“They can’t do that,” Skyler said, standing and knocking his white board out of his hands. He let it clank to the grass.
“They know that.” Coach Bryant shook his head. “They’re just being jerks. They’re probably hoping we don’t know that, and they can bully us into keeping her on the bench.”
“Why don’t they want me to play?” Jonnie stood beside Skyler, her arm brushing against his. He was tempted to take her hand in solidarity but fought the inclination.
“They claim you might get hurt and they don’t want to be responsible for that,” Coach explained. “They say the officials don’t want to deal with the risks, and the other teams will be hesitant to tackle her because she’s a girl, and that she’ll have an unfair advantage.”
“In other words, the other teams are scared we’re going to beat them.” Jayce sauntered up beside Jonnie and draped his arm over her shoulders. “Because we have the best wide receiver in the league.”
“In the State, probably,” Logan said.
“Yeah, well, my daddy’s the best attorney in the State,” Connor piped in. “And I’m not afraid to call on him.”
“I’m sure that won’t be necessary, gentlemen.” Coach stopped and smiled, then nodded to Jonnie regally. “And lady.”
She lifted her chin and grinned. “I don’t get called a lady very often.”
“Well, gee, I think you should.” Skyler had an idea and turned to Jonnie with a conspiratorial grin. “I think every Friday night you should be the first player off the bus and should be dressed to the nines, hair and makeup done, the works. Show them what a lady looks like, and then show them what a lady can do on the field.”
“I like your idea.” Jonnie’s grin was wide and so beautiful it hurt to look at. “I’m going to need Amberlyn’s help to make it happen, but we’ll make it happen.”
“This is going to be our best season ever,” Jayce said. “I can’t wait for our first game.”