Out of the mouths of babes

When shooting a football game, we often look for more than what’s going on out on the field. Often during breaks in the action, I scan the bleachers for something out of the ordinary.

During a recent game between the Chavez Titans and the Tracy Bulldogs at Franklin High School in Stockton (Chavez’s field is undergoing extensive upgrades and is out of commission for the season), I spotted something that caught my eye.

In the stands was 11-year-old Bernardino Torres. He didn’t know anyone on the football team, but he was there to watch his sister, who was one of the Chavez cheerleaders. What drew me to him was what was coming out of his mouth. Not what he was saying (I was too far away to hear anything he would have said) but rather light. Colored light to be precise. Flashes of bright light, alternating in a rainbow of colors, pulsed from his lips. Upon closer examination Torres was wearing a “grill”-like mouthpiece, sort of like what rappers wear over their teeth, except instead of being gold and jewel incrusted, this one was plastic and lit up with multi-colored LED lights. He may have looked a bit silly (ah, but what else is youth for other than to be carefree?) but he put a new twist on having a smile that lights up a room.

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