THE FOOTBALL FALLS FROM THE SKY, HITS THE artificial turf and takes off as if it has a mind of its own. It shoots sideways, skips, cartwheels slowly, and then spins off in a new direction—always just out of reach of the frantic teenager.
“Relax! Relax!” yells the coach from the sidelines as the boy fumbles for the ball, which is now wobbling along like a car with bad wheels. “You gotta relax!”
Right. The first day of practice, two other kids are bearing down on him in the punt-coverage drill, and a coach is already yelling at him. It’s only eight-fifteen in the morning on August 4, the official start of Westlake High School’s two-a-days. There will be no relaxing here, not today and not for another four months.
The coaches and teenagers aren’t the only ones running around