As he walked towards the football field, the new boy in class hoped to be the best goalkeeper. The team captain declined to accept him after seeing his prosthetic leg.
Anyone who passes the school’s football fields would be hard-pressed to miss Jake Harvey and his gang talking about soccer. The boys lived and breathed the game and always made sure they only selected those that had the physique and tactics to represent their team.
One day, the entire team is “Head,”Jake, as they called the boy, was playing soccer with friends when Jake saw a newcomer to their group. Jake’s teammates paused when the little boy called and said he was ready to play.
“Dude, how on earth will he play for us with that leg? Huh, sorry… without a leg?!”One of the boys mocked. Jake was furious, and he walked over to him, unaware that he was being watched.
Jake was the team captain and ensured that he had only the best players for his soccer team.Source: Pexels | Source: Pexels
Jake and his team discussed inviting new players to their soccer club in October. “We only need the best of the best…you get what I mean?”Jake had already told his friends. “We have to build our team with a couple of attackers and a keeper.”
Since two guys in Jake’s class that were a part of his team quit due to relocation to another state, he wanted a few more players on his team. He was looking for the best.
“I must say… you’re too bold even to think you could kick that ball with this artificial leg!”
The match was held against a senior school class a few days later. Jake was the only one who could decide which position to take after they had discussed the tactics.
“Aaron, you are the midfielder. Jacob takes defending, and….”He elaborated.
Jake boasted often as team captain how he could still score goals if playing. “That’s child’s play if I were on the field!”He boasted.
Since Jake joined the team, their fate has changed. He not only helped to define their strength, but also ensured they received a trophy. After much discussion, the bell rang and they marched to class.
Jake made sure that his teammates were in the right position on the field.Source: Pexels | Source: Pexels
“Huh, where is Mr. Andrews? I hope he hasn’t forgotten it’s his chemistry class,”Jake exclaimed. The class giggled and was noisy when they heard footsteps outside the classroom.
“People, sshhhh! Guess he’s come,”One of the boys shouted. Andrews entered the classroom, and greeted all. Andrews looked around, but no one was there. The boys looked out and wondered about the activities of their teacher.
“Hey, Sam… come in. This is your new class,”Andrews called out. The boys noticed it was a newcomer, and eagerly waited for it to arrive. One boy entered the class. He was short and nervous.
“Meet Sam,”Andrews introduced Andrews to the class. “He is from Hawaii and has joined our school.”
Sam looked uncomfortable as Jake and the others waved at Sam. He smiled, and said: “Hi everyone!”He then walked to the empty seat that the teacher had given him.
“Whoa… what’s wrong with him? Why is he walking like that?”Jake murmured to a friend. Sam limped on one foot to his bench. His classmates stared at Sam, mumbling.
Jake had Sam as a newcomer to his class. Source: Pexels | Source: Pexels
In between their class, the students randomly turned to Sam to find out what was wrong with him.
“Okay, class. See you around tomorrow. And Stephen, I hope you submit your assignment before I mark a delay,”As he left class, the teacher said:
Jake and his friends ran to Sam. “Hey, we’re looking for newcomers to join our soccer team. Do you mind coming for a screening?”Sam was asked by Jake.
Sam was thrilled and his eyes lit with excitement. “I’d love to. I love soccer, and I…”Sam responded.
“Okay then, see you around soon,”Jake was the first to chime in and went with the boys, giggling.
Sam was happy, thinking that this would allow him meet new people and showcase his skills in the game.Source: Pexels After the last class ended, he changed into his shorts and T-shirt and happily walked over to the field, while everyone who passed by him looked at him differently and whispered.
Sam was thrilled to join Jake’s soccer team & walked to the pitch after class for the screening. | Source: Pexels
“Hey, everyone! I’m ready to screen for goalkeeping,”He laughed and shouted happy thoughts from the gate. Jake and his friends looked at him in shock.
“Holy cow! We’d win the trophy this year if he played for us,”One of the guys laughed. Jake stared at Sam’s prosthetic leg, which was about knee-length, and walked over.
Jake wanted to recruit the best players for his team. Sam’s condition annoyed Jake. “Hey, Sam! I appreciate your enthusiasm to join us, but we don’t want to come out as losers,”He told the boy.
Sam’s smile was gone, but his eyes welled up with tears. The boy tried to be calm, but he was too upset to listen to Jake’s hurtful words.
“I-I’m sorry, but I can’t afford to let down my team by trusting you. Just look at you…I don’t think you can even lift that leg,”Jake screamed as the other boys laughed.Source: Pexels “I must say… you’re too bold even to think you could kick that ball with this artificial leg!”
Jake & his team looked down upon Sam after seeing his prosthetic leg. | Source: Pexels
Sam felt crushed when Jake’s words echoed in his ears. He didn’t want to let his tears fall on the boys.
“I er…I get it, Jake! Thanks for giving me the chance to come around for screening,” he told Jake. “It’s your team, and you know who fits better…I respect your decision.”
Sam turned and packed his belongings. On his way back, he silently wept in the corner of the schoolbus. “I wish people stop seeing the flaws in others and understand that everyone is born with talents,”He mumbled and wiped his eyes, then he wept.
While the action was happening, Mr. Jones, the school’s physical trainer, watched from his office window. He walked over and spoke to Jake after the practice session.
“Well, I saw what happened, and if I’m not wrong, you sent away that newcomer, right?” Mr. Jones asked Jake. “Do you have any idea who he is?”Jake was baffled when Mr. Jones explained Sam’s past.Source: Pexels
Sam was upset & hated how those around him judged him by his appearance. | Source: Pexels
Sam was the captain of his school’s soccer team. Sam was also a great goalkeeper and won many trophies for his school.
“Maybe, Mr. Jones…But I don’t see any hope in having him on our team. Just look at him….”Jake told the teacher.
Jake was disgusted by Sam’s situation, so Mr. Jones revealed another truth about the boy. “Sam wasn’t the same before a few years. Do you have any idea how he lost that leg?”Mr. Jones was furious.
Sam’s family had a car accident back in the day on their return from vacation. Sam was able to get out of the car but realized his little sister was still trapped in it. He put his life at risk to save her.
Sam managed to make it to safety but he ran to the car that was burning to save his sister.Source: Unsplash | Source: Unsplash
“He raced to the burning car, and without worrying about his life, he fought for his sister’s life and pulled her out,” Mr. Jones explained. “His leg was severely injured and had to be amputated later.”
Jake was stunned at Sam’s courage and became teary eyed. “I-I am so sorry, Mr. Jones, I didn’t mean to…”He spoke softly.
The teacher interrupted and told Jake that someone’s appearance doesn’t reflect their talents. “It’s not about winning or losing, but about having the heart to love everyone and appreciate their talents,”Jake heard Mr. Jones tell Jake, and he exited the stadium.
Jake felt awful for having humiliated Sam. He reached out to his team, and they gathered around him. “So, this is what we’re gonna do tomorrow, okay?”He said this while the men shook hands in agreement.Source: Pexels
Jake felt guilty & plotted a surprise for Sam the following day. | Source: Pexels
Jake brought a box to class the next morning. He moved over to Sam’s platform beneath the blackboard, and called him out.
“Sam, could you please come over here for a second. Everyone, silent! I have an important announcement to make,”He yelled.
Sam was puzzled and walked over with Jake. “Meet our new goalkeeper, Sam Thompson!”Jake announced. “Welcome to your new soccer team, the Cyborgs!”Jake cried with joy.
Sam could not react instantly to the cheers of his classmates, but they cheered loudly. He just laughed and cried at the same time and said, “Thank you! Jake.”
Jake hugged the boy, while the rest of the team gathered in front of the class to give them a collective hug. “Not really. I must thank you for opening my eyes,”Jake said this to Sam.
Outside, Mr. Jones and Mister Andrews watched Sam and were very happy for him. They let the class enjoy the moment and walked away to the cafeteria.
“Hey Sam, I’m sorry and…friends?!”Sam called Jake and Jake raised his hand to show him.
“Friends!”Sam reciprocated by bumping Jake’s fist onto Jake’s and the pair walked out together to the field, following the rest of the soccer team.Source: Pexels
Jake & his friends befriended Sam, their new goalkeeper. | Source: Pexels
What can we take away from this story?
- Do not judge others by their appearance. Jake and Sam saw Sam’s prosthetic leg and decided to not invite him to join their soccer team. Jake felt that they would lose and get mocked by his friends. But after hearing about Sam’s bravery and records as team captain, Jake changed his mind and invited Sam to join his team.
- Stand up for someone who is in need. When Mr. Jones witnessed Jake humiliating Sam on the field, he took him aside in private and explained Sam’s background and how he lost his leg. Jake and the other players regretted their mistakes and Sam was able to join the soccer team thanks to the teacher’s support.
This story is about an elderly store owner who pretends to be a blind customer in order to test his new employee.
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