Reshar Collifay: A Star in the Making - Part Eight
Once every team was announced, an announcer's voice came out of a loudspeaker above the stadium. "We welcome every team and their fans to the Altador Cup! Our first game will be between Faerieland and Krawk Island, which will be coming up in a few hours. Our game of the night will be against Darigan Citadel and Meridell. Darigan added Forward Reshar to the team just a few weeks ago, while Meridell is looking like one of the strong favorites to win the tournament. This is a great rivalry, considering the war between the two worlds proved to be a great struggle for victory. We hope to see you in the opening game with Faerieland and Krawk Island! We'll see you then!"
The fans cheered again as each team left the arena. Reshar walked with his Darigan teammates off of the field and into a room with plenty of cameras. Reshar was confused. All of his team members sat in a chair in front of the cameras. Reshar realized he was going to take part in a press conference. He sat down in a chair and waited for a question to be asked. The first person to talk was a Ruki.
"This question is for Reshar," he said. "How do you feel to be on a team like Darigan Citadel as the youngest player in Altador Cup history?"
"Well..." Reshar started. "I think it is an honor to play for a team that is a favorite to win this tournament. It is a great honor."
"I have another question for Reshar. Will you continue playing for Darigan Citadel after this tournament?"
"This is a question I haven’t thought about at all. I'm just focused on the task at hand, and that’s winning this Tournament." The press conference went on, with reporters asking questions about how the team felt about Meridell and to see if they were ready. Adelene closed the press conference and told the team to start warming up for their game. They went to the locker room to put on their equipment, and ran out of it and onto the field. As Reshar was running, he could hear all of the Darigan fans cheering for them. They went to one side of the field and started warming up. A short while after, they heard cheering again. The Meridell team was coming out of their side of the Dome and onto the field. The announcers started talking to each other about the game. Reshar was thrilled to be a part of the whole experience.
Adelene walked out of the Dome and onto the sideline and started writing things down on her clipboard. She called the team in and discussed game plans. They shouted "1, 2, 3, Darigan!" and ran on to the middle of the field. The referee went out to the middle of the field, told the captains to shake hands, and prepared for the game. Reshar was in front of the goal, anxious for the first Yooyu to appear. Darigan and Meridell both played a 2-2 offense. The referee blew his whistle and the game began. Three minutes was set on the clock and the referee blew his whistle.
A snow Yooyu was first to appear. Tandrak and Layton both ran after it and Layton was successful. He passed it to Tandrak and he ran down the field. He passed the two forwards of Meridell and approached the two defenders. Tandrak now passed it back to Layton. Both defenders were both going towards Layton, leaving Tandrak wide open. Layton passed it to him, he shot, and scored! Darigan took the lead 1-0 over Meridell with 2:10 left on the clock. The players returned to their positions and waited for the next Yooyu to appear.
This time it was a fire Yooyu, and Tandrak and Layton ran towards it, but a Meridell forward retrieved it first and started running downfield. Kep ran to try to steal the Yooyu out of the Meridell player's hands, but was unsuccessful. The forward now had an open goal, shot, and was saved by Reshar. When he tried to pass to Tormo, the Meridell player stole it. He shot, and Reshar wasn’t paying attention and it zoomed right past him. The score was tied 1-1 with a minute left.
Reshar was beginning to get frustrated. The next Yooyu to appear was a snow Yooyu. Layton and Tandrak ran as fast as they possibly could, and Tandrak and a Meridell Forward starting fighting over it. After five seconds the referee blew his whistle and the play was start over. That put 50 seconds on the clock.
The next Yooyu to appear was a mutant Yooyu. Tandrak and Layton ran very fast, and Layton got it. He ran down field until a Meridell defender stopped him. He passed it to Tandrak, who was opposite to him. He ran downfield and ran past the second defender until he was face to face with the goalie. He stopped, and then ran to the right. He could hear Layton screaming, "Tandrak! Shoot it!"
Tandrak shot. It was too high for the goalie to reach, and it just barely got into the goal. With just 15 seconds left, Darigan Citadel took the lead 2-1. The crowd was going crazy. The players returned to their positions. The next Yooyu to appear was a snow Yooyu. The Meridell Forward got it, but when she passed Tandrak and Layton, time had expired. Darigan Citadel was going on to the next round. The crowd was cheering non-stop as Darigan started celebrating with each other.
An announcer's voice filled the stadium. "Congratulations, Darigan Citadel! You have advanced to Round Two, the Quarterfinals. You will play next week against Roo Island, who is just coming off a 2-0 win over Virtupets Space Station. That game will be held early tomorrow morning. We have eight teams left in the competition, so it will be a tough road for every team here at the Altador Cup. Thank you, fans, for coming to the Altador Cup. Have a safe trip home!" Once the announcer finished, Adelene came on to the field and joined the players.
"Great job, team! I hope we're just as good against Roo Island next week. I'm giving you the day off for the next two days, and then we'll return to practice every night at 7 o'clock in the evening. Great job, see you in a few days." She left the field.
Layton came up to Reshar and said, "Great job, kid. We hope you can continue making saves for us like that. Get a few good days off." Layton left the field.
Reshar was as excited as he'd ever been. He floated off the field like he was on a cloud.
He arrived at his hotel room and could smell dinner cooking. He went into the kitchen and his mother was cooking soup. "Reshar! Congratulations! I made you your favorite soup as a celebration." When she finished she poured it into two small bowls and they started eating. Reshar had a huge smile on his face as he ate. His mother began to talk again. "So when's your next game?"
"Next week at 10 o'clock in the morning," he replied.
"That's pretty early. I’m still shocked that you were painted; you don’t look like the Reshar you used to be.” She smiled. “Are you ready for the big game tomorrow?"
"Oh, of course I am," answered Reshar.
"Your favorite team is playing, too, don't forget," his mother said. "Maraqua has a chance of going to the Finals this year."
"Maraqua?" Reshar said surprisingly. "If we play them, I don't know which side I'd be on, Darigan Citadel's or Maraqua’s." They finished eating and went straight to bed. "Goodnight, Mom," Reshar said, yawning.
"Goodnight, Reshar. Sweet dreams." She turned off the light and Reshar fell asleep immediately.
Reshar spent his two days doing absolutely nothing. He slept from time to time and adventured in Altador with his mother. They found a souvenir stand and bought a Darigan Citadel flag. When his two days were over, it was back to practicing. He looked better than the week before, and he could tell that Layton was getting jealous that he was getting the coach’s attention. Every now and then Layton would mock him when he got a save or say, "I could have saved that goal with my eyes closed!”
Reshar just ignored him. When he received an insult from him about how he passed it to her, he yelled at him, "I DON'T CARE IF I DO THINGS RIGHT OR WRONG! IT TAKES A TEAM EFFORT TO WIN GAMES, NOT AN INDIVIDUAL!" Reshar was breathing really heavy.
Layton stood silent for a second, and then said, "Wow, Reshar, I'm really sorry. I guess I'm getting envious of your skill. You're right. It takes a team effort. Let's put this behind us and forget about it. What do you say?"
Reshar nodded, fuming. They shook hands and continued practicing. Adelene blew her whistle. "Great job, gang. The game is tomorrow. I expect to see you an hour before the match. You're dismissed!" Adelene left the field. Reshar took off his equipment and started walking home.
He arrived at his hotel room right before dinner was served. His mother was wearing a shirt that said, "I love Darigan Citadel". Reshar laughed at the sight of it. They ate and talked about the next day's game. His mother sounded nervous. "I don't want you to get hurt out there like you did against Faerieland in that 3 on 3 tournament."
"I'll be fine," Reshar said. "I've gained experience from the Altador Cup and it's not likely I'm getting injured. Besides, if anyone on our team got hurt we'd have to forfeit!"
"Well, just be safe out there."
"I will." They finished dinner and began talking about Neopia Central and Wishing Well Drive. They missed it very much and they were both eager to return home. Reshar went to bed early because of the game the next day. He had trouble falling asleep because of the thoughts in his mind about the game the next day.
It was finally game day. Reshar woke up early and headed straight for the Altador Colosseum. On the way there he had many cheering fans passing him. He even saw a Neopet dressed entirely in "I Love Reshar" merchandise. Reshar blushed and walked faster.
He arrived at the Colosseum and saw his teammates there. They were already warming up. Reshar put on his equipment and started warming up with them. He was on fire today. He scored every goal that he shot. He just hoped that he would be the same during the game.
The referee blew his whistle to signal the two teams to the middle of the field. The field was almost too loud to hear the referee explain the rules to the two teams. The captains shook hands and the announcer's voice filled the Colosseum. "Welcome to Round Two of the Altador Cup! This match is between Darigan Citadel and Roo Island. Darigan Citadel recorded a win against a powerful Meridell team last week with a score of 2-1. Can they win again? Let's find out!"
The referee blew his whistle and the players took their positions. Darigan Citadel played a 2-2 formation while Roo Island had a 3-1 formation. The referee blew his whistle again and Round Two of the Altador Cup began...
To be continued...