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  Posted: May 30, 2021      Views: 211
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Mrs. Wilkey's first novel, Two Tattered Hearts, was published by G and J Publishers and can be found at It's a novel about how Anna, an abused spouse escapes, with her son, the man-made hell she lives in and finds love. < - more...

She is an accomplished novelist and is currently at the #5 spot on the rankings.

She is also an active reviewer and is holding the #7 spot on the top ranked reviewer list.

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Chapter 37 of the book Football - A Novel
First Street hill challenge is made.
"Football Chapter 19 part 1" by barbara.wilkey

Katherine struggles raising her four sons by herself. Is Gabriel the father figure the boys never had?


Katherine titled her head. "While in high school, what's the worst you ever did?"

"Painted the playing field of our opposing team our team colors before their homecoming game." He grinned. "It was fun but we almost got a lawsuit thrown at us. Finally they decided the grass would grow out. I guess its amazing boys ever make it to adulthood." He patted her hand. "What's the craziest thing you ever did?"

After thinking for a moment, Katherine said, "I didn't really do anything crazy. If you consider who my dad was, you'd understand. I didn't realize until years later that his bark was worse than his bite. I guess marrying George one week after graduation was the worst thing I ever did." She studied his hand holding hers. "I guess that's worse than anything you ever did, isn't it?"

"Depends how you look at it. At least you have the boys."

"That's true, and I love my boys."

They sat in silence for a few moments. Finally Gabriel said, "You're a great woman and mother." He cupped her face with both hands. "I know it's none of my business but I hate the way George treated you. I feel because of that you have a low self-esteem. You don't realize how wonderful you are." He leaned over and started to kiss her, but gulped and kissed her cheek. "I need to leave. Good night."


Chapter 19 part 1

Friday morning when Katherine opened the door, she saw Gabriel and Reggie waiting. Daisy ran up and sniffed Reggie.

Katherine caught up and petted her Labrador. "I think she really likes Reggie."

"I'm positive Reggie thinks Daisy's his girlfriend. I have a feeling he'd get very possessive if another male got close." He watched Katherine set her timer. "Ready?"

After she nodded, they turned their heads as the dogs growled at the clicking of the camera, and then began jogging. A few minutes passed before Katherine said, "You're suspiciously silent. Is something wrong?"

"If I was assured you'd be safe jogging, I wouldn't have showed up." He answered her questioning look. "I almost kissed you last night."

"I know, but you didn't."

"True. It bothers me how close I came. I don't want to do something stupid and mess up what we have. I'm way too comfortable around you."

Katherine stopped and touched his arm. "I feel the same. What do you suggest we do? We've almost set up housekeeping."

"Maybe we shouldn't spend so much time together." He thought for a moment. "I'll still jog with you. It's not safe. And I'll bring Jordan home, but I'll drop him off at the door and not come in."

Katherine swallowed hard. "Is that what you want?"

"No. I want to be with you."

Her timer went off and they turned around.

Gabriel came to a complete stop. "We're adults. What if we see where this relationship takes us, but take it slow?"

"Really slow."

"Yes. We both have baggage to work through. I'd hug you right now but I'm sure our P.I. would love to show Frost that picture. Are you okay with this?" Katherine nodded, and Gabriel added, "You look scared."

"I am."

They were at the sidewalk in front of Katherine's house, and as she started toward the house he asked, "Did my close kiss scare you?"

She shook her head. "No. It's admitting that we're in a relationship and knowing there's a P.I. out there watching and waiting for us to mess up."

"We'll talk later." Gabriel paused. "I'm not sure when. Our next few days are packed." He watched Katherine jog to her door. "Reggie, I'm falling in love with her. Any advice?"

Friday afternoon, Gabriel stood in front of the full gymnasium waiting for the last students to get seated. He glanced at his watch. "Ladies and Gentlemen, we need to get this pep-rally started. I know you can't wait to watch tonight's win over Midway."

He waited for the cheering to stop, before he continued, "I knew it, but before we start the actual pep-rally, I want to remind you that we have other sports happening and you need to support them as much as you do football. Those athletes work hard too."

He invited the other coaches to come up and state the dates, times, and places for their competitions.

Gabriel's eyes met Katherine's. "Coach Riley, you didn't come forward. Silver Cove High School Bears, tomorrow for the first time in three years we'll host a girls cross country meet. It's against also Midway. I happen to know these girls have worked hard. They're even running the First Street hill. I understand they've fought that hill and won."

The football players started joking about how the girls couldn't really run that hill.

Mr. Edward's walked up and studied the players. "What? You don't think girls can run?" He turned toward Gabriel. "You thinking what I'm thinking?"

"I think so. Coach Riley, how about a friendly competition between my team and yours? Tuesday during practice, we'll have a race. Your girls against my boys up and down that hill."

Katherine walked up and took the microphone. "Coach Hudson, are you implying my girls can't compete with your boys?

"I didn't say that. My boys did."

"We've only run that hill four times and your team has run it for what, years?"

"That's probably a fair statement."

"How's that fair?" She paused in thought. "Okay girls, listen up. I say we run the hill twice, and only linemen are allowed in this race." She faced him. "I didn't say linebackers, I said honest-to-goodness linemen." She turned to her team and raised her arm. "Girls, what do you say, should we accept the challenge?"

The girls broke out into their fight song. As they started the second verse, the band joined in.

Katherine nodded. "Coach Hudson, I'd say the challenge is a go." She grinned. "And since your team challenged us, if they lose they'll need to come up here during the next pep-rally and entertain us with a dance. Get ready, they'll lose."

Mr. Edwards shook his head. "Bears, you heard it right here. Stay tuned Wednesday morning during announcements to see who won this challenge." He glanced at Gabriel. "How we going to score it? You could probably do a percentage."

Gabriel chuckled. "I can't. I'm a coach/history teacher. That would be Coach Riley's department."

"Don't worry about it. I already have it figured out."

Both Mr. Edwards and Gabriel nodded.

The cheerleaders came forward and the pep-rally continued.


Katherine Riley: age 33 - widowed: husband died 6 months ago. She moved to Texas from NYC with her four sons.

Daisy: Katherine's yellow Labrador

Gabriel Hudson: High School football coach and former NFL defensive lineman

Reggie: a very large English Mastiff

Jeremy: Katherine's six year old son. He's in first grade.

Jordan: Katherine's fifteen year old son. He's a sophomore.

Joshua Katherine's thirteen year old son. He's in 8th grade

Joel Katherine's eleven year old son. He's in 6th grade.

Paul Edwards: High School principal and Gabriel's friend.

Rodney Frost: Math department head, at least for now.

Angie Brooks Math teacher and Katherine's friend.

Frank Collins Math teacher.

Rebecca and Harold Hudson Gabriel's parents

Sarah and Bob Beck Katherine's parents, Bob is deceased

Frank Collins math teacher

Alan Green an Assistant Principal

Sandy Frost Rodney Frost's wife

Sam Auto repair shop owner

Bill Brooks Assistant football coach, Gabriel's friend, and Angie's husband.

Harold Hudson Gabriel's dad and football announcer.

Sandy Teenage girl on cross country team.

Rhonda Morgan Teenage girl on cross country team, and victim of dating violence.

Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Rhonda's parents.

Kenny Clark Teenager - Rhonda's boyfriend

Book of the Month contest entry


The book continues with Football Chapter 19 part 2. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
Thank you google images for the photo of a high school pep rally. I also want to thank everybody for the helpful reviews. This novel is not actually about football, but is part of the background. High football is a national pastime in Texas. This post is a little under 900 words. Thank you for having patience with me. Friday was my last day of work. I am now officially retired. I am hoping to devote more time to my writing. Maybe I won't make as many mistakes. LOL
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