As we near the release of Forgetting My Way Back to You, I wanted to introduce readers to a few of the novel’s main characters. In keeping with one of the story’s elements, these posts will be portrayed as news articles in the Coatesville Times, the setting’s actual local paper. First up is protagonist Charlee Stoll.
August 14, 2013
The Stoll Legacy Lives On in Raiders’ Football
By Terry Cinders
Family businesses are common in Coatesville, but no one expected one carried on in the Stoll family. Sure, they’re well-known in the Raiders’ athletic department, with Eli Stoll the current and winningest varsity basketball coach and his dad, Mike, having headed the football coaching staff for twenty-five years. With the latter forced to retire after he suffered a stroke in 2009, however, we all thought we’d never see a Stoll again on the gridiron. For the past two seasons, his daughter, Charlee, proved us wrong.
“I never intended to fill a role on the team,” the youngest Stoll admits, “but after I was certified as a therapist, I ran into Coach Wilson. He needed a new trainer and asked if I would consider it.”
Stoll didn’t immediately accept the position, held back by her nostalgia. She confesses that for a couple years after her father’s departure, she lost touch with the team. It pained her to watch someone else standing in his beloved spot at the sidelines.
“In the end, my childhood memories actually persuaded me to take the job. I grew up at that field, and I liked having a chance to relive those moments in a small way. It pleased Dad, too. He enjoys the thought that I can carry on his legacy. He’s still upset with Eli for switching sports!”
By day, Stoll works as a physical therapist at Harrison Home, the senior center where her dad lives. This allows the two to visit frequently, and the former coach uses such access to pass on strategy tips to the squad through his daughter.
“He sends me with his playbook on my first day of practices every year.” She smiles. “It’s become a tradition, and the coaches always grin when they see me lugging it out of my car.”
On the subject of the coaching staff, Jay Wilson’s retirement left a vacancy, as did several other departures. Charlee hasn’t met any of the replacements yet, but she looks forward to doing so when she returns next week.
“I haven’t had time to keep up with all the changes. I don’t mind being surprised when I show up to work on Monday.”
And indeed, she will be.
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