It was nearly two decades ago, sometime in the middle of August in the mid 1980′s at New Trier High School, a wealthy public school in the Midwest. Seventy soon to be freshman boys had just spent the entire summer working out twice a day with the football team so that they could make the more skilled A team rather than the B team. Only the top half made the A team, and of those that made the A team only a privileged few would be given the coveted status as starters. The rest would have to sit on the bench.
The first week of tryouts came and the boys were given tests in football drills, weighed, measured, and given opportunities to try out at the positions they were interested in playing. Although some of the boys were as tall as 6’4 and over 230 lbs they were all barely 14 years old with all the insecurities of adolescence intact. In between the tryouts there was much talk among the boys in the locker room, with the topics ranging from girls to where to get the best pizza. One thing remained on everyone’s mind, who was going to make the A team and who’s going to be on the B bombers? There were only three non-white kids on the team, one African-American (he was actually half) and two Asians. One of those Asians was a 14 year old boy named Joe. |inline