Being a high school senior isn’t easy. As in your parents going through a divorce, your cross country training not going as planned, no idea of college plans and on top of all that, your team has a new coach.
“My Coach The Spooky Scary Skeleton” follows Christopher, a rising senior in Lower Newbury as he goes through all of the above. See how Christopher deals with team rivalries, growing up, and Coach Bones in this thrilling second novel from the Thoms Heynk Athletics Adventures Series.
Check out the excerpt below from the book below:
“Hurry up you loser!”
I looked up and saw my teammates yelling at me from the top of the hill. It was a hot August day and we were in the middle of our first practice of the cross country season.
Last year, our team had finished first at states for our division and was looking at a chance to repeat this fall. It would be difficult to do, as we had graduated nearly half of our squad last June, but Coach Bones was confident that we could do it and when someone like him makes a statement like that, you better listen.
Coach Bones was relatively new to our high school but had been coaching for quite some time. He’d coached state champions, All-Americans, and age-group record holders everywhere he went. He was the definition of a running mind and boy did he look the part. Long, thin, and lean as can be, he was everything you could ever want in the ideal runner’s body. And his mind had determined we would kick off this season with a 9-mile run ending at Newbury Hill, the highest hill in our town of Lower Newbury.
In all honesty, I probably didn’t run as much as I should’ve over summer, but as was common with me, life got in the way. My parents went through a divorce and rather than telling us at home, they decided to tell us on a family vacation to Orlando, FL. I’m not going to criticize my parents because I love them very much, but finding out that your dad had been sleeping with his secretary for the past 5 years and that you’ll have 2 Christmases isn’t exactly how I planned to spend my day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But I can’t say I didn’t see it coming, as I’m a Ravenclaw and we’re known to be perceptive.
After that trip to paradise, most of my summer was spent shuttling in between my dad’s condo and my grandparent’s house upstate. Mom decided to take a cruise to get away from it all and our grandparents were more than happy to take us in on weekdays and every other weekend.
Here’s the problem with being upstate: there’s nowhere to run. So instead of going out and pounding the miles like a man, I was forced to pound the reps on my grandma’s old exercise bike like a little boy.
But boy, was I missing the breeze from the front of that exercise bike now. You could feel the heat coming from above and below as the afternoon sun beat down on me. I kept my eyes up and reminded myself that I had an ice-cold Gatorade waiting for me at the top and pushed through.
Given my tardiness on the run, by the time I arrived at the park, the team was already seated and stretching while Coach Bones gave an update on the rest of training.
“I’m glad you could join us, Chris,” he motioned to a spot next to him at the front. “Why don’t you sit up here next to me under the shade of this tree?” Coach Bones wasn’t much of one for the sun, and boy did it show with how pale he was.
“We’re really up against it this year guys, but I have confidence that we’ll be able to come together and really prove everyone wrong this year. But part of that is working as hard as we can to make up for what we’ve lost.”
Coach Bones looked down at me and his large dark eyes boring a hole into my skull. I could tell he was disappointed that his number three runner from last year returned in questionable shape to make the top seven. But then he smiled a bright toothy smile and said: “But I have no doubt in my mind we’ll be able to do it.”
Coach Bones was that kind of coach that believed in you sometimes even more than you believed in yourself. Other coaches always mentioned how he was a bit different than the rest, and I had always had trouble understanding that.
I’m sure most high school kids think that there’s something different about their coach and for the first time ever, I started to think that a little bit too.