Torres, 'Sprinter'

March 24, 2015 7:11 PM

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Torres, 'Sprinter'

Walk America's motor-mown playing fields on a Sunday afternoon, past baseball diamonds that look like half-hewn crop circles and running tracks cut in dirt or clay. See the swarms of children neatening themselves into game formations, each one trying to tamp down nervous energy and make her talent behave. Skinny legs protrude from nylon shorts quickly pulled on after the church clothes come off. Mothers sit and knit on the sidelines in collapsible chairs. Fathers stand, ready to go to the snack bar or sneak a cooler beer; ready to yell. This is fun? One or two kids run like thoroughbreds toward a victory, and in those moments, everyone agrees: The vigor of the game gets bodies strong, the discipline will guide players toward successful adulthood. And the yelling, the sadness of the weak player who's never put in, all that can be silenced by the snap of the team picture.

But then there's the wild kid, who runs the wrong way, who drops the ball maybe on purpose, who says to her mother in the car after the game, I don't want to do this any more. She'll be back. The coach convinces the parents. The child is so fast, and her potential has become her punishment. She squa...

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