Chapter 10: The High School Years
Part 2: Friends and Activities
During the summer before school started I took tap lessons with a bunch of my friends. It was really fun to do something a little different with my friends. Plus the first musical that Orem High was doing was supposed to have tap in it, I wanted every advantage I could get.
Also during the summer I was in a show at the Scera Shell Outdoor Theater. It was called The Music Man, I had always loved this show when I was little and I was excited to be in it. I was perfectly the wrong age for it. I was to young to be one of the older teenage boys and a bit to big to be one of the little kids. But they found plenty of places for me to be in it and things for me to do. Most of the time during rehearsals I was basically babysitting the kids, but that was more fun than rehearsing anyway.
I got to be with some really cool and talented people. Sometimes it was nice to be in the middle because I could be in the kid scenes or the older people scenes. We put the show on for two weeks and had several nights where the audience was into the thousands. It was a lot of fun.
I did as much as I could with my friends that summer. I was really busy with The Music Man, and a lot of my friends seemed to be on vacation a lot. So I didn't get to see everyone, especially one in particular, very often. My friends did a lot of fun things still, like going to Seven Peaks. One of my friends had a big pool with a water slide and we went there a few times, that was really awesome.
On July 12th my group of friends decided to have an exciting adventure. Brandon, Jeff, Shawn, (Jeff and Brandon's cousin), Jessie, Brittany, Annie, Whitney, and I decided to go rollerblading to Zuka Juice. The girls were really slow rollerbladers, I kind of wanted to stay back with Jessie and the other girls, but I just was getting so bored going that slow.
Shawn and I decided to go on and got way ahead, and I guess Jeff and Jessie were slightly ahead of the others. Because when we finally all met up we heard the story of what I had missed out on, the true adventure. Jeff told me that he looked back to see how far ahead they were and saw a big van flying up in the air. Jessie heard screaming and knew it was Brittany's voice. They quickly rollerbladed back to see what had happened. It turned out that the van got hit by another car and sent it flying right into the light pole about 5 feet away from my four friends. If the pole hadn't been there they could have been seriously hurt.
So the 6 of them ended up getting to Zuka Juice 30 minutes after we did, and they were all in shock. Shawn and I were really confused, but luckily they were all OK. We didn't go on any Rollerblade adventures after that, although our group of guys still played a lot of street hockey.
I was still playing soccer this year and things were going great. We ended the season 8-1, our only loss to the Dominators who had 2 people who used to be on our team, but decided to be traitors and join the dark side. We started the tournament seeded number one. We won our first game easily.
Our second game was against the Dominators. They won 2-1 and one of their goals didn't even go in! They kicked it from the corner and it went behind the goal and into a hole in the back of the net. The referee saw the ball in the net and awarded them the goal. We were pretty mad, luckily it was double elimination.
We won our next game and then we were to the finals. The team we were facing was none other, the Dominators. We had one loss and they had zero, so if we wanted to win the tournament we would have to beat them twice in a row and a single loss by us would leave us at second. The game went into overtime, and eventually into a shoot out. We won! Both games had been close so far so we knew the final game was going to be really really good.
In the final game the referees were even worse than the ones who game the Dominators a goal when they didn't make it. They didn't know how to call offsides! We play a really good offsides trap and when it doesn't get called it gives the other team a big advantage. With about 15 minutes left we were down 0-1. They had a free kick from outside the box and a player on their team shoved our goalie completely out of the goal. Luckily, our defenders stopped it, but they didn't even call anything. Then we had the ball we shot it and it went in the goal and then bounced back out. The referee said that it didn't count, this linesman even said it went in, but the head referee still wouldn't count it.
On the very next play they had someone way offsides, the lineman held up her flag to call it, our whole team was yelling offsides! Even if they didn't listen to what we said, they should listen to their linesman. She called a great game, but not once did the referee call anything that she said.
With 15 minutes left we scored, finally! Then five minutes later we scored again, within the next 5 minutes we scored two more times. We won 4-1 and there was nothing that the referee could do to stop us from being number one!
I tried out for the school musical Anything Goes and made it. I was really excited because I had just gotten out of The Music Man and missed being on the stage. I really enjoyed it and was paired up with cool people in dances and things. Then two weeks before opening night I sprained my ankle really bad playing basketball. I couldn't really rehearse for a few days and for a week I had to just walk where I was supposed to be. I couldn't really be lifting people or doing any intense choreography. I was missing important rehearsals and I needed it to get better!
The last week of rehearsals I could walk fine, but it still hurt quite a bit whenever I put real weight on it. I went full out anyway and figured I could just rest it after the show ended. That ankle still makes a weird popping sound sometimes and never healed 100%, but life goes on. No pain, no gain!
The second musical of the year was Pirates of Penzance, it was such a fun show to be in! I was a pirate and a policeman. It was kind of interesting, I was trying to kill myself the whole night. The policemen are only in the show the second half, so to get me more stage time I was a pirate the first half. I was on stage about 80% of the show, it was great.
For choir we went on tour to New York. It was a ton of fun! We left on April 5th and it was so cool flying over Chicago and New York at night because of all the lights. You would fly over the great lakes and it would be pitch black, then when you hit land again there would be millions of lights!
In my hotel room was Jeff Andersen, Jeff Parker, Steve Seegmiller and I. I brought my N64 because we only use it during summer and Christmas break, so nobody would miss it. Jeff brought his CD player and speakers. So our room was like the mega party room.
April 6th we went to the Statue of Liberty. Eleven people missed the boat so we had to wait an hour for them to get the next one. While we waited we played Missionary Tag, there were a lot of girls that played with us and it ended up being one of the most fun things we did that day. Just being able to play and not having to run around crazy. It ended up that one of the kids had broken his finger really bad somehow and they were gettint ti fixed and that is why they were late.
Being in the hotel was great, we could call each others rooms and prank call them or talk all night. It was a giant party! A lot of people hung out in our room until it was time for everyone to stay in their own rooms and we had room check. Then we had to turn back to the phones or just talk amongst ourselves.
On April 7th they dropped everyone off in Central Park and told us to meet back in 5 hours. The people I was with went to the Empire State Building, then being one of our only chances to ever be in New York we spent a few hours playing Ultimate Frisbee.
April 8th we shopped and bargained at the black market. Some kids were paying $15 for things that we were getting for $5. We really had the art of haggling down by the end of our trip. We would only put $5 in our wallet and keep the rest somewhere else. Then we would get excited about something open our wallet and say dang I only have $5. If they wouldn't take it we would walk away, if they wouldn't do it we could always find another seller or come back later and offer $10 or something.
While we were there we went and saw a Broadway show. I chose to see Footloose, it was pretty cool. At about 7:30 that night four of us were walking around and this drunk guy came running up to us shouting, "Friends!" He put out his hand and Jeff Paker went to shake it, but they guy wouldn't let go. He said, "I thought you were giving it to me, I thought it was mine" that was kind of weird. Jeff did get his hand back though. We asked a lady for directions on getting back to Central Park and she told us the wrong way, stupid New York people. It didn't take us long to see we were going the wrong way though and we got there in plenty of time to spare.
We were really sad that we would have to go home soon. Oh and while we were there we took part in a choir festival, guess I can't forget that, it's the whole reason we were there. We won first place, which was really weird. Those in our room, and I'm sure many others, did not get to bed until about 3 AM. They woke us up at 6:30 because we had to be at the competition at 7:30 AM! Since we were from Utah with the time difference that made it feel like 5:30. I don't know if you have ever tried singing at 5:30 in the morning on 3 hours of sleep, but it's usually not a good plan for great success. We had no energy and I could barely stand up, let alone sing. We managed to do all right though, because we took first place.
I had some great experiences and memories that year, but missing the majority of my closest friends and my awful English and Chemistry teachers made me glad the year was over. That summer I did a lot of things again, but not as much as I would have liked. It seems like someone was always gone and we never seemed to be home all at the same time. I still went to Seven Peaks a few times and played basketball a lot.