pass using the speed captured off the hill and as the course leveled out smooth as glass. He was being conservative he knew it. Calm patience another two passes were set as the course turned around. The 180 was big and wide the hunter aggressive but not stupid the line of course was plotted no momentum wasted. Stephen heard "Run your race Ace.” Stephens face had communicated very deliberate ice-cold aggression. As the course went by where the teams were gathered, "Get aggressive Unicorn filled his ears.” Stephen ignored it Brett’s voice soon followed “Work your plan be a nightmare Unicorn” Brett’s voice was a voice of a friend carrying sound advice. Focus through sweat through the cedar max stride force long stride eating the mile. He was a racing but not hard....yet!  He was already plotting another pass his memory had kicked in and while having made a couple minor mistakes on the course so far he liked this race already. The other dips of the course were acceleration points and the extra strength in the legs meant their flip side were points to close distance. The Frio River had been a demanding scary master but the discipline it had forced on Stephen was now paying dividends. Another group of passes was coming up a couple people had gone too hard. He had been in their shoes before. The course was level and the turn was tracked to set up the best line afterwards and not to load up too much on the knee. First mile 5:45 Stephen on profile with a straggler from Heights was spotted a surge was set up to accelerate according to plan. The second mile was to be faster then the first.  The course had a steady decline yet the rate of closure remained small. Alamo Heights had hills. A flat lander from Bastrop was running unaware of what was happening as Stephen still closing on the runner from Heights made the turn the two had gained a fair amount of ground. The straight was over and a turn emerged. Stride after stride impacted the thin layer of black clay over white limestone. A turn then another short shirt Stephen made the pass on both runners. There were two other victims. Stephen knew he was approaching the two-mile marker 11:15. Coach Noel Scott filled his ears "Way to work a good plan last mile” Systems check as they were in a field. Stephen added more juice going beyond the lactic acid threshold and was now going to run a mile that was as short as what Raul was capable of doing knowing he could afford to. There were a couple other runners from Heights Stephen had yet to be passed he saw a couple runners from Lockhart and a couple from Canyon and a Ranger. Stephen knew he was more then a quarter in. He kicked up an extra notch he could shove it the aggression that played some slick passes was now telling him now as through another turn and he knew the cannon ball hill was rapidly approaching. He made a couple more passes. His legs were burning now fiercely. He crested clear shot almost but one was outside one was inside. Go for it his weight was forward the rate of closure came fast he had made the pass unbelievably and the speed was building up even more then on Golf course coming off of lakeview blvd at the base their was a big 180 degree turn. Full juice full stride tight turn hope the knee holds and keep em passed. The turn split the middle It was now just power Stephen hoped he had enough for the final 100 yards the two shocked runners he split between the two. Runners from the Valley were trying but Stephen’s knew found kick was just a bit too much the were running out of course. One runner from heights and one runner from finally with Stephen six feet ahead he crossed the finish line. His stomach heaved the last bit of Gataorade out the stomach.

He was pale. Coach Bob was surprised. Stephen waited moment then grabbed for more Gatorade hoping it would stay down. The girl’s varsity was running next. As Stephen made his way, Brenton Boyd and Pete approached. Brenton said, "That will work in showing loyalty I did not know you were running varsity." Stephen replied, "I did not know either." Pete replied, "You rose to the occasion." Dennis smiled "Thanks for taking my place you scared me at first Ace but you earned that nickname." Stephen King replied, "You are welcome run a good JV race." The two smiled. Stephen went over to the girl’s race.

Tara, Amanda, and Linda had seen the end of the race. Amanda told Tara when they had walked the course; "You got good form for a downhill if you can stomach it for the cannonball and then your full kick" Kathrine Whe was quiet. The collective hatred for the course was quite real.  It was hot dusty and the trees stifled air flow.  Yet even Unicorns could not deny that this course did play into their strengths.  They approached the start box early. They were going to be on the inside. Leisha smiled "Hey Amanda this is your second to the last time you run this course." Amanda replied "Yeah one of two times we face it this this season."  Kathrine quipped "Tara that leaves you with 4 more times on this course." Regional’s was an expectation. The starter gave the instructions. 

With the gun things happened fast. Tara saw Amanda take off then someone came up to by the shoulder stuck with an elbow. It was a moderate contact on a sore spot.   Immediately Amanda flinched winced and lost ground. Tara was upset but she was caught behind a mass of traffic before a turn. She wanted to help Amanda out as she passed her but she could not. Tara had just learned a lesson in the Texas heat.  The girl was long gone and Tara was soon trying to pick her way through a wide body of traffic she went to wide in her effort to make a pass and had to practically stop to avoid hitting an oak tree between the UTSA track and the course. Tara was frustrated, which was not helping her course execution. The next three hundred yards were sloppy.  She had made wide a turn and shrugged off speed.  Finally when she heard her team cheer she forced herself to relax. Her father's call to calm down relax echoed in her ear. Go Amanda she saw the Amanda was back trucking after almost being taken out that inspired some confidence. She was now the hard driving hunter making passes more often then being passed she recovered and her year running before was beginning to register in head she stopped running stupid and hope that would make a difference. The course went down took a 90-degree turn through a bunch of trees. Tara was sweat soaked. She heard her mile time the was as if riding a rocket the legs were strong pushing forward. Stephen knew he was juicing it but was tempted to see what the price he would pay for it was. 6:10 was her first mile lousy. Through the dusty trails she had somehow reverted back to Denton form on hills for at least one quarter of it.  Then along a back stretch she finally got some poise back.  She decided the heck with it and decided to see if she could run a 5:45 second mile. For a girl it was almost outside the realm of possibility.  He stride rate hastened her legs using the form. She went deeper into the lactic acid threshold short of 800. Coach Noel Scott saw it "Good Job Tara don't be foolish" It was a warning through a small section of field beside UTSA blvd she followed through a tight 90 degree wanting to canon ball the hill knowing a pass or two needed to be made before. She started passing even now bunches. She cruised into open section before the hill. She looked two runners a quarter ways down on the inside. She was on the center of the road she accelerated as Stephen had once explained like greased lightning. She made the pass halfway down as the turn at the base of the hill was upon her quickly she immediately went to full stride full stride rate the final 100 yards to the end she made another two passes. Linda had been lost sight in front. Leisha was just behind her. Coach Bob was smiling the question remained was it enough to return some glory to the girls team she felt angry with herself for making a foolish series of mistakes.

Julie looked at her "relax.” The boys JV were starting soon. She drank her exceed and with her father went to the starting line to wish them luck. As the start went off her loud cheers joined others. She was recovering from her own race the team had filled more space around the course to make its collective enthusiasm more widely felt. Brenton and Pete were nice...her dad told her to not take it so hard but she was still upset.

Stephen Ray had something to prove. The assistant Coach had caught him and briefly let him twist in the wind. Ace had ripped him hard and then quietly restored him.  In history, they had been taught of the Soviet era punishment battalions. He had to rise from zero to hero. Stephen Ray sensed that in some respects with talk of district glory had he been busted earlier he would have been in deeper trouble.  Still though he was concerned about his reputation.  The instructions were given. He had a bolder plan he was going to attempt to stick with Dennis and Paul.

The gun went off, Stephen Ray took off hard and followed Dennis and Paul. The turn was made ahead of the back and then the course swung around the far side of the UTSA track and down. There was less traffic up here Steven though had a sinking feeling that maybe this was not quite the best plan as slight side stitch had formed. He went to belly breathing to try to see how much time it would buy him and he did not want to be a mass pass victim as the wide 180 and turn to the dorm section of the course started. Things were dicey even this first half of the first mile. He tried to relax and waited to see where the pieces of his plan would fall. The cheers were comforting but he was also aware of that they did not know about the side stitch that was forming. As he went near the dorm, he could lfeel actic acid in his legs and he heard the mile call out 5:40. Great too great he realized that his best option would be a 6:15 second mile. With that he eased off the pace and went into damage control mode as the course swung in sight of a residential street. He was being passed he knew it he could feel the cramp slowly expanding from the lower left of his belly to all around. He was sweaty his legs were burning Coach Noël Scott was ahead shouting encouragement other then that things were going great. Yet pride would not allow him to give up easy. His second mile was 11:40. Stephen King had surprised some people now it Stephen Ray just felt low he made his way up through the hotter section of the course through the narrow points where wind did not penetrate and front in hindsight was pure fussiness. Stephen Ray was fading and it stunk. He tried to make a pass but the was surged away from like some annoying rat. He saw the hill coming in sight as he crested it there was traffic so he was not permitted a true cannonball down it and the feature that had served other Unicorn runners was now a bane of his existence. At the base of it with his belly now in full side stitch mode he decided to do as much of a kick has, he could and face 100 yards of pain...19 minutes was his time. He was visibly angry. Dennis told him "We do not have a full team it does not matter you tried something different it back fired not a big deal."

Ace went up "Hey man do not act so guilty....can anybody doubt you gave it all you had a bad day so what"  Dennis was limping. Thomas's time was actually longer then Stephen and Paul had an ice pack on his knee....not good. The group figured a way to get within view and cheer on the girls.  This day aside from potentially doing well on varsity was turning out to be a bad one!

As Julie went to the line, she knew her job. She was also aware that things were happening on the team. She heard the riff in the background and she could almost hear Keith telling her to grow up. Her psyche up music had been techno. She missed hearing it the first session of Kuk but was already developing an awkward relationship with the music. Kimber was nice knowing her role had been to some extent superseded but not upset at the whole thing. Allison and Brandy kind of made things light. They were gong to run a good race but they were collectively going to have fun doing so.

This was her third season. Julie heard the gun go off and smoothly accelerated. The race was not totally crowded and the first mile she would rather run almost too relaxed then make a stupid mistake. This course was unforgiving so her plan was play it loose but not lazy the first mile. She made the through the start and round the bend of the track without stupid far so good. Julie added just a bit of speed to make a series of passes before the start of a turn. At the half mile, mark no lactic burn aside form a bit from the start warmed up loose sweat annoying yes but other then that. The voices her teammates all of them filled her ears. The loyalty and encouragement told her to keep going and Coach Bob said, "Good race so far Julie keep it smart!" The major turns happened. She was already picking off fast starters.  Coach Noel Scott, who she knew to be a brother in Christ was at the first mile mark "Good job Julie!" The time 6:10 Allison was behind her she was nearing the front. It was now time to make things more fun. The course dove south bound through a thicket of cedar trees. Julie was not notching up to her planned six-minute mile she made a couple more passes and realized she was near the front of the pack. She was careful not to get sloppy on the course line as lactic acid built up in her short legs. More sweat stung her eyes she knew she knew she had less then half a mile left and she made two passes before the crest of the hill yeah it was fiery but as she crested she was clear and she cannonballed using the hill for every bit of speed she could she have gained. Julie realized she could possibly make a pass on one girl from Fredericksburg she was at the base of the hill all out. Her rate of closure was fast, a yard short of the finish line she made the pass, and she kept speed up through the finish. She had finished third overall.

Allison was soon after her Brandy right there as well. Then came the rest of the squad the weakest runner finishing in the top quarter of the race. The Jv girls had done well. The girls were happy and the boys all congratulated them.

The award ceremony was at the infield of the track. The Unicorn girls had gotten a disappointing third place. Tara had talked to AManda and what happened with Amanda was broken down. Amanda and the girl had a history the girl liked the cheap shot on some scar tissue. Tara replied, "It will not happen again." The statement had a tone not a threat but a very real promise of action. It was like a Rottweiler growl.  The surprise came when boy’s varsity for 4A was announced third place New Braunfels high school. They had however beaten all district rivals!  The girls JV had finished first. The icepacks were in use as the bus headed down I-10 to the Colonnade where another Fuddruckers was and the post race meal was to be consumed.

Stephen Ray's father looked at Dennis and Paul. Both their parents were there they would miss last period football. Stephen and Allison's parents had been divorced but Dr. Ray had given lots time to high school athletes he had been at the game the night before and was concerned. His recommendations were free of charge the Paul and Denis though had to ice down their hurts on the way to Fuddruckers. Coach Bob was getting the feeling he was the coach of an incredibly shrinking team. He did look at the results the last pass made a difference and Stephen had done just enough to maintain his varsity status. Coach Noel Scott was to send the info to the newspaper. In 20 minutes, the team had arrived. Coach Bob stood up "Its official Stephen King is now Ace today he earned the title by running one of the smarter races I have seen and keeping us in the medals....Linda good job.....Julie good Job" Tom was happy now it was time to celebrate. Bo quipped, “Ace you are a hero now.” Stephen King thought he was bound for more jock status. He laughed though he knew he was far from a super start and he found it odd the spotlight he had lusted for, as a freshman now was if anything unwelcome. He would have rather played the role of heart of the team then conquering hero.

Amanda asked "Who was that with you after your race?" Stephen responded "A couple people from the church you will meet them tomorrow." He saw Tara kind of upset he felt the urge to talk to her though caution was against it "Tara do not get so hard on yourself. I made errors and I there are things I would have liked to differently about the race learn hey this your second real year running look at all the stupid stuff I did last year." She had a scowl that told him to leave and he knew better hopefully tomorrow would be easer at church.

Ace ordered his half-pound burger with bacon and cheese. He intended to put some jalapeño slices and mayo on it. He went for Dr.Pepper, which lhe oved, and he was going to indulge a sweet tooth. Tom and Bo were beside him. Raul along with Mike and Serg congratulated. Serg finally quipped "Not bad for a half breed." Stephen laughed, "That’s medio Tejano." There was a joke. Tom slid next to Coach Noel Scott along with Aero. The two were soccer players who used crosscountry as a means of conditioning. Paul and Dennis were looking a bit disgusted but Dennis sat by Stephen King. Amanda had chosen to sit across from him as well. Everybody was nursing their soft drinks enjoying the sugar of their soda. Coach Noel Scott assesed things. Stephen King had earned the nickname Ace. He looked over at Tara and made a goofy face at her. He knew her type. Kathrine Whe was relaxed. The orders were called. Ace had been called first so he went and got his food.  He actually closed his eyes and prayed before eating it.

Noel Scott noticed the way Stephen ate.  It still was was like watching a great white devour a sea lion. He was glad to be in an interesting ministry opportunity. Noel Scott could seen the teen of Coach Bob being tried by forces and hints of the gospel from Julie to Stephen and Tara were playing out. Amanda was intrigued but baffled by what was happening. Serg made light of the jalapeños and Stevens burger "Trying to run like a Desert rat" Tara finally lightened up some and responded "He sure was a wus when it came to running in cold weather" Coach Bob replied "Yeah speaking of cold that was a cold line." Kieswetter quipped Medina Valley was not that bad? Stephen King agreed. The two biracials of the group said. Tara said your warm nature helped at district in track but made district a struggle for you in crosscountry. Ace replied I could never tolerate the North Texas cold.

For Raul Stephen King was scary. Coach Noel was somewhat scary. They did not want to have too much fun. Stephen could be obsessive about details and he was always doing something pushing himself hard. He did not have much talent what he did was forcing everything. He also practically ignored his mother choosing almost to act white. Stephen's cousin was the life of the party. She did attend some. Stephen was never near a party and pilots license made him more weird. Linda his sister though had told Raul that Stephen loved the team he just at times did not know how to show it. A culture clash that occurred in 1836 was occurring again.

Linda was feeling less easy with her brother.  Ace had shown some loyalty to the team.  Tara with her exchange with Amanda had indicated loyalty.  Ace was first and foremost a man of his word.  Her brother had told her about the talk of district glory.  Linda had heard heard Coach vent to Ace about his grief about the guys not doing well enough.  Her attitude was changing.  Linda laughed about beating Amanda she suspected it would be the last time happened this season though. 

Anna did not mention it too much but much of her world had been rocked by the developments. Amanda Cook was still Amanda but she seemed intrigued about the new force of Ace was radically different then the person that had left New Braunfels high like a puppy their freshman year. Tara was an ex cheer leader and was very much like Kathrine Whe in personalty. She wanted a boy Anna could tell but kept to herself.  Tara had shut off a portion of her life.  It was as if Tara was under going her own transformation. Coach Noel Scott the new assistant had a visible authority over Tara ,Kimber, and Julie.   Tara and Julie had prayed over their meal before they ate. There was no big show but their eyes closed a quiet moment of reflection was made and then ate. Stephen King or as Ace has he was being called now was at times very blunt a little less humor.   Like the new assistant he visibly prayed.  Ace has shown a terse side at times unflinching about behavior.  He also if anything had gotten more warm in other respects.  The edge of his personalty was clearly defined and like Tara or even Noel Scott hard as diamond.  All these powerful forces have attached themselves to the team and become an entity transforming it.   

Sunday’s paper brought the news of the team to New Braunfels. Stephen King, Tara West and Amanda were at Fellowship Bible San Antonio. Amanda was welcomed. It clear that the church was like Tara and Stephen unsentimental. Tradition was not mocked but it the pastor with his shirt no tie and jacket seemed to enjoy being unconventional. He sat leisurely on the stool as he gave his sermon and announced a change up in the service order casually.  It seemed he was deliberately throwing a curveball to bust a rut.  The talk was about obedience to God when he wants you to do stuff you not want to do at times. The Sunday school was interesting she talked to Brenton and Pete. It was clear that the homework was expected to be done and the challenge was bold. It was informal yet demanding. The theology was very little removed from First Baptist the style though was intense and thought provoking. The warmth though was real.  Amanda drove home understanding and struggling with the new forces that had hit New Braunfels and were going to attempt to remake it if she wanted them or not. She saw but it both impressed and horrified her at the same time. Amanda’s values were never so boldly embraced her practices had never been so directly challenged.

Once home Stephen King's father asked him about the race and why he was dead last at the start. Stephen King's father was horrified but he did not bring it up. He was not aware of the strategy and his last bit running training had been years before. Stephen tried to explain but it was pointless. Stephen did his homework and the guitar he practiced with was belting out music once more. He was trying to write a song about race.

Sunday was a reflection for Noel Scott. He had ears he knew of the parties that were going on. He and Coach West had heard about the parties...amazing how few of them were busted. Coach Bob seemed at times to be a teen at heart. Coach Bob was surprised that Coach Noel Scott knew and believed the story of the physical abuse. Stephen King would have been skating on thin ice had it not been for the dented car. In the end, it was gospel behind this. The Blue and White could not stand for the truth and right without it. The post modernism in the classroom even in this pretending to be a traditional school annoyed him. The place was corrupt as Plano, which was having its heroin overdoses. In New Braunfels from what Scott had, gathered ethanol was the drug of choice. Many of kids had rich parents now in a divorce. Ace's moments of going to child in teen body oddly enough were helping. Ace was wistful at the parade as if willingly forgetting the conflict.  Yet when the call for action came Ace would remember life in Denton and do what was required then lapse instantly back to Unicorn sentiment.  Ace also had a reputation developing on yearbook as someone who did more then expected and did so while be a bit demanding.  In the staff lounge there were whispers Ace was a force in the classroom and seemed hell bent on destroying the privilege he could have had he had already ruffled more than one teacher.  The cadet Captain so it seemed to almost gloat in offending the core sensibility and doing so wearing Unicorn blue.  Ace appeared to be lockstep with his mother which made the critics of her boil all the more.    



Back to Index