In Junior High, I played Pee Wee football (the summers before 5th thru 7th grades). I started at Defensive Tackle my first year, moved to Defensive End for the second and had to drop back to Safety the third, as my height continued to advance, but my weight didn’t. I was so light that I couldn’t fight off a block at the line of scrimmage. The good news was that I was fast and agile enough in the backfield that the whole final season that no one I was defending caught a ball. Eiteher the coverage (me) was too good, or I was able to knock the ball down (no INT’s as I had (have?) hands of stone). The only touchdown scored against our team all season was on a series of downs when I was ‘sitting’ (like all ‘kiddie’ sports, everyone plays a little, so we rotated). I was the second fastest on the playground (as measured by playing Tag). One kid was faster in a straight line (our running back) and one was better at cornering.
My football dreams ended after 7th grade, when I was diagnosed with a growth disorder (Ausschlag Slaughter (spelling?) – where the long bones grow faster than the ligaments can stretch – a constant and ongoing, although minor, sprain of the ankles, knees, shoulders, elbows and wrists). This left me with “trick” knees (sometimes they work, sometimes the don’t), loose shoulders and sloppy (flexible?) ankles and wrists (they have improved with time, a little).
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