A Hail Mary and a Harem

 The Count? 21 Days Until My Trip to Alabama

I once read that football was invented so people wouldn’t notice summer ending. But I couldn’t wait for summer vacation to end. I couldn’t wait for football. Football, dominator of fall – football, love of my life.

“Blue forty-two! Blue forty-two! Red seventeen!” I yell.

The cue is red seventeen. JJ hikes me the ball. The defense is blitzing. JJ slams into a freshman safety, knocking him to the ground. The rest of my offensive line destroys the defense. Nice. The field’s wide open, but my wide receiver isn’t where he’s supposed to be.

“What the hell, Higgins?” I mutter to myself.

Dancing on my tiptoes, I scan the end zone and find Sam Henry instead, and hurl the ball. It flies through the air, a perfect spiral, heading right where I wanted it to go. He catches the ball, spikes it, and does this really stupid dance. Henry looks like a freaking ballerina. With his thin frame and girly blonde hair, he actually could be the star of the New York Ballet.

I’m gonna give him hell for his dance.

This is my senior year at Hundred Oaks High, and I’m captain, so I’m allowed to keep my players in line. Even though he’s my best friend, Henry has always been a showoff. His antics get us penalties.

Through the speaker in my helmet, I hear Coach Miller say, “Nice throw. This is your year, Woods. You’re going to lead us to the state championship. I can feel it… Hit the showers.” What the coach actually means? I know you’re not going to blow it in the final seconds of the championship game like you did last year.

And he’s right. I can’t.

Excerpt copyright © 2011 Miranda Kenneally


About the book:

What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though – she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there’s a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team… and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

What people are saying:

“Whoever said football and girls don’t mix hasn’t read CATCHING JORDAN! I stayed up all night reading – I couldn’t put it down!”–Simone Elkeles, New York Times Bestselling author of the PERFECT CHEMISTRY series

“I fell in love with the hero on page 1, and CATCHING JORDAN just gets better from there. This feel-good romantic comedy about high school football is the novel I’ve been waiting for. I loved it!”–Jennifer Echols, author of LOVE STORY, ENDLESS SUMMER, GOING TOO FAR and FORGET YOU

“CATCHING JORDAN has it all: heart, humor, and a serious set of balls. With a clever, authentic voice, Kenneally proves once and for all that when it comes to making life’s toughest calls — on and off the field — girls rule!”–Sarah Ockler, bestselling author of FIXING DELILAH and TWENTY BOY SUMMER

“A beautiful novel with a competitive spirit both on and off the field. With a real and captivating depiction of high school relationships, CATCHING JORDAN shows the same reverence for the human heart that it does for the game of football.”–Karsten Knight, author of WILDEFIRE

Released: December 1, 2011

About the author:

Miranda Kenneally is the author of CATCHING JORDAN, a contemporary YA novel about football and femininity, coming in December 2011. Other books include THE GIRL I USED TO BE (fall 2012) and BAD, BAD THING (spring 2013). Miranda is the co-creator of Dear Teen Me. The Dear Teen Me Anthology will be published by Zest Books (distributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) in late 2012. She enjoys reading and writing young adult literature, and loves Star Trek, music, sports, Mexican food, Twitter, coffee, and her husband. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook. Miranda is represented by Sara Megibow at Nelson Literary Agency.