Reshar Collifay: A Star in the Making - Part One
As a young Blue Jetsam living in the Neopia Central suburbs, Reshar played a lot of Yooyuball with his friends, and had dreams of becoming a big star for an Altador Cup team. His favorite team was Maraqua, because his family originated from the old city, before it was destroyed. Reshar was very skilled at Yooyuball, particularly at the goalie position. He played 3 on 3 Yooyuball with his friends every day next to the Neopia Central Petpet Shop. His best friend was a Green Ruki named Thilve, who played Defender most of the time. Thilve was an average defender. He wasn’t very tall or large, but he could keep up with the person who had the Yooyu and generate a steal every now and then. Along with Reshar and Thilve was a Techo named Nixx, who clearly needed more practice to become a good Yooyuball forward. But with Reshar on their team, they beat almost every team in Neopia Central. The team represented the northern part of Neopia Central, and they were feared by even the toughest teams in the city.
"Hey, let's go get a smoothie from the Smoothie Shop, my treat!" Thilve said to them as they passed the Grooming Parlour. "Last one there's a pile of dung!" They raced to the Smoothie Shop, where their favorite shopkeeper, Shirley the Red Tuskaninny, was blending together ingredients to make a Splime smoothie.
"Hey kids! What can I get for you today?" asked the cheery Tuskaninny.
"I'll have a Mega Rasmelon Smoothie," said Nixx without thinking. "My favorite!" Shirley nodded, and looked over to Thilve. "What do you want, Thilve?" Thilve thought for a moment, and replied, "I'll have the small Ice Creamy Jelly Smoothie." Shirley nodded to his reply also, but when he looked over to Reshar, he was at the other side of the shop, looking at the bulletin board posted by the door.
"Are you looking at that flyer for the 3 on 3 Yooyuball Tournament?" asked Shirley. "That's been up for a couple days now. They're taking the best Yooyuball teams in Neopia Central and putting them in this tournament. First place gets to go to the World Tournament, which will have Neopets your age competing for the title of the best Yooyuball team in Neopia!"
"This sounds amazing," said Reshar in a small voice. "Best team in all of Neopia?"
"Yes," replied Shirley. "In past tournaments, some of the elite players have been recruited by professional Altador Cup teams. If you try hard enough, you could be in the World Championship Game. But don't think about that too far ahead, you have to play against the Neopia Central teams first."
"Simple enough," Thilve said, "We can beat any team in Neopia Central with our eyes closed. When are signups, Shirley?"
"Hmmm... Signups started the day those flyers were issued, which was actually a couple days ago. The flyer says signups end Saturday... Oh my! Today's Saturday! Signups end at 5 pm today! And it's... 4:50 pm! You need to hurry! The sign up booth is right by the post office. Quickly, don’t be late!"
Without taking their smoothies they dashed out of the store and ran as quick as they could to the post office. They passed the Uni's Clothing store, then the Petpet Shop, and then saw the post office in sight. "Quick, we only have five minutes!" Thilve shouted. As the officials started packing their supplies, the three Neopets made it to the booth, with three minutes to spare.
"Hi, we'd like to sign up for the tournament," Reshar said, breathing hard.
"Yes, you're just in time," a White Scorchio official said. "Now, we'll need your names, addresses, team name, and all the information down here..." Reshar signed all of the players up and handed the sheet to the Scorchio. "Excellent, we'll send you your schedule a day before the match. This tournament is single elimination, which means if you lose one game, you're out of the tournament. Equipment will be provided at the tournament, which means there will be slings, chest guards, Yooyus and goalposts. Each game will be three minutes. If there is a tie, we will have a one-minute overtime match to decide the winner. Do you have uniforms?"
"Oh... um... we don't have any uniforms," replied Nixx.
"Very well, Uni’s Clothing Store is having a sale on Yooyuball jerseys; you can get them there. Do you have any questions or concerns?"
"Yes, I have a question," said Thilve. "How many teams have entered in this tournament?"
"You are the eighth team to enter. That means you'll have to defeat three teams to earn your spot in the World Playoffs. From there, you'll need to win four more games to be crowned World Champions of this 3 on 3 Yooyuball tournament. Thank you boys for entering, we'll see you later!"
The three got their uniforms from Uni’s Clothing Store, which were blue with two green stripes. Reshar turned to walk back to their neighborhood on Wishing Well Drive. "From now on, we will practice, practice, and practice even more. We have no clue when the games are, but we can only improve until then."
When they arrived at Wishing Well Drive, Reshar walked to his mailbox, and had already received the official letter of the Yooyuball tournament. "Wait a second..." Reshar said. "We're only supposed to get this letter a day before the tournament... it says we're playing the Southern Neopia Central team tomorrow at 11am right behind Hubert's Hot Dogs stand. We need to be there at 10:30am for warm ups."
Nixx said, "Well, I guess we're playing tomorrow. It's still pretty early, how about we practice until the sun goes down? I'll get the equipment, just hang on a sec..." He ran into his house and got his Yooyu, two goalposts, and three arm slings. They practiced well until 9 o'clock when their parents called them to come inside. "Good luck tomorrow, guys," Nixx said. "Get a good rest."
Reshar woke up the next morning at 10 o'clock, and realized he slept through his alarm. He quickly put on his uniform and rushed out the front door to the Neopian Bazaar. When he got there fifteen minutes later, his two teammates were already there waiting for him. "I just slept in a little, no problem," Reshar told them. "Nothing bad happened, right?" Their opponents were there also. There was a Blumaroo, a Hissi, and a Skeith that looked inexperienced and easy to beat. The teams started warming up, and Nixx was showing signs of improvement. Thilve was also doing very well. There was a crowd of about a hundred Neopets gathered onto large, metal bleachers cheering for their favorite team. A Green Scorchio with a referee's uniform and whistle came out on the middle of the field when they were finished warming up.
"Each game is three minutes," he said. "Whoever scores the most goals in that time will go on to the next round. Players, take your positions!" The crowd was on its feet and everyone was ready to get the game underway. The referee blew his whistle and introduced the first Yooyu to appear... and it was a mutant Yooyu. Reshar played very well this game, only allowing a single goal. Nixx scored two goals in the game, making the final score 2-1. Northern won their first game of the tournament. As they shook hands, the crowd was cheering for Northern Neopia Central. They were going on to the next round, the Semifinals.
"Nice goalkeeping, Reshar! With you in the tournament we're bound to go the World Tournament!" said Thilve excitedly. "I can just see it... defending goals for Neopia Central's best team. We can beat teams from Tyrannia, Terror Mountain... maybe even Darigan Citadel!" Darigan was considered one of the toughest 3 on 3 teams in the world.
"Let's not go that far," said Reshar. "I think we should focus on our next game. It's against Northeastern, one of the toughest teams we've ever played. We'll be lucky to get out of that one."
Nixx smiled. "Don't worry, we'll beat them. We've beaten them plenty of times. Remember that time when we beat them 5-0? That was probably our best game we've ever played against any team. When's the game?"
"It’s in two days, at 5pm. So we have today and tomorrow to prepare. If we win that game, we play the winner of Western and Northwestern. You know how much trouble we have with the Western squad. Remember the team with that Robot Acara and Green Zafara?"
"Oh, it seems we can never beat them," Thilve said. "They're just too strong and quick. But let's concentrate on the game against Northeastern..."
Reshar stopped him. "Do you think we should take practice off today? I mean, we played very hard today, and I think we deserve a break. Then we'll be ready to practice tomorrow. What do you think, Nixx?"
"Well..." Nixx thought. "I guess it's reasonable. I could use a break after today. What do you think, Thilve?"
"I think that's a great idea. Let's get some rest so we can practice as hard as we can, then we'll be ready for Northeastern."
"Okay, it's decided. We take a break today, practice all day tomorrow," Reshar said. He waved goodbye to his friends as they arrived at Wishing Well Drive, waiting to tomorrow to arrive.
To be continued...