"I finally graduated Bayside!" Zack yelled as he tossed his cap in the air. Everyone else joined and soon maroon hats were flying everywhere.
Zack jumped down off the stage and ran through the crowd of high school students receiving pats on the back, giving high fives and nodding at his classmates as he made his way towards his best friends. He was able to spot Slater and Screech, but didn't see the girls.
Slater was laughing and reminiscing with his football teammates. "Remember the game where you sacked Valley's quarterback so hard his helmet popped off, Ox! That was an incredible play!"
"Oh yeah! I don't remember allota things, but I remember dat! Ooh! An' whatta 'bout that game where Saint Murray's couldn't get one touchdown on us!" Ox bellowed.
"Those were good times. We were Bayside's first winning football team. I'll never forget our first win over Valley. All of us with our maroon faces," Slater's voice lowered and his huge grin faded to a small smile. "Our football games are over guys."
"Not for you, Slater, you got a scholarship to Iowa. You'll still get to wrestle and play football. You've still got a lot of games left to win," Moose smiled at him. Slater nodded, but couldn't help feeling a little sad. Sure, he had a more games ahead, but these guys were his team. How could he win any games without them? How could he have any fun playing football without them?
Nearby, Screech was saying goodbye to Franklin, one of his dorky buddies from the chess team.
"Remember, Franklin, become one with the King. That way you begin to see through his eyes and can protect him better," Screech told him confidently waving a pointed finger. Franklin stood listening in awe, with his mouth hanging open and eyes wide.
"I can't believe your telling me all of your secrets! " Franklin said rubbing his hands together.
"Well, now that I've graduated, you are Bayside's chess captain. It's a chess team tradition for the former captain to pass on his secrets to his successor. Winning will be all up to you now!" Screech gave him a pat on the back.
Franklin pushed up his thick, black glasses and stood tall. Then, he strutted away muttering, "I will win. I will win."
Screech saw Zack coming toward and hurried to meet him. "Sorry to put you on the spot like that, Zack. I just couldn't smooth talk my way out of that situation like I usually can," as he spoke he puffed out his chest.
Zack smiled and smacked him on the back. "No problem, buddy. Fortunately, your smooth talking has rubbed off on me over the years." They both laughed. After the laughter stopped their faces turned serious. They stood still for a minute, looked down at the floor, then back up at each other.
"I'm gonna miss you, Screech," Zack's face forced a smile and his voice sounded a little choked up.
"I'll miss you, Zack. You're my best friend," Screech said seriously.
"Aw, come here, buddy," Zack said giving him a hug.
When they stepped apart, Screech wiped his eyes with one finger. Slater, Moose, and Ox were now standing next to them. "Aw, geez, little guy. Don't cry. You're making me get all misty," Moose said as holding back tears.
"As long as we are getting' emotional," Ox who was also getting bubbly eyed added, "I just wanted to say, I would've never broken your neck, Zack." Then, he erupted into a sob, "I'm gonna miss you guys!" Slater patted him gently on the shoulder. Zack chuckled and threw his hand out to Ox. Ox grabbed his hand, pulled him in, and gave Zack a hug lifting him off the ground.
With teary eyes, Screech, Ox, and Moose made their rounds to see other classmates, leaving Zack and Slater shaking their heads and laughing.