Rake's Football Style

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It all began with Eddy Rake. The tradition and the separation in Messina began with Rake. When Rake was hired as head football coach of the Messina Spartans, he began his rise to becoming a hero and the descent to becoming a villain. He began a game of chest by setting the board the way he wanted it. Rake’s football program not only put football first, but did not allow for any other contenders. One either was or was not, a have or a have not. Cameron, Screamer, and Neely all took different approaches to Coach Rake’s and Messina’s style. Messina’s style does not just ruin lives in high school, but far beyond the walls of Messina High. While in high school, Cameron Lane did not fit in. She didn’t agree with the ideas about football,…show more content…
Neely also was the dream boy for all of the ladies. He began his high school career dating Cameron Lane, a compassionate, modest woman. Neely quickly dropped Cameron when he realized he could get the best looking girl in the school, Brandy Skimmel, who could provide Neely with what he wanted. Neely fell under the spell of Messina tradition and Coach Rake’s strategy. Years later, Neely’s knee injury broke his ego and he realized that there is much more in life than just football. Neely was too lost in the game and confused to which person he was listening to. Neely was not sure if he was in control of himself or if others were. While in high school, Neely let his coach and the town determine how he moved. Neely was never able to prepare himself for life outside Messina because he was too worried about Messina. He was “famous at eighteen, [he spent] the rest of [his] life fading away. [He dreams] of the glory days, but [he knows] that they are gone forever.” (Grisham 181). With Eddie Rake’s death, Neely was able to reconcile some of his past which enabled him to move forward. Neely is a rook; able to move forward, but sometimes stuck in the past. Neely has started to find himself and has started to carve notches, but he still has not discovered all of himself because he still has Messina and his past in his

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