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 Category:  Romance Fiction
  Posted: August 22, 2021      Views: 96
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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 #6 spot on the top ranked reviewer list.

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Chapter 49 of the book Football - A Novel
The linemen dance and Jordan is injured
"Football Chapter 25 part 1" by barbara.wilkey

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

Katherine and Gabriel have known each other for 28 days.


Around nine o'clock, Jordan answered his mom's ringing phone. "Hello, Coach?"

"Jordan? Where's your mom?"

"She fell asleep on the couch. Do you want me to wake her?"

"No. She needs the sleep. Just let her know I called. Unless she wakes up on her own, don't wake her for our run, but in time to get to school, deal?"

"Deal. Thanks, Coach."

"For what?"

"Looking after her."

"You're welcome, bye."


Chapter 25 part 1

I hope I catch up with Gabriel before school. Katherine stopped by the office and set his two cups of coffee and his breakfast sack on the counter. "Has Coach been by this morning?"

Nancy smiled. "Sorry, Mrs. Riley. I haven't seen him. Want me to tell him you're looking for him?"

"Not necessary. I'll eventually catch up with him. It's not that important." She opened the door to leave and then paused. "Do you know if he's seen the updated non-eligible form?"

"No clue, sorry."

"Okay, thank you."

As she walked to her classroom, she saw Angie. "Good morning. I'm curious what Gabriel has planned for today's pep rally. Has Bill said anything?"

"Not a word. I've asked him several times, but he's refused to talk. It seems to be a secret. That sort of scares me."

Katherine laughed. "Me too. He's mentioned a few times that I set him up with the parameters of the hill race, so I'm afraid he's setting me up. He wouldn't do that, would he?"

Angie laughed. "He would, but in a fun sort of way."

"You're probably right."

After the student body entered the gymnasium for the pep rally, Gabriel took the microphone and welcomed everyone. "Now, as you heard in Wednesday's morning announcements, my linemen were slightly beaten by the girls' cross country team. It was a really close race. We were beaten by such a slight margin I'm surprised it wasn't called a tie."

His eyes twinkled as they met Katherine's. "Now, we must live up to our part of the deal and perform a dance. Linemen, come on up and get into your line." He waited until they were situated. "Give these gentlemen a hand."

Gabriel paused while the students clapped. "We feel since this is the final pep rally until Homecoming and we only lost by a slight margin we should include the ladies in our performance. Coach Riley, would you please line up your team one in front of each lineman about two feet away?"

As the girls stood, they all looked at Katherine for guidance. She shrugged her shoulders and mouthed. "I don't know."

Taking Katherine's hand, Gabriel said, "I need you to stand here. I hope you know the 'The Stroll' because that's what we're doing. Ladies, if you don't know the dance, follow the linemen." He stood opposite Katherine and nodded for Mr. Edwards to start the music.

After the music began, Gabriel winked at Katherine and they strolled down the line.

Katherine glanced up at him. "I can't believe you."

He grinned. "I told you I had an idea where linemen could excel."

They went to the end of the line and danced until every partner strolled down the line.

After the dance, he held the microphone and said, "Give them a big Silver Cove Bears' applause." He reached over and gave Katherine a brief hug. "Thank you."

The cheerleaders and the band took over the pep rally.

As Katherine stood under a shade tree, waiting for the girls to join her, Gabriel walked up. "Just stretching again?"

She nodded. "Yes. Jordan told me last night you called."

"I did. I hope you got some badly needed sleep."

"I think I was so tired my body took over."

"I agree." He removed his cap, ran his hand through his hair, and replaced it. "What did you think of our dance?"

"I thought it was wonderful." She shook her head. "But we only slightly beat you? It was a slaughter."

Gabriel chuckled. "I had to let the boys keep their pride."

Katherine exhaled. "I retested Jimmy."

"I know. I got the corrected eligibility form. Thank you. I appreciate it." He stretched a finger and touched her hand. "We okay?"

She took his hand in hers, squeezed it, and then let go. "We're good. But I'm not fixing grades just to ensure you win a game."

His walkie-talkie went off. "I'm needed. We'll talk later."

Katherine and the boys arrived at the stadium and sat in their usual spot. Before long the girls cross country team arrived and sat with them.

Just before the team reentered the locker room, Gabriel came up to the railing. "It's going to be a close game tonight. They're bigger and have speed."

"So it's going to be one of those who ever makes the least amount of mistakes wins game?" After he nodded, Katherine continued, "I'm sure you won't be out coached."

"Never know. Thompson's a good coach." He watched the boys start toward the locker room. "I need to leave."

"Good luck."

He waved as he left.

At the end of the first quarter, there was no score. Each team had failed to get a first down. At the beginning of the second quarter, the Wildcat's immediately scored. It was now 7-to-0.

Angie came by and sat beside Katherine. She patted her knee. "I warned you that Gabe could get animated. Are you okay?"

"I'm not surprised. I'm fine. I remember Dad being a little vocal during the games. I hope he doesn't get thrown out."

"That's only happened once. Matter-of-fact, Bill got thrown out, too." She laughed. "Mr. Edwards finished coaching the game."

"I would've enjoyed watching that."

Angie stood. "I need to get back to my area."

The two minute warning sounded before half-time. The Bears had the ball. Gabriel turned around and his eyes met Katherine's, then he faced the field.

I wonder what that was about. Katherine held her breath.

The quarterback called cadence and the play began. It was a quarterback sneak, but after running a few yards, he handed the ball to Jordan. Jordan ran thirty yards for a touchdown. He was hit hard from behind and went down. He didn't get up. The trainer and Gabriel ran to him.

Katherine stood at the railing watching and willing him to stand. Angie came over and put her arm around Katherine's shoulders. "He'll get up. I know he will."

He didn't.

Reggie ran out and lay beside Jordan.

Gabriel glanced toward Katherine and then motioned for the ambulance.

Tears streamed down her cheeks.

The Stroll - Thank you YouTube


Katherine Riley: age 33 - widowed: husband died 6 months ago. She moved to Texas from NYC with her four sons. She teaches high school math and also coaches girls cross country.

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.

Judy 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

Grace Former friend of Gabriel and featured in porn magazine

Janette & Jackson Riley Katherine's in-laws


The book continues with Football Chapter 25 part 2. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
Thank you google images for an image of 'The Stroll'. I also want to thank everybody for the helpful reviews. I rewrote many areas as I posted. I hope it's okay. Again, I hope I didn't make it worse. 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 1,000 words. Sorry about the length. Thank you for having patience with me.

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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